Bell's late TD pass lifts OU over OSU 33-24

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Blake Bell saved his best moment for his last, sending yet another shakeup through the BCS bowl picture.

Bell threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Saunders with 19 seconds remaining to help No. 18 Oklahoma spoil rival Oklahoma State's Big 12 championship and BCS bowl game hopes with a 33-24 win on Saturday.

Bell, playing in place of an injured Trevor Knight, led the Sooners (10-2, 7-2 Big 12) on the game-winning 66-yard drive - going 5-of-8 for 57 yards on the drive.

Eric Striker ended the game by recovering a fumble for a touchdown for Oklahoma, which has now won at least 10 games in four straight seasons.

Sooners coach Bob Stoops is now 8-1 in his career against Cowboys coach Mike Gundy.

Desmond Roland led No. 6 Oklahoma State (10-2, 7-2) with 144 yards rushing and accounted for three touchdowns.

The Cowboys, who were trying to win their second Big 12 title in three seasons, appeared to have their spot in a BCS bowl game secured when Roland scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 1:46 remaining to put Oklahoma State up 24-20.

The score capped a 7-play, 89-yard drive for the Cowboys, who led for the entire game until Oklahoma went up 20-17 early in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf completed five straight passes for first downs on the drive, and it appeared the Cowboys had the Big 12 title in hand.

Chelf finished 19-of-35 passing for 200 yards and a touchdown.

Bell, however, had other plans. The junior, who started earlier this season before losing the job to Knight, rallied the Sooners down the field and capping the drive with his touchdown pass to Saunders in the corner of the end zone of a frigid Boone Pickens Stadium.

The touchdown came just five plays after Oklahoma State appeared to once again secure the win with an interception by Justin Gilbert, though the cornerback was unable to keep the ball from hitting the turf.

Striker then recovered Oklahoma State's fumble during a series of desperation laterals, scoring a touchdown and setting off a wild celebration by Oklahoma - whose players were then pelted with snow balls from the rival crowd.

With Knight injured while diving on a third-and-goal late in the first half, Oklahoma opened the second half with sophomore Kendal Thompson at quarterback.

The son of former Sooners' quarterback Charles Thompson promptly threw an interception on the first play of the half, and Oklahoma State cashed in following the turnover - with Chelf finding Roland for a 15-yard touchdown reception to put the Cowboys up 17-10.

Kendal Thompson continued to see action after the interception, as did Bell, though neither provided Oklahoma with an answer on offense. Following the interception, the Sooners went three-and-out on their next three possessions.

It was only after Julian Wilson intercepted Chelf that Oklahoma finally earned its first first down of the second half - with Thompson completing a 16-yard pass to Brannon Green.

The Sooners, who had already scored on a punt return for a touchdown, continued their special-teams' mastery to end the drive. After lining up for a short field goal attempt, Oklahoma holder Grant Bothun darted to the left before finding kicker Michael Hunnicutt for an 8-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 17-17.

Hunnicutt also kicked a pair of field goals in the win.

Oklahoma State dominated for much of the first half, but it was unable to manage anything but a 10-10 tie at halftime - thanks to a spectacular punt return and timely scoring drive by Oklahoma.

The Cowboys, seeking their second win in three years against the Sooners, took a 10-3 lead in the second quarter on Ben Grogan's 41-yard field goal.

At that point, Oklahoma State had outgained the Sooners 202-68 in total yardage and appeared in control defensively against an Oklahoma team whose lone big play was a 64-yard punt return for a touchdown by Saunders late in the first quarter.

The Sooners, however, responded to close out the half with their longest drive in terms of time of possession for the season - keeping the ball for more than eight minutes. Hunnicutt capped the 15-play, 60-yard drive with a 21-yard field goal to tie the game at 10-10 and keep Oklahoma well within reach heading into halftime.

Bell finished 10-of-16 passing for 140 yards in relief of Knight, none bigger than his final pass.


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