Allen Patrick ran for 163 yards and a touchdown to help No. 13 Oklahoma survive another Bedlam scare and win the Big 12 South title with a 27-21 win against Oklahoma State on Saturday.
The Sooners' run to the title started immediately after a loss to Texas in October, and six of the team's seven straight wins have come without star tailback Adrian Peterson.
''We've overcome a lot, but we knew we could get here,'' quarterback Paul Thompson said. ''We knew we had the guys, the personnel to get here, especially after the changes we made and we saw what we had in our replacements. ... We never gave up hope of getting here, and now we're here.''
Patrick gave Oklahoma (10-2, 7-1) a two-touchdown lead with a 65-yard run on the opening play of the second half, and the Cowboys (6-6, 3-5) couldn't quite finish a comeback despite three straight three-and-outs by the Sooners down the stretch.
After getting the ball back with 1:38 left, backup quarterback Zac Robinson guided Oklahoma State to the Sooners' 25 in the final minute. But his desperation throw to D'Juan Woods on the final play sailed high and incomplete.
''The last play, we knew they were going to throw a Hail Mary. Somebody had to get it,'' said Oklahoma cornerback Lendy Holmes , who got a piece of the ball and prevented Oklahoma State from pulling a Bedlam upset for the third time in six years.
The Cowboys knocked Oklahoma out of the national title picture in 2001 and then did it again in 2002 with a 38-28 upset in Stillwater.
Not this time.
The Sooners were 3-2 after losing at Oregon, a game made infamous in Oklahoma by some blown officials' calls, and to rival Texas. But they rebounded to earn a spot in next week's Big 12 title game against Nebraska.
''It means a lot,'' Holmes said. ''We're just looking forward instead of going backward.''
Peterson, still out with a broken collarbone, rushed onto the field and leaped into the arms of defensive end C.J. Ah You in celebration. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said it was ''doubtful'' that Peterson would play against Nebraska next week, but then relented and questioned why he'd given that assessment before doctors re-examined the 2004 Heisman runner-up.
''We worked so hard as a team and we've been through so much,'' Ah You said. ''We just go out there and play for each other, and we had a lot of fun.''
|See how the Sooners stack up against OSU in the Bedlam Series presented by the Bank of Oklahoma and Your Oklahoma Ford Dealers!|
Patrick, who missed the past two games with an ankle injury, had 23 carries as the Sooners ran the ball 47 times while throwing only 11 passes. Freshman Chris Brown added 74 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
''Allen came back with a chip on his shoulder or something,'' Thompson said. ''AP just came out and dominated like he always does. Chris did a great job as well, punching in the touchdowns and getting some big runs for us. That tandem is one of the best right now.''
The Cowboys trailed by 13 in the fourth quarter when three Sooners stacked up Robinson on an option play just short of the goal line on fourth down and forced him to fumble into the end zone, where linebacker Demarrio Pleasant recovered.
''That was the turning point of the game,'' Ah You said.
The Cowboys pulled to 27-21 on Bobby Reid 's 2-yard touchdown pass to Woods with 6:41 left.
Reid, who left the game with an apparent left shoulder injury earlier, didn't play the final series.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said it was a strategic move.
''We have game plans, and our game plan was to stick with what we had prior to the game no matter how the game was going because, in our opinion, teams prior to this had tried to change their plans against them during the game and it just snowballed on them,'' Gundy said.
Robinson - who had been playing in no-back shotgun sets - sparked Oklahoma State's offense with a 55-yard pass to Woods down the right sideline in the third quarter. That set up Reid's 1-yard bootleg to bring Oklahoma State within 20-14.
The Sooners answered by grinding out another long drive, going 74 yards in 11 plays, with Brown scoring his second touchdown from 1 yard out.
Robinson finished with 149 yards on 8-for-17 passing, while Reid was 8-for-12 for 82 yards and a touchdown.
Thompson threw for 77 yards and a 13-yard TD that Juaquin Iglesias leaped to grab with 1:08 remaining in the first half to make it 13-7.
The Sooners didn't trail after that.
''This is where we wanted to go, and we're going,'' Thompson said. ''It feels great.''