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Oklahoma adds grad transfer WR from Marshall

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Oklahoma doesn’t typically need help in its wide receiver room, but help just arrived. Obi Obialo announced on Sunday he is now a Sooner.

Obialo arrives from Marshall, where he caught 79 passes in three seasons. After ranking second on the club with 42 grabs for 505 yards and four touchdowns in 2018, Obialo missed the first nine games of 2019 with a foot injury before snaring 18 balls over the final four, including an 8-catch, 146-yard performance in his Nov. 15 debut in a 31-14 win over Louisiana Tech.

He’ll join UCLA transfer Theo Howard as the second graduate transfer wide receiver on Oklahoma’s 2020 roster. The Sooners will likely turn to rising sophomores Jadon Haselwood, Theo Wease and Trejan Bridges to replace CeeDee Lamb‘s 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns, while Howard and Obialo will look to duplicate graduated-senior Nick Basquine and Lee Morris, who combined to catch 37 passes for 605 yards and two touchdowns.

Obialo has now transferred twice in his college career. The Coppell, Texas, walked on at Oklahoma State in 2016 and caught two passes for 11 yards as a true freshman. He could be the first player to wear Cowboy orange and Sooner crimson in a Bedlam game; he did not record a statistic in Oklahoma State’s 38-20 loss on Dec. 3, 2016.

No. 6 Oklahoma hopes 5th straight Big 12 title will be enough for 3rd straight Playoff berth

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In the first four years since his hiring, Oklahoma rode Lincoln Riley‘s offense to four Big 12 championships. The No. 6 Sooners made it a perfect 5-for-5 on Saturday, but this time they overcame their offense and leaned on their defense to hold off a resilient No. 7 Baylor, 30-23 in overtime.

The Sooners blew two 10-point leads, endured two Jalen Hurts turnovers, knocked Baylor’s top two quarterbacks out of the game only to see the third stringer rally the Bears to overtime, but the Sooners’ defense forced three incompletions and a sack in the extra frame to preserve the win.

Oklahoma (12-1, 9-1 Big 12), who has won on a league-best 13 championships — all of them coming in the past 20 seasons — and five consecutive, will now turn its attention to Atlanta, where a No. 2 LSU win over No. 4 Georgia likely sends the crimson and cream to the College Football Playoff for the fourth time in Riley’s five seasons and three consecutive.

But before Oklahoma could think about the Playoff, the Sooners first had to win this game.

After a pair of punts to open the game, CeeDee Lamb — who missed OU’s epic comeback in Waco last month — announced his presence with a 71-yard reception, taking the ball from OU’s 22-yard line to the Baylor 7. Kennedy Brooks provided the Sooners’ only first half touchdown two plays later with a 6-yard rush.

The Sooner defense then forced a three-and-out and again pushed into the Bear red zone, but a third down sack by James Lockhart forced a 44-yard Gabe Brkic field goal.

Baylor’s offense continued struggling after falling behind 10-0, as their next two possessions failed to gain a single yard. However, the Bear defense stiffened, and James Lynch forced a fumble while sacking Jalen Hurts, which BU’s Terrel Bernard recovered at the Oklahoma 29. Baylor again struggled to move forward, gaining just three yards, but the field position allowed John Mayers to get Baylor on the board with a 44-yard field goal at the 10:20 mark of the second quarter.

The Bears then forced a punt on OU’s third consecutive possession, and backup quarterback Gerry Bohanon checked into the game after Charlie Brewer exited to be evaluated for a possible head injury. Bohanon and Jon Lovett combined to register Baylor’s first first down in a quarter and a half, but the Bears gained just one and punted on a 4th-and-14 from the OU 45.

That punt put Baylor’s offense back on the field — its defense. As Hurts threw to Lee Morris, Morris slipped and Jordan Williams snared it for the Bears, returning the ball to the OU 23. After a sack and an incompletion, Bohanon’s stat line read seven total touches for minus-5 yards. So, naturally, he threw a 33-yard strike to Tyquan Thornton on 3rd-and-20 to tie the game with 2:59 left in the first half.

The touchdown was Baylor’s first since the 11:02 mark of the second quarter… of the first Baylor-OU game, ending a streak of 12 straight drives that ended shy of the end zone.

Now facing its own scoring drought, Oklahoma went three-and-out, as its possession was derailed when Lynch again sacked Hurts for a 7-yard loss on 2nd-and-2. A 39-yard punt gave Baylor the ball at its own 47 with 1:22 left in the first half, and Bohanon converted another 3rd-and-long by throwing a 29-yard moonshot to Thornton, turning a 3rd-and-11 at the OU 40 into a 1st-and-10 at the 11 with 29 seconds left, and a 28-yard Mayers field goal gave Baylor, at that point the owner of all of 98 yards of total offense, a 13-10 lead halftime lead.

