Sanders leads No. 7 Oklahoma State past No. 10 Oklahoma

Sports

Oklahoma State wide receiver Tay Martin (1) catches a touchdown pass next to Oklahoma cornerback Woodi Washington (0) and defensive back Justin Broiles (25) during an NCAA college football game in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Spencer Sanders threw for a touchdown and ran for another and No. 7 Oklahoma State beat No. 10 Oklahoma 37-33 on Saturday night to keep alive its College Football Playoff chances and stop the Sooners’ streak of Big 12 titles at six.

Oklahoma State (11-1, 8-1, No. 7 CFP) snapped a six-game losing streak to Oklahoma. The Cowboys will play No. 9 Baylor next Saturday for the Big 12 championship.

Oklahoma (10-2, 7-2, No. 10 CFP) got the ball one last time at its 20- with 54 seconds remaining and no timeouts. Caleb Williams scrambled and ran 56 yards to put the Sooners in scoring range. But Oklahoma State’s Collin Oliver sacked him on fourth down at the Oklahoma State 32 with eight seconds remaining, setting off a wild celebration.

Oklahoma State entered the game ranked second nationally in scoring defense and third in total defense, but Williams threw three touchdown passes in the first half. He connected on just 6 of 18 passes for 48 yards in the second half.

Oklahoma State linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez, who had 11 tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss and a pass breakup, said the Cowboys remained confident after the shaky start.

“We knew we’re the best defense, so we just knew we’ve just got to go out there and punch and just keep fighting, man,” Rodriguez said. “Just do our thing, relax and just be us.”

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy won for just the third time in 17 tries against Oklahoma. Now, the Cowboys can win their first Big 12 title since 2011.

Oklahoma State already had clinched a spot in the Big 12 title game, but the stakes remained high. With Baylor’s victory over Texas Tech earlier Saturday, Oklahoma needed a win to reach the conference championship game, giving Oklahoma State a chance to eliminate its rival.

“Gut wrenching loss tonight,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said. “No other way to describe it.”

The game turned when Oklahoma’s Eric Gray muffed a punt and Oklahoma State recovered at the Oklahoma 5. Jaylen Warren then punched it in from the 1 to give Oklahoma State a 37-33 lead with 8:54 remaining.

Tay Martin had a 30-yard touchdown catch and a 4-yard touchdown run in the first quarter to help Oklahoma State take a 14-7 lead.

Oklahoma tied it when Williams, backpedaling and under pressure, found Austin Stogner for a 29-yard touchdown pass to tie it. Brennan Presley immediately responded with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that put the Cowboys back in front.

Late in the second quarter, Oklahoma’s Woodi Washington intercepted Sanders’ pass and returned it to the Oklahoma State 14. Williams connected with Brayden Willis for a 10-yard score, and the extra point tied itat 24.

Oklahoma opened the second-half scoring in an odd way. Oklahoma’s Perrion Winfrey hit Oklahoma State’s Dominic Richardson, the ball came loose, and Oklahoma State recovered in the end zone for a safety.

Oklahoma struck again after forcing a three-and-out. Presley muffed the punt, and Justin Broiles recovered in the end zone to give the Sooners a 33-24 lead.

Sanders went 37 yards for a touchdown on an option keep, and Oklahoma State cut Oklahoma’s lead to 33-31 with 13:52 remaining.

THE TAKEAWAY

Oklahoma: The Sooners did not score against Oklahoma State’s heralded defense in the second half. The Sooners’ only points were on the safety and Broiles’ fumble.

Oklahoma State: The Cowboys did just enough to get through. They made uncharacteristic mistakes, but got a gritty performance from Sanders, who passed for 214 yards and ran for 93.

QUOTABLE

Riley, addressing rumors that he will leave to coach at LSU: “I’m not going to be the next coach at LSU. Next question.”

BIG NUMBERS

Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks became just the fourth Sooner to post three seasons with at least 1,000 yards rushing. He joined De’Mond Parker, Adrian Peterson and Samaje Perine. He also moved into the top 10 in career yards rushing at Oklahoma. He knocked Greg Pruitt out of the top 10 and now has 3,178 yards in his career. He has 464 yards rushing in three career games against Oklahoma State.

UP NEXT:

Oklahoma: Bowl game.

Oklahoma State: Will play No. 9 Baylor in the Big 12 title game.

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Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.

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