Who would have thought that late in the fourth quarter the BYU Cougars would have the ball with a chance to take the lead against the No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners?
Well in the next eight minutes and 44 seconds the nation witnessed the Cougars drive 78 yards in 16 plays, including a clutch fourth and four conversation, that ended with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Max Hall to McKay Jacobson in the back of the endzone with 3:03 left that would eventually win the game.
If you are one of those people who thought this was possible you are one of the few people in the world who thought it could happen. Before the game if you listened to the so called "experts" at ESPN or just about anywhere you would have thought all the Sooners had to do was show up and win.
Well, that was not the case as from the opening kickoff the Cougars went toe to toe with the Sooners in every aspect of the game. What really is bothering me though is the apologists that I'm hearing already making excuses for Oklahoma as to why they lost when in the long run there are none.
In the first quarter BYU's defense was able to keep the high powered Sooners in check in every aspect of the game. The Sooners could not seem to find a rhythm against this very impressive Cougar D that was able to pressure Bradford, stop the run, and manage to keep the Sooner receivers in front of them.
Oklahoma, however, was able to put seven points on the board after a muffed punt by McKay Jacobson but other than that BYU's defense had Oklahoma baffled.
In the second quarter BYU was able to tie the game on a Max Hall touchdown pass to Andrew George that capped a five-play, 63-yard drive. On Oklahoma's next possession, just before halftime, they found themselves in striking distance after two critical BYU penalties.
But what they also saw was QB Sam Bradford on the ground after a clean hit from BYU LB Colby Clawson. Bradford would be forced to leave the game, he would not return. The Sooners would settle for a field goal to take a 10 to 7 lead into the half.
The third quarter saw both defense's grit their teeth and shut out two of the most prolific offenses in college football. Oklahoma without Bradford seemed as if they were unwilling to do anything risky and never took any chances down field with back up QB Landry Jones.
All of which just made things easier for the BYU defense which was dominating even when Bradford was in the game. The Cougar offense, despite getting some good numbers were unable to get a rhythm going against a very good Oklahoma D.
The fourth quarter is where the fireworks started to happen. Oklahoma drove the ball inside the BYU five-yard line the the Cougar defense were able to hold the Sooners off and only give up a field goal increasing the Sooner lead to six, 13 to 7, but leaving the door open for Max Hall and the BYU offense.
Hall would then lead the Cougars down the field completing 9 of 10 passes, converted three third downs, and of course one huge fourth down. In my opinion that drive could help Hall show up on some Heisman watch boards and most defiantly could help springboard the Cougars to one of their most prolific seasons ever. He finished the game with 329 yards 2 touchdowns and two picks on 26/38 passes.
I've already seen the excuses flying out of ESPN for the lose from Oklahoma but I think anyone that watched the game of even sees the stat sheet can tell you that BYU won that game and quite simply outplayed the Sooners.
The BYU defense held the Sooners to just 264 yards of total offense which is their lowest since a loss to TCU in 2005. The Sooners were also only 2 of 11 on third downs and had the ball for 22:58 compared to the Cougars 37:02.
Did the Bradford injury hurt Oklahoma? Of course it would be stupid to say it didn't but the BYU defense was shutting him down when he was in the the game anyway. Not to mention that BYU's star Running Back, Harvey Unga, did not even play in the game due to a bad Hamstring. Plus this was basically a home game for the Sooners as they had probably 70,000 fans in the stands. But the Cougars never backed down.
"Rise and shout, the Cougars are out. We're on the trail to fame and glory.." Those are some of the lyrics from the BYU fight song, and the BYU Cougars certainly gave Cougar fans everywhere one heck of a reason to rise and shout. And they most defiantly are on the right track to fame and glory.
Go Cougs!! Rise and Shout!!
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