Oklahoma began the second half much the way it started the first. The defense forced a three-and-out, and the offense went 63 yards to set up a tying 24-yard Brkic field goal. The play before the field goal was one of those you immediately marked with an asterisk: after calling timeout, Riley dialed up a QB draw on 3rd-and-8, which did not achieve the line to gain.

Still, Oklahoma forced yet another three-and-out on Baylor’s next touch, and then the Sooners took the lead at the 7:53 mark of the third quarter with an 18-yard Nick Basquine catch (his first since 2016) to cap an 8-play, 74-yard drive. Yet another Baylor punt later, Oklahoma pushed its lead to 10 with a 24-yard Brkic field goal. With its lead at 23-13 with 10:31 to play in the fourth quarter, Oklahoma had control of the game, but they had not put it away.

Having gained all of 13 second half yards at that point, Baylor pulled Bohanon for third-string quarterback Jacob Zeno, and that move immediately paid off when his first pass found Trestan Ebner for an 81-yard catch-and-run score, bring the Bears back within 23-20 with 9:41 remaining. As fitting with this game’s character, a team that gained 111 yards in the first three quarters out of nowhere connected on the longest touchdown pass in Big 12 Championship history.

Oklahoma moved 31 yards on its next touch but again failed to put the game away, as Riley elected to punt on 4th-and-7 from the Baylor 44 with 6:11 to go. He would immediately regret the decision.

After a Bears offensive lineman was caught downfield, negating an 18-yard connection to Denzel Mims, Zeno hit Chris Platt for a 78-yard catch-and-run, moving the ball from his own 5 to OU’s 17. While Brewer and Bohanon went 7-of-21 for 71 yards, Zeno to that point was 2-of-2 for 159 yards. His third pass, though, sailed wide of Platt on 3rd-and-3, and forcing a 27-yard Mayers field goal.

A game that Oklahoma led 10-0 just over 10 minutes in and 23-13 seven minutes prior was now tied at 23 with 3:25 remaining.

A 31-yard rollout pass to Lamb overcame a holding call and pushed the ball from OU’s 15 to near midfield, but Lamb could not corral a 3rd-and-3 pass with 1:14 to go, and Riley elected to punt rather than risk giving Baylor the ball inside Sooner territory. Reeves Mundschau‘s punt rolled all the way to the Baylor 1 and the game went to overtime.

Baylor won the toss, and Oklahoma scored in three plays. A face mask of Lamb moved the ball to Baylor’s 11, a Hurts run pushed it to the 5, and Rhamondre Stevenson did the rest on a patented OU GT pull.

Oklahoma’s defense dominated the extra frame. After incomplete passes on 1st- and 2nd-and-10, the Sooners sacked Zeno on third down, then forced a hurried incompletion on 4th-and-20 to secure the win.

OU dominated the game everywhere but the scoreboard. The Sooners out-gained Baylor 433-265 and limited the Bears to just eight first downs, 3-of-15 on third down, and its three quarterbacks to just nine completions on 26 attempts. In fact, outside of Zeno’s 81- and 78-yarders and Bohanon’s 33-yarder, Baylor was 6-of-23 for 38 yards through the air. The Bears were also credited with 35 rushing yards on 29 attempts, including sacks. Meaning, outside of those three long completions, Baylor gained 71 yards on 52 plays.

For Oklahoma, Hurts went 17-of-24 for 287 yards with a touchdown and an interception while rushing for 38 yards on 23 carries. Brooks rushed for 59 yards on 17 carries and Stevenson totaled 48 yards on eight attempts; both players scored touchdowns. Lamb caught eight passes for 173 yards.

Two OU turnovers help Baylor take halftime lead in Big 12 title game

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As we’ve always said: the Big 12 is a defense-first conference. At the half in Arlington, No. 7 Baylor leads No. 6 Oklahoma 13-10 despite gaining just 98 yards of total offense.

After a pair of punts to open the game, CeeDee Lamb — who missed OU’s epic comeback in Waco last month — announced his presence with a 71-yard reception, taking the ball from OU’s 22-yard line to the Baylor 7. Kennedy Brooks provided the Sooners’ only first half touchdown two plays later with a 6-yard rush.

The Sooner defense then forced a three-and-out and again pushed into the Bear red zone, but a third down sack by James Lockhart forced a 44-yard Gabe Brkic field goal.

Baylor’s offense continued struggling after falling behind 10-0, as their next two possessions failed to gain a single yard. However, the Bear defense stiffened, and James Lynch forced a fumble while sacking Jalen Hurts, which BU’s Terrel Bernard recovered at the Oklahoma 29. Baylor again struggled to move forward, gaining just three yards, but the field position allowed John Mayers to get Baylor on the board with a 44-yard field goal at the 10:20 mark of the second quarter.

The Bears then forced a punt on OU’s third consecutive possession, and backup quarterback Gerry Bohanon checked into the game after Charlie Brewer exited to be evaluated for a possible head injury. Bohanon and Jon Lovett combined to register Baylor’s first first down in a quarter and a half, but the Bears gained just one and punted on a 4th-and-14 from the OU 45.

