When the Saturday sun rose on Owen Field, the ESPN College GameDay crew was on hand to preview what many expected to be a hotly contested showdown between two solid Big 12 programs.
But after the sun set and Bedlam kicked off, it became immediately and abundantly clear that the Oklahoma Sooners still own their in-state rivals to the north.
Spencer Rattler threw for four touchdowns and rushed for another, Rhamondre Stevenson rushed for a career-high 141 yards, and the 18th-ranked Sooners topped the No. 14 Oklahoma State Cowboys 41-13 in a wire-to-wire annihilation. Oklahoma scored touchdowns on their first three offensive possessions, jumping out to a 21-0 lead before the first-quarter horn sounded. Pokes quarterback Spencer Sanders left the game with a concussion early in the first half, and the spirited Sooners defense utterly discombobulated his backup. Unable to solve the Oklahoma secondary, true freshman Shane Illingworth managed just 71 yards and a score on 5-of-21 passing.
“The defense played amazing tonight,” said Rattler. “When they are playing like that, you can’t be more happy.”
Here are four takeaways from Oklahoma’s sixth consecutive win over the Cowboys.
1) Stevenson is the type of workhorse back that Oklahoma hasn’t had since Samaje Perine. Admittedly, it took Stevenson a while to get going, as he accrued just 16 yards on his first 10 carries. But as the game wore on, he seemed to gain steam as the OSU defense tired. The senior from Las Vegas carried the ball 26 times for 141 yards, adding 54 more yards on three catches. His 29 touches were far and away the most by a single player for Oklahoma this season. T.J. Pledger managed just 18 yards on seven carries, and Seth McGowan didn’t log a snap. Stevenson was already the lead dog in this backfield, but he continues to widen the gap between himself and the rest of the backs. We know Lincoln Riley loves a running back committee, but those days may be over. Don’t be surprised if Stevenson, durable and hard-nosed as he is, logs upwards of 30 carries against West Virginia next week.
2) There’s a new kid on the block in the H-back room… and he can ball. How much of a revelation has Mikey Henderson been for the Oklahoma offense? The true freshman seemingly makes a big play every time the football ends up in his hands. He turned six touches (three carries and three catches) into 81 yards, including an impressive 20-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. Henderson snagged the ball in the flat, hit the edge and demonstrated remarkable breakaway speed as he outran Amen Ogbongbemiga to the pylon. His contributions were all the more significant given that Austin Stogner was sidelined with a knee injury. Henderson is the most versatile H-back that Oklahoma has, as evidenced by the fact that Riley is comfortable handing the ball off to him. He’s not merely a weapon in the intermediate passing game. If he continues to produce, it’s