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OSU football: The Cowboys can't expect to win Bedlam by scoring a combined two touchdowns in the past two years
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OSU ANALYSIS

OSU football: The Cowboys can't expect to win Bedlam by scoring a combined two touchdowns in the past two years

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Mike Gundy

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy paces the sidelines during the Cowboys’ loss against Oklahoma in Norman on Saturday.

Oklahoma State allowed 41 points Saturday.

Texas was the only other team to score 41 points on OSU this season, and the Longhorns needed an overtime period to do it.

The Cowboys entered Saturday allowing fewer than 18 points per game — but this was Bedlam. Bedlam is different. Bedlam games live in the end zone, and fans have come to expect that. Oklahoma did its part by scoring five touchdowns and two field goals despite playing the best scoring defense in the conference. But Oklahoma State only managed one touchdown for the second consecutive year in the 41-13 loss. Redshirt freshman Brady Pohl gave the Cowboys six more points on two field goals as OSU lost to OU for the sixth consecutive time.

More than half of OU’s points came in the first quarter. The defense allowed 21 points on two long drives and a 20-yard drive after a Spencer Sanders interception.

The score was 27-7 with 8:39 left in the first half. The defense needed to slow OU down — and eventually did, for a little while. OSU’s defense gave the offense the rest of the second quarter and the entire third quarter to catch up. The Sooners didn’t score another point until a 30-yard touchdown pass with 14:15 left in the fourth quarter.

“I felt like we had to get our feet underneath us in the first quarter,” defensive end Tyler Lacy said. “Once we got our feet underneath us and we started stopping them and we (knew) we could stop them, and then that’s when I thought the defense started to turn around and you could see the encouragement on the field.”

A couple of touchdowns from the offense would have given the defense even more encouragement. They were rewarded with two second-quarter field goals and three third-quarter punts instead. OSU has had its problems in the Bedlam series, but scoring touchdowns isn’t usually one of them.

The Cowboys averaged more than 37 points in Bedlam games from 2010-2018. OSU earned two wins and had five losses by 10 points or fewer during that nine-game stretch. OSU scored 16 points against OU last year and 13 points this year. It’s the least amount of points scored in a Bedlam game for OSU since losing 27-0 in 2009. That was also the last time either team has won Bedlam scoring fewer than 33 points.

Offensive lineman Jake Springfield returned from his injury, but OSU’s bad fortune of injury problems continued. Sanders left the game near the end of the first quarter after a hard sack before returning in the fourth. Right tackle Teven Jenkins also left the game in the first quarter.

“Perhaps the best part of their defense is their front,” offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn said of OU, “We knew it coming in. It was no surprise. We tried to do some things to help our guys out and give them a little bit of extra help here and there. And then all of a sudden you lose another guy. You lose your best offensive lineman as soon as Teven went down. Then you reshuffle things again and it’s just a matter of trying to catch up. There is a domino effect in there. It’s tough. It is. And then the quarterback went down for a minute and then Chuba is down for a minute.”

With the Cowboys’ offensive struggles this season, nobody expected them to gain 640 yards as they did in the 48-47 loss in 2018. Expecting the OSU defense to hold the Sooners to fewer than 40 points wasn’t an outlandish expectation considering how well the defense has played all season.

The defense needed a better start to a game that had major Big 12 Championship implications, but the offense gained the least total yards in a Bedlam game since gaining 109 in 2009. The Cowboys had 246 total yards Saturday.

“We’ve got to be able to move the ball,” Dunn said. “We’ve got to be able to hang our hat on a set few plays and be able to move and operate no matter who’s in there and that’s the mistake that I made. Got to get that done.”

The Cowboys, who were ranked as high as No. 6 a month ago, are now ranked No. 21 and no longer in control of their own path to the Big 12 title game. OSU will try to pick up the pieces in the final three regular-season games against Texas Tech, TCU and Baylor.


View from the sidelines: 2020 Bedlam in Norman

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Sports Writer

I joined the Tulsa World as the Oklahoma State University sports writer in June 2019. I'm an Indiana native who attended graduate school at IUPUI after receiving my bachelor’s degree at Indiana University. Phone: 918-581-8387

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