That punt put Baylor’s offense back on the field — its defense. As Hurts threw to Lee Morris, Morris slipped and Jordan Williams snared it for the Bears, returning the ball to the OU 23. After a sack and an incompletion, Bohanon’s stat line read seven total touches for minus-5 yards. So, naturally, he threw a 33-yard strike to Tyquan Thornton on 3rd-and-20 to tie the game with 2:59 left in the first half.

The touchdown was Baylor’s first since the 11:02 mark of the second quarter… of the first Baylor-OU game, ending a streak of 12 straight drives that ended shy of the end zone.

Now facing its own scoring drought, Oklahoma went three-and-out, as its possession was derailed when Lynch again sacked Hurts for a 7-yard loss on 2nd-and-2. A 39-yard punt gave Baylor the ball at its own 47 with 1:22 left in the first half, and Bohanon converted another 3rd-and-long by throwing a 29-yard moonshot to Thornton, turning a 3rd-and-11 at the OU 40 into a 1st-and-10 at the 11 with 29 seconds left, but three straight incompletions forced a 28-yard Mayers field goal with eight seconds left before halftime.

Baylor will receive to open the second half.

No. 7 Oklahoma halfway to yet another Bedlam win

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Halfway home in Stillwater, No. 7 Oklahoma holds a 20-13 lead over No. 21 Oklahoma State.

Oklahoma accepted the ball to open the game and needed only four plays to cover the necessary 78 yards, as Kennedy Brooks rushed for nine yards, Jalen Hurts found Nick Basquine for 23, Brooks rushed for 18 and then Hurts carried the final 28.

Oklahoma State answered by rolling 76 yards in eight snaps, as Chuba Hubbard tied the game with a 3-yard run, his 21st of the season.

After a 42-yard Gabe Brkic field goal put OU back in front, Parnell Motley ripped the ball from OSU receiver Brayden Johnson and returned it to the Sooners’ 44-yard line, where again Hurts and Brooks chugged right through the Oklahoma State defense. This time, Brooks rushed for 18 yards, Hurts hit Lee Morris for 29, and then Basquine tossed to Hurts for a 4-yard Philly Special touchdown, giving OU a 17-7 lead on the first play of the second quarter.

A field goal apiece later, Oklahoma State moved in prime position to cut their halftime deficit when Dru Brown hit Dillon Stoner for a 42-yard gain on 3rd-and-4 from his own 40, putting the ball in the Sooner red zone with just under two minutes left in the first half. The Cowboys then took their time in an attempt to get a touchdown with no time left, but a Hubbard run on 3rd-and-goal from the 7-yard line went nowhere, and Matt Ammendola‘s 25-yard field goal on the final play of the half pulled the Cowboys within 20-13 at the break — with a chance to tie the game when the game resumes.

Hurts closed the half an easy 7-of-9 passing for 109 yards while rushing for 46 yards and a score and catching another one, while Brooks racked up 82 yards on nine carries.

Jalen Hurts has 5 touchdown afternoon as No. 5 Oklahoma rolls over West Virginia

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There was little reason to believe the Sooner Schooner flipping over on the field would be a signal of bad things to come for No. 5 Oklahoma (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) on Saturday afternoon in Norman, Oklahoma. The 52-14 victory over West Virginia (3-3, 1-2 Big 12) was fueled by five total touchdowns by Heisman Trophy candidate Jalen Hurts and the Sooners continue to roll through the big 12 on a mission for another conference championship and a return trip to the College Football Playoff.

Hurts completed 16 of his 17 pass attempts for 316 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Charleston Rambo, Lee Morris and Jeremiah Hall each caught one touchdown pass from. CeeDee Lamb, among the best receivers in the nation, had a relatively quiet afternoon with three catches for 71 yards without a score. Hurts also led a dominant ground attack against the Mountaineers by rushing for a game-high 75 yards and two additional touchdowns. Kennedy Brooks complimented the rushing attack with 70 yards on 10 carries with one more touchdown.

The return of former Sooners quarterback Austin Kendall had a couple of highlights for the West Virginia quarterback making his return to Norman. Kendall had two touchdown passes but completed just 15 of his 31 attempts in a sizable mismatch across the field. But after the game, there were plenty of warm embraces with his former teammates.

Next up for Oklahoma is a road trip to Kansas State. The biggest challenge left for Oklahoma before the Big 12 Championship Game appears to be a road trip to Waco to face Baylor (who is playing at Oklahoma State today). But from here on out, the schedule is very favorable to the Sooners for a Big 12 title shot, and perhaps something more. But if Illinois can beat Wisconsin, then the Sooners cannot afford to take any game for granted.

Speaking of the Balor Bears, West Virginia will take on Baylor on the road next week.