There wasn’t the usual stakes for the Oklahoma Sooners coming into Bedlam against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. For the first time since 2009, the Sooners were out of the Big 12 title race coming into their season-ending rivalry game and it was the Cowboys who were playing for a BCS berth instead. That didn’t stop the Sooners from bringing their best, however, as they spoiled Oklahoma State’s bid for a Big 12 title thanks to the heroic efforts of quarterback Blake Bell.
Bell has endured an up and down season in 2013. First, he was passed up for the starting quarterback job out of fall camp before coming back in after Trevor Knight was injured and then suffered an injury himself to lose the starting gig once again. On Saturday, Knight got the start for the Sooners but was lost for the day with a hand injury. Bell stepped in and led the Sooners to a second half rally, capped by a 7-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Saunders with just 19 seconds remaining to push Oklahoma past Oklahoma State for good.
On the day, Bell was 10-for-16 for 140 yards and the go-ahead touchdown, highlighted by a 5-for-8 for 57 yards and the score to Saunders on the go-ahead drive late in the fourth quarter. For Bell, it’s a huge redemptive performance after a season where he has not always looked comfortable under center. Getting the Sooners past their rivals with a clutch drive should be enough to quiet his critics for the time being.
For Oklahoma, the win secures them third place in the Big 12 this season which will come into play when bowl bids starting getting doled out. It also secured the Sooners’ 10th win for the fourth straight season and ran Bob Stoops‘ record to 8-1 against Mike Gundy at Oklahoma State. While a two-loss season without a Big 12 title isn’t the year that Oklahoma was hoping for, a statement win like this against Oklahoma State in Stillwater to win Bedlam is a huge exclamation point to the 2013 regular season.