Oklahoma almost always beats Oklahoma State, but the Cowboys rarely make it easy. It was pretty easy on Saturday night.
After surviving with scares of 62-52 and 48-47 in the past two years, the Sooner defense came to play this time, and as a result No. 7 Oklahoma left Stillwater with a 34-16 win over No. 21 Oklahoma State.
Obviously, disclaimers abound, as Oklahoma State was without starting quarterback Spencer Sanders and All-American wideout Tylan Wallace. This allowed Alex Grinch‘s defense to key on Doak Walker candidate Chuba Hubbard, and the result was predictable. Hubbard carried 24 times for 104 yards and a touchdown while catching three passes for 13 yards — numbers that were simultaneously admirable considering the circumstances and not nearly to keep up with OU’s attack.
A key moment came right at the end of the first half. Trailing 20-10, Oklahoma State had a chance to pull within three but, with eight seconds remaining and facing a 3rd-and-goal from the OU 7-yard line, the Cowboys had no better option than handing to Hubbard, and the run was stuffed. OSU settled for a 20-13 halftime deficit.
Then, trailing 34-16 with nine minutes to play, Oklahoma State (8-4, 5-4 Big 12) ran Hubbard on a 3rd-and-2 from its own 33 and gained one yard, then called Hubbard’s number again on 4th-and-1 but gained nothing, all but ending the comeback effort before it started.
Making just his second start of the season, graduate transfer Dru Brown started 8-of-9 with a drop but finished 22-of-32 for 207 yards with an interception.
In the meantime, Oklahoma put up Oklahoma numbers without breaking much of a sweat. Jalen Hurts completed 13-of-16 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown, rushed 16 times for 61 yards and a touchdown, and caught a 4-yard touchdown pass. Kennedy Brooks added 160 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, allowing the nation’s ninth-ranked rushing offense to top the 200-yard mark (283 on 44 carries) for the 10th time in 12 tries.
On defense, Parnell Motley notched a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an interception, as a defense that went five straight games without a takeaway has now registered five over its last three games.
The Sooners never trailed, rolling 78 yards in four plays to open the game and then, after an Oklahoma State answer, OU responded with a 42-yard Gabe Brkic field goal and a Nick Basquine Philly Special toss to Hurts to put the Sooners up 17-7 on the first play of the second quarter.
The win gives Oklahoma five straight in this series, seven of the last eight, 15 of the last 17, 44 of the last 52 and 89 total in 114 all-time meetings, the most lopsided of any annual intra-state rivalry in FBS.
The win allows Oklahoma (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) to remain in contention for its third College Football Playoff berth in as many seasons under Lincoln Riley and its fourth in the past five seasons, while next week they’ll play for five Big 12 titles in five seasons since Riley’s hiring and 13 overall.