By Michael Kinney
The Oklahoma State offense had gone up and down the field on Oklahoma the entire day. That included in the final three minutes when quarterback Taylor Cornelius led the Pokes down to the field for a touchdown with just 1:03 left in the game to close the gap to 48-47.
Instead of going for the game-tying extra point, coach Mike Gundy decided to go for the potential win with a 2-point conversion. The pass play went right at cornerback Tre Brown, who had Tylan Wallace (10 catches, 220 yards) locked up on the outside. Brown came away with the deflection to help seal 48-47 victory victory.
“There was a lot going through my head,” Brown said. “Like we just won the game and I was able to do something about that. It was really crazy.”
Right before the 2-point conversion, Brown said he had a silent prayer with his mother, who passed away in October.
“I talked to my mom. I felt like my mom was talking to me,” Brown said. “She said this is what you’re made of. This is what you do best. I’ve had moments like these in my high school career. I reminded myself that times like these happen so I got to show up. I can just hear my mom in my head talking to me. I was like you’re right. I’ve got to go make this play. And sure enough, it happened.”
Gundy going for the win
“As the game was going back and forth, being on the road and struggling stopping them, it was probably the best thing,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “We had a shot at it, just didn’t make a good throw.”
For two weeks after coach Ruffin McNeill took over as the defensive coordinator, it looked like Oklahoma had started to turn the corner. But in the past two games against Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, the Sooners have seemingly regressed back to their previous form.
“You always look back and see how I can do better,” McNeill said. “Not the kids, but what could I have done better to help them? In November, you’ve got to scrap. I know the last two weeks have been scraps and fights. Having been in it for a while, I don’t ever take it lightly.”
Taking it week by week
Coach Lincoln Riley was asked about the performance of the defense since McNeill took over.
“It’s a week-in, week-out deal right now,” Riley said. “We’re in the middle of it, so I’m not sitting back and looking at the previous three or four games right now. It’s looking at the weeks that we’re having and looking at the way that we’re playing and just win and be at your very best the next week. We’re we at our best tonight? No.”
Bend and break
Against the Cowboys, OU allowed 640 total yards. That includes 501 through the air by quarterback Taylor Cornelius.
But it wasn’t the yards that had the defenders unhappy, it was their inability to make plays.
“I’m not satisfied. I’m not happy with how we played. As a defense, I think we played good in spurts. But we just give up too many big plays,” Curtis Bolton said. “We’ve got to get turnovers, we’ve got to get our hands on the ball. When we get on the field, we’ve got to work on three and outs. We just have to get off the field on third downs. I think we can do that. I have faith in us. We have a lot of talent on this defense and we don’t ever play up to our talent and it’s really frustrating.”
Running attack takes over
Oklahoma rushed for 349 yards on the night. Kennedy Brooks led the charge with 165 yards on 15 carries while Tre Sermon added 125 yards on 16 carries. It’s the second straight week and the third time this season OU has had a pair of runners go over the 100-yard mark in the same game.
“It means that they trust us to get the job done,” Brooks said. “We go out there and just dominate and do what we do and positive things happen. We both balled out and I’m pretty proud of it.”
Murray causing issues
For Kyler Murray, his 21-of-29 passing for 349 yards was not best stat game by far. But he still caused the OSU defense a myriad of problems.
“The issue you have is that you can’t contain him,” Gundy said. “He buys so much time and bounces back there, so you really have to asses it on ‘Ok, I covered for three, and a half seconds, was I in decent position and in the right spot’ Gundy said of his defensive backs. “But when you get up around six seconds, it’s pretty tough to cover. He makes a lot of things happen and he’s faster live than he is on TV.”
Got his groove back
After being slowed down the past three games by defenses and an injury, Marquise Brown made his presence felt in a big way. He hauled in eight catches for 142 yards and one touchdown. That included a 51 yarder.
“We line up and I had a double on me,” Brown said. “Coach did a great job moving me and putting me in different spots, motioning me around. Once we did see the one on one coverage, Kyler (Murray) made a great check and we made a play.”
Did run game force OSU out of normal pass defense?
“I think so. We were running the ball great and they started to come down a little bit,” Brown said. “Just that one opportunity, you just have to make the best of it.”
Back in the action
Linebacker Caleb Kelly made his first start of the season and found himself playing a big role in the Sooners win Saturday. He ended the night with seven tackles, which was tied for third behind Kenneth Murray (11) and Bolton (8).
“It was fun,” Kelly said. “Getting to get to go play again with my brothers. I didn’t feel like such an outsider. I just got to be with them. It just felt comfortable to be back with them.”
Kelly got to see Brown’s game-saving play up close and personal.
“For me personally, I set the edge. I began the rush once I saw it was a pass,” Kelly said.” The ball came right by me and I almost got it. Then I just turned around and saw that TB had a good break and hit him right in his hands. Then it was a PBU and it was all good. Just turned up and just started celebrating. And everybody just took off so I took off with them. It was funny.”
Kicker Austin Seibert set the Oklahoma scoring record and tied the Big 12 scoring mark on a 21-yard field goal in the second quarter. He then broke the Big 12 mark with an extra point o the next drive. He now has 458 career points. He is fifth among kickers all-time in scoring.
“I really didn’t know when I set it,” Seibert said. “I was thinking is that the one. Then they announced it and the crowd went pretty wild. That was pretty cool. I got to see that and take all that in. So that was really cool. It’s very special, I’ll remember that forever. But at the end of the day, we’ve still got two more games and we’re still going for that Big 12 Championship and a playoff run.”
After Brown made his pass deflection, he and cornerback Parnell Motley sprinted down the field together. For Brown, that moment meant a lot because of what the two have been through this year.
“This is a really special moment for us. We’ve both had our ups and downs,” Brown said. “There were times when we’ve been discouraged. There was a time we thought it was the end of the world. I always talk to Parnell about things. When he’s down and stuff, keep your head up. You never know what’s going to happen. You can make a play at the end and everybody has forgot about the play you didn’t make. After I made that play, we just had that special moment. Like, wow, this is what we talked about.”
Michael Kinney is a Freelance Content Provider