By Daniel Stober
The Big 12 is known for scoring but at the end of the first quarter you could have fooled me. Neither team had acclimated to the cold, rainy weather yet, resulting in a surprisingly low scoring first quarter with the score at 3-0. OSU held OU to just two total yards on their first two drives and kept them from a touchdown in the first quarter for the first time this season. Justice Hill made up OSU’s offense in the first half while the Sooners battled tough field position time and time again.
The Cowboys defense showed up to make a statement in the first half, brutally limiting OUs rushing yards and forcing Mayfield to step up to make plays to keep the Sooners in the game. He did and, with pressure on him, he scrambled and managed to find Westbrook down the field for a nice gain where a broken tackle turned into the first touchdown for the Sooners and of the game.
At the half, the Cowboys were showing the Sooners that their running game was nothing special, having rushed for 120+ yards of their own in the first half compared to OUs sub 40. Just before the half Mayfield threw a slant pass to Westbrook for a first down. Westbrook collided with an OSU defender upon landing and was knocked out. He didn’t return in the second half as he was under concussion protocol after his head hit the ground really hard.
Bob Stoops must have worked some halftime magic, since the Sooners came out looking completely different from the first half. The defense was tighter and the receivers were not as open, resulting in less yards for OSU and forcing them into tight spots. Justice Hill had a huge play in the third quarter, bringing the Cowboys inside the five-yard line. Against a stiff OU defense, for two plays, they fumbled the ball on the one-yard line and recovered. The result of the play was a field goal, which I’m sure Gundy was unhappy about.
The Sooners then put together another scoring drive towards the end of the third, resulting in a 31-20 lead the end of the quarter. From there the Sooners coasted to their 38-20 win by the end of the game. Even with key injuries to their stellar offense OU managed to make plays where it mattered. At the end of the game, Perine made the intelligent play when he broke free of the OSU defense at the goal line and took a knee at the two-yard line instead of running up the score. Perine made the game end on their terms.
The Sooners improved to 10-2 on the season and 86-18-7 in the series, advancing to the Sugar Bowl, while the Cowboys fall to 9-3 on the season and will get a Bowl bid of their own.
This marks the tenth Big 12 Championship for OU and the first time that they have won the Big 12 Championship game on their home field instead of on a neutral site.