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December 10, 2013

Sooners put together ‘game plan’ to top Cowboys

Stillwater — Oklahoma did not gloat Saturday. It was too cold, beat up and focused after its 33-24 victory over Oklahoma State to pat itself on the back after the rarest of occasions — an upset Bedlam victory.

“You guys might not think it, but we came into this game expecting to win. We were confident. We felt we had a good plan and would play well,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “For the most part, we did.”

How could a plan entail rallying in the fourth quarter? How could it win with an offense resting the arm of the third-string quarterback when the day began? How could it go on the road and beat a team poised to win a Big 12 Conference title by scoring one touchdown — the go-ahead touchdown — with its offense on the field?

Don’t overanalyze what OU did Saturday. It caught some breaks, which winning teams usually do in big games. Above all else, it persevered and hung around until there was an opening to win. Once it was there, the Sooners pounced. 

“You’ve just got to be a man about it and go nose to nose and get what you can get,” running back Brennan Clay said.

That’s what the Bedlam game was about. The fireworks in the last two minutes gave the game the wild finish that’s become routine when the Sooners and Cowboys meet on a football field.  

Three of the last four have been decided by 10 points or less. It would be six if OU linebacker Eric Striker hadn’t scooped up a fumble on the final play and returned it 1 yard for a touchdown.

For the first 56 minutes, it was an old-fashioned defensive slugfest where OU gave little and got little back in return. Perhaps it was the frigid conditions that necessitated a game of nature, but the more likely culprit was that was the kind of game OU needed it to be in order to win.

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