Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State scores, takeaways: The No. 18 Sooners dominate for a sixth straight Bedlam win

There are many ways to play the Bedlam rivalry, but no matter how it happens, it usually ends in an Oklahoma win. Saturday night was held again as No. 18 Oklahoma used a strong 14-point fourth quarter in a 14–13 victory, their sixth straight win in the Bedlam series in a 41–13 victory.

The Suns have now won five consecutive games after starting 1-2 and have a Big 12 championship game in their sights. There are two more games against West Virginia and Belor that separate this team from yet another trip to Arlington, Texas.

For Bedlam from the beginning, it seemed as if Oklahoma was about to run away with the game. The Suners scored a touchdown on their first three possessions to go up 21–0, one of which was aided by a small field thanks to an athletic David Ugabegu interception. However, Oklahoma State’s top 15 defense appeared after an early burn. For more than two quarters, the Cowboys held the Sooners to just six points.

But then, a steady dose of running back Ramondre Stevenson paid dividends for OU. Stevenson, who had been bottled up most of the night, started making big runs and finished with 141 yards on 26 carries. This allowed Oklahoma to be more creative and aggressive with its play call. The first touchdown in the fourth quarter came on a fake reverse that forced H-back Jeremiah Hall out of the backfield for a 30-yard score. The second was a fourth-down toss from Spencer Rattler for Theo Waze from 31 yards out to make the game good.

The crime of Oklahoma State was never going on. Quarterback Spencer Sanders was ruled out in the first quarter with an apparent head injury. This meant freshman Shane Illingworth was on duty, but he finished the night on 21 for 5 for 71 yards and a touchdown. Although the Pox coaching staff was initially cautious to bring Sanders back into the game, he again stood out in the fourth quarter. By then it was too late.

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gandy falls to 2-14 all-time against Oklahoma. Here are the takeaways from tonight’s game:

1. Stevenson was MVP

The ground game was soon improving when Stevenson returned from an NCAA suspension against Texas Tech late last month, but he launched it at another level. Stevenson was taken as a runner on Saturday morning, but Riley credited his refusal to give up the run. It helped that Oklahoma went out for a big lead, but eventually a 2-yard Stevenson run became a 9-yard run, and they became a chunk yard.

The run game in more aggressive conditions also opened up Oklahoma’s offense. Stevenson started the first two-quarter touchdown with a straight four before delivering the ball to Ratner, who reverse-scored and hit Jeremiah Hall for a touchdown. Second, Theo Dias’ touchdown from Rattler was on fourth-and-4 when Stevenson was very likely to run. Without a grassroots game, Oklahoma is not pulling away like it did.

2. Illingworth was not ready to make a comeback

I’m not saying Illingworth is a bad player, although he had a bad night. But the main reason for this is the defense of Oklahoma. The Suners had a disruptive night with four sacks, seven TFLs, four QB Hurricanes and at least two or three batting passes. The weakness of the Oklahoma State offense has been the offensive line. It wasn’t great tonight, and Illingworth is not the type of quarterback who can extend plays with his feet. Sanders can, but out of caution, Oklahoma State chose him not to play for most of the game. I won’t criticize that move – player safety is important – though I wonder what the difference was in Sanders’ health between the second and fourth quarter. In any case, Sanders is better equipped to take the necessary yards with his hands and feet. Illingworth does not just give Oklahoma State this option and it is tough when you are trying to play from behind.

3. Playing to win vs. not losing

There were two moments in the fourth quarter that proved to be important coaching moves. First Gandy had to decide to finish fourth and 8th at the Oklahoma 39-yard line with about 12 minutes remaining. The Pox were down 21 points, and while the punt worked – a game penalty delay helped Oklahoma State pin the Suners to their 1-yard line – it was still a highly conservative call. Time is running out and Oklahoma State had just 13 points on the board. They needed to make the field. Keep in mind: Sanders was back in the game at that point, so it was clear that Oklahoma State was doing what it needed to do to win. Putting did nothing, either, as Oklahoma did for 99 yards and put the game away for good. In fact, it was Riley who opted to end the game for fourth-and-4. There was a big difference in coaching.

CBS Sports was with you all the way to update this story with the latest from the game, which you can read below.

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