It seemed terrible—even impossible—that the Sooners' common troubles might split them apart instead of drawing them together.
Not this week. Not this Bedlam Series game.
With a defense that made Oklahoma State's offense look like it was being herded together at the point of a shotgun, the Sooners blasted the Cowboys 27-0 Saturday.
On the verge of a coveted BCS bowl berth, it was as if OSU discovered that all it really wanted was something to want. They were forced into 14 punts in 15 possessions, with the other possession ended by OSU throwing an interception.
The Cowboys, in perhaps the most important game in school history, went down with a whimper.
The Sooners, meanwhile, shone in the afternoon sun. They glittered. They dazzled. What a relief, to themselves and to their fans, who no doubt watched, almost silent at first in strained expectancy, to see which Oklahoma team would hit the field.
This Sooner squad proved resplendent, scattering a shower of sparks to the blushing admiration of Sooner Nation.
In final analysis, this Bedlam Series game marked the drastic difference between the two head coaches. The teams played accordingly.
Mike Gundy strives to appear grown-up and reasonable. Yet he is only two years removed from his adolescent and sexist "I'm a man" diatribe. His team played like boys who knew they didn't belong.
Bob Stoops, on the other hand, hears the voice of his own conscience. He leads his team with embarrassed pride and a bottomless fund of trust hard earned from his players. On this Senior Day, his team played like young men with something to prove.
It proved to be a Bedlam Series beat down.
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