NORMAN — Ronnie Perkins gave a deep stare toward the Oklahoma State sideline shortly before the Bedlam’s kickoff.

Was the Oklahoma defensive end trying to intimidate the in-state rival from midfield? Would his pregame action equal his production on the field?

No matter his message, Perkins was a key contributor in the Sooners’ dominating 41-13 victory over the visiting Cowboys on Saturday night.

The junior caused havoc all evening and finished with five tackles including three tackles for loss and two sacks to help set the tone for Oklahoma’s sixth straight victory over its in-state rivals. What couldn’t be measured was his ability to pressure the Cowboys’ offense all evening in a game where the OU defense drew plenty of praise.

“The light’s bright, man. That’s when you gotta go put everything you know on tape,” Perkins said. “You got the whole world watching. As Coach (Alex) Grinch would say, the eyes of college football was on us tonight. Why not go out there and put on a show and show what I can do tonight?

“I feel like a lot of people been missing out on what I can do for 2020. Tonight was definitely like a coming out party for me.”

The victory keeps OU’s league championship dreams alive heading into the final two games of the regular season.

The Sooners finish the regular season with contests at West Virginia (Nov. 28) and against visiting Baylor (Dec. 5). Win both games and they will appear in the Big 12 Championship game.

Iowa State (6-2 overall, 6-1 in league) holds possession of first place. The Sooners (6-2, 5-2) are in a three-way tie for second place with Texas and OSU. OU owns the tiebreaker with both schools since it beat both of those them this season.

“We've been in this long enough that, I know y'all get tired of me saying this but if you just win, stuff takes care of itself,” Lincoln Riley said. “We don't talk at all about who else is playing who or where we stand. We just know if we win, good things happen.”

This Bedlam game nearly wasn’t played due to COVID, Riley confirmed. He didn’t go into detail, but the numbers weren’t looking good earlier in the week.

“It's just a week-to-week deal that we deal with,” he said. “We were either gonna play it now, or try to rearrange it, but luckily, things turned in a positive direction at the end of the week and we were able to play it.”

Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler outdueled his Oklahoma State counterpart Spencer Sanders in their debuts as Bedlam quarterbacks.

Rattler finished 17-of-24 passing for 301 yards and four touchdowns. The redshirt freshman also added a 9-yard rushing touchdown to begin scoring.

“It’s just growing game-by-game,” Rattler said. “I trust my receivers a lot. They are playing really well. My o-line is blocking great. They are playing really well. My running backs are playing really well. The defense is playing really well. It all factors together. I’m not just out there by myself doing that, for sure.”

Sanders was knocked out of the game when Perkins sacked the quarterback and flung him to the ground during the opening period. He returned to the contest in the fourth quarter, but the game was already out of reach.

Sanders finished 10-of-19 passing for 97 yards and had a first-quarter interception.

OSU backup quarterback Shane Illingworth didn’t fare much better during his time. He was just 5-of-21 passing for 71 yards.

The Oklahoma defense had a solid game and held the Cowboys to just 246 yards of total offense (168 passing, 78 rushing). OU also held Kansas to 246 yards of offense in its last game.

Entering Saturday’s game, Oklahoma State had only allowed 21 points in two of its first six games (41 in an overtime loss to Texas and 21 in a victory over Iowa State).

The Sooners sprinted to a 21-0 lead in the game’s first nine minutes to stun the Cowboys.

Oklahoma couldn’t draw up a better start, taking only six plays to scoring a touchdown on their opening possession, which was capped by Rattler’s 9-yard touchdown run.

The big play was on the second snap of the game, when Rattler hit Stevenson for a 45-yard gain.

Rattler’s touchdown was a nice play call by Riley, who pulled the left guard and left tackle to the right to shift the OSU defense. Rattler kept the ball and beat Tre Sterling on a one-on-one move to find the end zone.

Oklahoma made it 14-0 when Mikey Henderson scored on a 20-yard scoring reception from Rattler. Henderson had an eight-yard rush early in the drive to make his presence felt.

David Ugwoegbu had one of the most athletic defensive plays of the 2020 season during the first quarter.

The linebacker used his left hand to deflect a Sanders pass and then picked off the pass at the OSU 20. Just three plays later, Rattler found Theo Wease for a 9-yard touchdown pass. It was the sophomore’s first scoring reception this season.

The score was 21-0 with 6:09 remaining in the first quarter.

Perhaps the silliest play of the game came at the hands of Brendan Radley-Hiles.

The Sooners had a third-down stop on fourth-and-4 from their own 29. The nickel was in coverage on an incomplete pass, but drew a 15-yard penalty for taunting the Cowboys following the play. The result was a first down and new life for the Cowboys.

One play later, Illingworth threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Logan Carter to make it 21-7 after one quarter.

Gabe Brkic helped OU score on its fourth possession with a 40-yard field goal with 13:33 left before halftime and he added a 29-yarder to increase the lead to 27-7 at the 8:39 mark.

The Sooners led 27-13 at intermission.

A scoreless second half was changed with some fourth-quarter trickery by Riley

Faced with first-and-10 at the OSU 30, Stevenson accepted a direct snap and handed off to Rattler, who faked a reverse to Marvin Mims. Rattler then threw a touchdown pass to Jeremiah Hall to extend the Sooners’ lead to 34-13 with 14:15 remaining in regulation.

The scoring was complete by the Sooners’ 99-yard drive that was punctuated by Rattler’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Wease on fourth-and-4 with 6:28 left in regulation.

The defense stamped its final charge by holding the Cowboys out of the end zone after they’d faced first-and-goal at the OU 2. The Sooners held them scoreless after four plays to receive one final cheer from the Memorial Stadium crowd.

“Like Coach Grinch says, we had the eyes of college football on us with this game. We knew we had to show up and show out,” Ugwoegbu said.

Stevenson was a workhorse, rushing the ball 26 times for 141 yards. OSU star Chuba Hubbard was held to 44 yards.

— By Eric Bailey, Tulsa World