Although it was not the prettiest performance, the Sooners held on to beat BYU 31-24 and moved to 9-2.
The game started very defensive, with both teams forcing opening-drive punts. After that, it became an offensive show though. The Sooners marched down and scored in just over 3-minutes, making the game 7-0. The Cougars answered right back, making the game 7-7 after a long drive.
The first half finished with both teams going back-and-forth, with the game tied at 17. This is where it got interesting.
After a quick stop by the Oklahoma defense, everyone is in shock by seeing Jackson Arnold, not Dillon Gabriel, at quarterback.
We hopefully will find out more on Gabriel’s status in the post-game press conference. As for Arnold, he had a long-run to start the 2nd half on 3rd-&-12, but due to a (unnecessary) block the run was called back. The Sooners ended up punting, which led to the Cougars driving for the lead. They got to the OU 2 and what happened? The defense got a huge stop again, but this time it was a pick-six by Billy Bowman that was returned for 100 yards.
It seemed like Oklahoma had the momentum, but once again BYU tied it up at 24s. After a Zach Schmit missed field-goal and a BYU fumble, the Sooners (led by Jackson Arnold) took the lead with a Gavin Sawchuk touchdown at the 7:57 mark
The defense needed one stop to seal this one and they did just that, forcing the Cougars into their second 3-and-out of the game.
There are a few big takeaways after this one:
1. The defensive line must improve. They were handled (with ease) by one of the worst offenses in the Big 12. Aidan Robbins (BYU RB) rushed for season-highs 182 yards and 8.3 yards-per-carry. For comparison, he had 229 yards on 3.6 YPC going into today.
2. Gavin Sawchuk has emerged into a star. If you want to win, he must see the ball. A lot.
3. This team has struggled closing out road games this season, so we need to give them their flowers. The offense closed the game with two great drives and the defense forced a big 3-and-out to seal it.
What’s next? We wait to hear what is wrong with Dillon Gabriel and we move our attention to the Kansas State, Texas and Oklahoma State games, with Sooners hopes still alive at the Big 12 Championship Game.
Image courtesy of Olivia Lauter/OU Daily