STILLWATER, Okla. – The script had been written. It would be the drive Oklahoma State fans would talk about for years to come. Seven plays, 89 yards and a bit of history.
But there was still 1:46 left. There was still time for Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell. There was still time for redemption.
There was still time for Sooner Magic. In a game full of crazy twists and turns, it was OU with the last laugh in a thrilling 33-24 victory at OSU on Saturday afternoon in one of the coldest Bedlam games in history.
“I’m still in shock of the whole deal,” Bell said.
The task was easy to define. OU trailing 24-20 needed to go 66 yards in a 1:46 with one timeout to give it another 10-win season.
The task was a lot harder to execute. Back-to-back completions to Sterling Shepard got the drive started, which was aided by an OSU pass interference penalty.
Following a Cowboys timeout, Bell found Jalen Saunders for a 7-yard touchdown that sent the OU faithful into a frenzy.
“Blake went in and did a great job,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “I’m really proud of his poise. He scrambled around and made some plays on his own."
Bell finished 10 of 16 for 140 yards to go with the touchdown. Impressive enough in the fact he hadn’t played since Nov. 16 when he suffered a concussion against Iowa State.
Impressive enough considering he wasn’t the backup quarterback going into the game. He was third string. Trevor Knight was the starter with Kendal Thompson slated as the backup.
A shoulder injury to Knight at the end of the first half left the door open for Bell or Thompson to assert himself. The Cowboys corralled Thompson but had no answers for Bell.
“He just never stopped fighting,” said Shepard about Bell’s attitude. “Even through this week when he knew he probably wasn’t going to play, he was taking his reps like a starter.”
OSU still had time for a miracle but there was none in the making. OU’s Eric Striker recovered a fumble for a touchdown on the final play to make the final score more lopsided than what the crazy game actually felt like.
The OU offense was going to need some help to put away its rivals. Two starting offensive linemen weren’t starting in Tyrus Thompson and Adam Shead to go along with the injuries that had already been plaguing the team.
The Sooners (10-2, 7-2) got the help they needed with a Saunders punt return for a touchdown late in the first quarter and the Striker score on the final play. So despite being outgained 400-358 total yards, the Sooners were able to ruin OSU’s hopes of a second Big 12 championship in three years.
Struggling throughout most of the day, it looked like it was going to be Clint Chelf as the quarterback everybody would be talking about. But Chelf came up with the drive of the season, going 4 of 4 for 84 yards on the drive to help OSU take the 24-20 lead.
And then Bell went to work.
“After half, I was just trying to get loose,” Bell said. “All I knew is that when I got my opportunity, I was going to do the best I could.”
Bell was a Bedlam hero last year as well, scoring in the final seconds to help send the game to overtime where OU won 51-48.
He also had a banner outing at Notre Dame earlier this season. But this will top them all.
“I would say so,” said Bell with a smile.