This is the game the Oklahoma Sooners lose.
On the road in a night game against a motivated posse of Oklahoma State Cowboys, the Sooners made mistake after mistake after mistake in the first half to give the Pokes a fighting chance going into the final two quarters. When OSU marched down the field on the opening possession of the second half to tie the score at 24-24, all signs pointed to a textbook OU collapse, the kind the Sooners seem to have perfected over the last two seasons.
Of course, it didn’t go down that way.
The seeds of the 47-41 victory that almost assures OU will represent the Big 12 South in the conference title game were actually planted three weeks earlier in College Station. Less than a minute into the second half of a game against the white hot Texas A&M Aggies, the Sooners found themselves trailing 19-0 in one of college football’s most imposing stadiums. Somehow, OU clawed back into the contest, only to come up short.
Naturally, the post-loss blathering then turned to missed opportunities in the red zone and who was to blame for OU’s uneven performances away from Norman. Nobody bothered to mention that the Sooners showed some of the intestinal fortitude that seemed to have been lacking in Bob Stoops’ teams lately.
The Pokes threw everything they had at OU in a furious comeback attempt in the second half. Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones had given them plenty of help in the first half. Yet, whenever OSU came within striking distance, the Crimson and Cream beat the Cowboys back. Even better, the goats of nightmares past – Jones, James Hanna, Jimmy Stevens, Cameron Kenney – saved the day.
Did OU “grow up” against the Cowboys? I have no idea.
Did the Sooners chase away all their demons? I doubt it.
For at least one night, though, it did feel like OU had recaptured a little of that “Sooner Magic” that has been M.I.A. for too long.