In what was the final installment of Bedlam for the foreseeable future, No. 22 Oklahoma State spoiled rival Oklahoma’s hopes of winning a national championship.
The Sooners entered Saturday’s game in Stillwater ranked No. 9 with a 7-1 record, but OSU’s 27-24 win will knock OU out of the College Football Playoff picture. On top of that, the Cowboys are now in an excellent position to get to the Big 12 championship game.
It took a come-from-behind effort from Oklahoma State to send its biggest rival off to the SEC with a loss. The Cowboys had a 17-7 lead in the first half, but entered the fourth quarter trailing 21-17.
To retake the lead, Oklahoma State embarked on a 97-yard scoring drive that was capped off by an Ollie Gordon touchdown from two yards out. Earlier in the half, Gordon was stuffed on fourth-and-1 twice in Oklahoma territory. But he would not be denied this time and gave Oklahoma State a 24-21 lead with 7:59 to play.
On the next series, Oklahoma gave the ball right back to Oklahoma State when Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel was not ready for the shotgun snap. The ball bounced off Gabriel, and the Cowboys recovered.
After the turnover, Oklahoma State added a field goal to extend the lead to 27-21 and then hung on for dear life.
The Cowboys’ defense held Oklahoma to a field goal on its next drive after a controversial non-call on what appeared to be pass interference on a pass to Drake Stoops in the end zone.
Oklahoma WR Drake Stoops almost just had an insane catch.. no pass-interference called here. pic.twitter.com/h8d9WIthP0
— Arye Pulli (@AryePulli) November 4, 2023
In the final minutes, Oklahoma would get one more try. Trailing 27-24, the Sooners would advance out to midfield but a fourth-and-5 pass from Gabriel to Stoops was a yard short of the line to gain, resulting in a turnover on downs.
That allowed the Cowboys to run out the clock and seal the coveted victory. Fans spilled onto the field to celebrate.
— OSU Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) November 4, 2023
Ollie Gordon, Alan Bowman lead the way for Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State's offense struggled early this season, but the staff made some changes after the bye week in late September. At that point, OSU was 2-2 and was coming off a loss to Iowa State in its Big 12 opener.
The Cowboys haven't lost since and now sit at 7-2 overall with a 5-1 mark in Big 12 play. Part of the change was turning to Gordon as the team's top running back and Alan Bowman as the top quarterback.
Gordon entered Saturday's game on a streak of five consecutive games with 100-plus rushing yards, including going for 282 and 271 in wins over West Virginia and Cincinnati. Gordon kept that streak going against the Sooners, rushing for 137 yards and two touchdowns.
His 20-yard touchdown in the first quarter gave OSU a 7-0 lead, and his touchdown in the fourth quarter put the Cowboys back in front. Bowman, meanwhile, threw for 334 yards and, most importantly, did not turn the ball over as the Cowboys put up 480 yards of offense.
Even when Oklahoma took a 21-17 lead midway through the third quarter, Oklahoma State kept plugging away. The Cowboys continued to drive into Oklahoma territory, but came away without points thanks to two turnovers on downs and an interception on a trick play.
But it wouldn't matter. Four Oklahoma penalties certainly helped, but Oklahoma State strung together that 97-yard fourth-quarter drive to retake the lead and ultimately beat the rival Sooners.
With the win, Oklahoma State is now tied atop the Big 12 standings with Texas. And with UCF, Houston and BYU remaining on the regular season schedule, the path to the Big 12 title game is very clear for Mike Gundy's team.
Oklahoma's College Football Playoff hopes dashed
After starting the season with a 7-0 record, Oklahoma has now lost back-to-back games. The Sooners fell 38-33 to Kansas last week in Lawrence and then followed it up with the loss in Stillwater on Saturday.
With two losses, Oklahoma's College Football Playoff hopes have almost certainly been extinguished. It's a disappointing turn of events after such a strong start to the season, including the triumph over Texas in the Red River Rivalry back on Oct. 7.
The Sooners had a bye week after beating Texas and have not looked the same. They needed a stop on a two-point conversion to avoid overtime at home vs. UCF before the losses to Kansas and Oklahoma State.
Now 7-2 overall and 4-2 in Big 12 play, the Sooners face an uphill climb to get to the conference title game before departing for the SEC. Next on the schedule is a visit from West Virginia before a road trip to BYU and the regular season finale at home vs. TCU.