Oklahoma Sooners: Top 5 moments

Top 5 moments: Blake Bell's Bedlam TD

December, 13, 2012
SoonerNation is counting down the top five moments of Oklahoma’s 2012 season this week.

Play No. 2

[+] EnlargeBlake Bell
Cal Sport Media via AP ImagesBlake Bell (10) helped give Bedlam an exciting conclusion.
Never was there a more important Belldozer conversion. The Sooners needed a touchdown to send Bedlam to overtime, but faced fourth-and-1 from the Oklahoma State 4. Only a few seconds remained.

Even though Landry Jones had steered the Sooners down the field on 16 plays, offensive coordinator Josh Heupel called for Blake Bell and the Belldozer.

On the counter left, Bell followed blockers Aaron Ripkowski and Trey Millard. But neither saw OSU linebacker Caleb Lavey knifing through. Three yards behind the line of scrimmage, Lavey seemed to have a clear shot at Bell.

"I thought that we had him in the backfield,” OSU coach Mike Gundy would say afterward.

But Bell – known for trucking defenders – used a stutter-step that caused Lavey to dive past him. Bell then trucked OSU cornerback Brodrick Brown into the end zone. The game-tying touchdown sent the game to overtime, where the Sooners prevailed 51-48 on Brennan Clay’s 18-yard touchdown run.

“Oklahoma State. 10 seconds left. Fourth-and-1,” Bell said. “That's why I came here to the University of Oklahoma. To play games like this.”

Top 5 moments: Clay's overtime scamper

December, 12, 2012
Brennan ClayAP Photo/Sue OgrockiBrennan Clay's overtime touchdown run vs. Oklahoma State won the game for the Sooners.
SoonerNation is counting down the top five moments of Oklahoma’s 2012 season this week.

Play No. 3

Few Sooners have been passed over on the depth chart more than Brennan Clay. In 2010, Clay was supplanted in the rotation by Roy Finch, after Finch returned from a foot injury. In 2011, Clay started the opener but was eventually replaced in the starting lineup by walk-on phenom Dominique Whaley. This season, junior-college transfer Damien Williams quickly took carries away from Clay on his way to winning the starting job.

But late this season, Clay’s patience finally paid off. After Williams was injured at the end of the Notre Dame loss, Clay got the nod at Iowa State. Clay made the most of 24 carries, rushing for 157 yards and a touchdown in the best performance of his career.

His shining moment, however, came three weeks later. After trailing Oklahoma State the entire game, the Sooners finally had a chance to win after the Pokes settled for a field goal in the first possession of overtime.

Trey Millard took the opening salvo seven yards. Then, riding the hot hand, offensive coordinator Josh Heupel called Clay’s number on a trap play. Clay maneuvered his way through the Cowboys' front line, spun out of Daytawion Lowe’s attempted tackle, then escaped Shamiel Gary's diving attempt at the ankles before lunging into the end zone.

Clay was mobbed by teammates in the end zone, and the Owen Field crowd hung around for several minutes to celebrate the Bedlam victory with the team.

The O-line did a great job getting blocks; shout-out to Gabe Ikard and Bronson [Irwin] and Adam [Shead],” Clay said afterward. “They hit their guy and parted the way and I was able to hit the hole and made a few guys miss and get the end zone.

“Being able to break a long one and being able to score the game-winning touchdown, it's really blessed me."

Top 5 moments: Damien Williams goes yard

December, 11, 2012
Damien Williams, Quandre DiggsJohn Rhodes/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCTDamien Williams seized the momentum of the Red River Rivalry with a 95-yard touchdown run against Texas.
SoonerNation is counting down the top five moments of Oklahoma’s 2012 season this week.

Play No. 4

Despite being outplayed through the first quarter, Texas only trailed the Sooners only 6-2 and had them pinned at their own 5. The Longhorns were a big play away from the brink of taking the lead.

Instead, OU’s junior-college tailback delivered the big play.

Out of the three-back pistol formation, Damien Williams took the handoff up the middle. Thanks to devastating blocks by fullbacks Jaydan Bird and Trey Millard, Williams broke through into the open field. He cut off another block by wide receiver Justin Brown, juked another Texas defender to the ground and was off the races down. Kenny Stills took care of the last Longhorn with a devastating blindside block that Quandre Diggs flying into the OU sideline, and Williams capped off the 95-yard touchdown dash by racing into the end zone.

The momentum-swinging score sapped the life out of the Longhorns, as OU cruised to a 36-2 halftime lead.

"We couldn't stop the run," Longhorns defensive end Alex Okafor said afterward. “When you can't stop the run, things get ugly real quick.”

Things got even uglier for Texas in the second half. Spearheaded by Williams’ 167 rushing yards, OU outgained Texas by 388 yards, the biggest yardage disparity in the rivalry in 62 years. Williams’ 95-yard TD was the longest run in the history of the series, too. And it was the play that got the party started early in Dallas as OU rolled 63-21.

"It was exciting to have the score the way it turned out, to have guys clicking together and making their assignments, having people doing what they are supposed to do,” Williams said after the game. “It is a great feeling when you come out on top."

Top 5 moments: OU holds on vs. TCU

December, 10, 2012
SoonerNation is counting down the top five moments of Oklahoma’s 2012 season this week.

Play No. 5

[+] EnlargeTony Jefferson, Julian Wilson
Rick Yeatts/Getty ImagesThe Sooners broke up a 4th-and-13 heave to beat TCU.
After outplaying TCU all afternoon, yet another game was coming down to the final seconds. This time, a shared or even outright Big 12 title was on the line. Maybe a BCS bowl berth, too.

After Mike Hunnicutt missed a 42-yard field goal that would've put the Sooners up by two scores, the Frogs had the ball at the OU 12 with a 46-yard completion. Two plays later, it seemed as if TCU would send the game to overtime. Trevone Boykin broke loose on a scramble into the end zone. Fortunately for the Sooners, officials didn’t miss an obvious holding penalty that cleared the path for Boykin to slash into the end zone.

After a short completion, TCU faced fourth-and-13 from the 15 with less than 30 seconds. Boykin lofted a pass in the end zone to favorite target Josh Boyce. But Tony Jefferson and Julian Wilson read the play all the way. As the ball drifted toward Boyce, the two Sooners collapsed on the ball to slap it away, preserving the Sooners’ hard-fought, 24-17 victory.

In the end, OU didn’t earn the outright conference title or the BCS bowl. Kansas State hammered Texas, and Northern Illinois slipped into the top 16 in the final BCS standings, automatically giving the Huskies the BCS bowl at-large spot.

But the Jefferson/Wilson pass deflection sealed a successful regular season for the Sooners, whose only blemish was the losses to top-ranked Notre Dame and fifth-ranked Kansas State.


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