November 24, 2012

Pokes fall to Oklahoma in OT thriller

The stadium erupted, Brennan Clay crossed the goal line, and just like that Oklahoma was painted crimson for the next year.

One of the wildest games of the season ended that way in overtime, as the Oklahoma Sooners took their only lead of the day to take a51-48 victory over the Oklahoma State Cowboys in overtime walk-off fashion.

"There's no second places," coach Mike Gundy said. "I'm proud of our team for competing. I think that they prepared well. I mentioned to them that I thought they handled practice with Thanksgiving distractions better than any team we've had. We just came up short, and we have to find a way to finish that game."

It was all Oklahoma State (7-4, 5-3 Big 12) early, as they marched out to a 14-3 lead at the end of the first quarter fueled by two Joseph Randle touchdowns. But the Sooners would come roaring back by posting 21 points in the second quarter alone, and entering halftime tied at 24.

That wasn't the end of the momentum swings, however, as it swung back and forth like a pendulum the entire game. One of the biggest plays was a Sooner punt return for a touchdown, and most probably thought it was over at that moment as Oklahoma had grabbed momentum for good.

It swung back just as fast, as the Cowboys rolled right back down the field to answer with a touchdown of their own.

"I thought that punt return they had was a good play," Gundy said. "It changed momentum a lot. Then we recovered and came back, we just couldn't put a stop together at the end of the game."

Though the team ultimately lost, Randle had a breakout performance. He finished with a whopping four touchdowns on 116 yards rushing, which complimented quarterback Clint Chelf's solid 253 passing yards and a score extremely well.

"They were just calling what the defense was giving us," Randle said. "They made great calls, we just came up short."

Quarterback J.W. Walsh scored late in the third quarter to give the Pokes a 45-38 advantage with 10:41 remaining in the game, then the defense would come and stop the Sooners on a big fourth-and-sixteen with their backs against their own end zone.

The Cowboys retook possession at their own 33-yard line, but looked flat as they appeared to be trying to burn clock instead of going for the kill shot. Ultimately, that would be fatal as they'd punt with 6:18 left, and the Sooners would put together a 17 play, 86 yard scoring drive capped by a Blake Bell quarterback draw on the goal line.

"We just let them convert," defensive coordinator Bill Young said. "Obviously you can't do that. You pull out all the stops in the playbook. We'd make an adjustment then we'd make one then they'd make one. Obviously they did a much better job than I did."

In overtime, the Cowboys lost the toss and took the ball first. After converting an initial fourth down, they were forced to settle for a Quinn Sharp field goal, which gave them a 48-45 lead.

But two plays later, Clay would scamper in for the winning touchdown, and the celebration was on in Norman after that.

"It was just a tough loss all together," Randle said. "I would love to say all the right things, but we just have to be resilient as a team. Bounce back and get ready for Baylor."

Oklahoma State visits Baylor next Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

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