No. 17 Oklahoma upset rival No. 6 Oklahoma State 33-24 on Saturday in another epic chapter of the Bedlam Series in Stillwater.
The Sooners' special teams scored two touchdowns, and backup quarterback Blake Bell found senior wideout Jalen Saunders in the back of the end zone with 19 seconds remaining to crush the Cowboys' hopes of winning the Big 12 Conference title.
As a result, the winner of Baylor vs. Texas will win the conference crown and earn a berth in a BCS bowl (likely the Fiesta Bowl).
|No. 17 Oklahoma 33, No. 6 Oklahoma State 24|
|Oklahoma (10-2, 7-2 Big 12)||7||3||7||16||33|
|Oklahoma State (10-2, 7-2 Big 12)||7||3||7||7||24|
Both offenses struggled mightily on Saturday as the two rivals took turns stalling out early in drives and punting the ball. On its third possession, Oklahoma State would put together a 10-play, 99-yard drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run from Desmond Roland.
The Cowboys defense would earn another stop on the following series, but was let down a few plays later as the Oklahoma State offense went three-and-out before surrendering a crucial special teams touchdown when punter Kip Smith out-kicked his coverage.
Oklahoma speedster Saunders took advantage, returning the punt 64 yards for the game-tying touchdown that swung momentum in the Sooners' favor.
Oklahoma State would retake the lead midway through the second quarter on a 41-yard field goal by Ben Grogan. But the go-ahead kick was overshadowed by an earthquake that shook the ground underneath Boone Pickens Stadium.
ESPN.com's Jake Trotter was all over the unusual situation:
Shortly after, Oklahoma City news anchor Jessica Schambach confirmed that the movement was a result of an earthquake nearly 50 miles south of Stillwater:
But Oklahoma's offense was unfazed by the unique series of events, driving the ball 60 yards in 15 plays and just over eight minutes to tie the game at 10 at halftime. A key moment happened right before the break, though, as Sooners quarterback Trevor Knight suffered a hand injury and was forced to the locker room.
Knight would not return.
Kendal Thompson would start the second half under center for Oklahoma in extremely shaky fashion as he tossed a pick on the very first play of the third quarter. Clint Chelf and the Cowboys capitalized seven plays later with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Roland, his second score of the game.
After a handful of more failed drives, Oklahoma got a huge break as Julian Wilson intercepted Chelf's pass to the flat to set the Sooners offense up with solid field position. Saunders would lead the Sooners all the way into the red zone with a 37-yard double reverse before Oklahoma's drive stalled at the Cowboys' 8-yard line.
But Bob Stoops, sensing his offense might not get another chance to tie the game, drew up a fake field goal play that paid off as holder Grant Bothun found kicker Michael Hunnicutt for the game-tying touchdown.
After another three-and-out for Oklahoma State, quarterback Blake Bell and the Sooners would march 53 yards in 12 plays to take the lead on yet another special teams score as Hunnicutt knocked in his second field goal from 39 yards out to give Oklahoma its first lead of the game.
Oklahoma State's offense would eventually respond, coming to life on a key drive late in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys drove 89 yards in seven plays to take the lead on another Roland touchdown run from one yard out.
But the Cowboys left Oklahoma too much time, as Bell led the Sooners right down the field to stun the packed crowd inside Boone Pickens Stadium.
The game-winning drive was made possible by a dropped interception by Cowboys defensive back Justin Gilbert. Gilbert appeared to come down with the ball for what would have been the game-clinching interception, but the ball popped loose at the very end and Oklahoma maintained possession.
Oklahoma would add to the score on the game's final play on a fumble return for a touchdown.
Key Player Grades:
Desmond Roland, RB, Oklahoma State: A
The Cowboys' Desmond Roland was an absolute beast on Saturday, carrying Oklahoma State's offense with 144 rushing yards, 25 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Unfortunately, Roland's big-time performance wasn't enough to lock up the Big 12 title.
Jalen Saunders, WR, Oklahoma: A+
Oklahoma senior wide receiver Jalen Saunders left a massive mark on Saturday's game. His 64-yard punt return touchdown in the first quarter, 37-yard run in the third quarter and seven-yard, game-winning touchdown reception in the final moments were instrumental in the victory.
He finished with five catches for 39 yards and a touchdown and two rushes for 49 yards.
Clint Chelf, QB, Oklahoma State: C-
Cowboys quarterback Clint Chelf was underwhelming for the most part on Saturday, struggling to move the chains and develop any rhythm. He would finish with 19 completions for 232 yards and a touchdown, but very few standout plays.
Oklahoma State's loss means that either Baylor or Texas will win the Big 12 crown in 2013. Both Oklahoma (10-2) and Oklahoma State (10-2) will now wait to find out which bowl game they'll be playing in this winter.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.