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Looking Back: Marshall Watches Bedlam 2002 for the First Time

Billy Bajema and Darrent Williams show out in Les Miles’ second Bedlam win.

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It’s Bedlam week, so why not look back at one of the more celebrated Bedlams in Oklahoma State’s history: 2002.

Full disclosure, I was 7 when this game took place, and I can almost assure you, I didn’t see it live. So, instead of a rewatch, here’s a live blog of me seeing Les Miles’ second Bedlam win for the first time.

If you like stuff like this, I did one of these over the 1988 Bedlam last year.

Setting the Table
  • Oklahoma State entered this game 6-5, but the Cowboys were on a two-game winning streak having beaten Kansas 55-20 and Baylor 63-28.
  • The Cowboys came out of their nonconference slate just 2-2, dropping games to Louisiana Tech and UCLA while beating Northern Iowa and SMU. OSU started the Big 12 season losing to No. 2 Texas 17-15 and No. 19 Kansas State 44-9. OSU then beat Nebraska 24-21. It was the first time the Pokes had beaten the Cornhuskers since 1961. Talk about an up-and-down year.
  • OSU quarterback Josh Fields entered this game with 2,478 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Rashaun Woods was Fields’ top target, with 1,305 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns entering Bedlam. Tatum Bell had 830 rushing yards and 10 scores entering the game.
  • The Sooners entered this game ranked fourth in the country and were 10-1 with their lone loss being a 30-26 upset in College Station against Texas A&M.
  • Nate Hybl was in his second and final season as OU’s starting quarterback. He entered the Bedlam matchup with 1,973 passing yards and 17 touchdowns to eight interceptions. Quentin Griffin was the Sooners leading rusher with 1,405 yards and 12 scores.
Q1: OSU Strikes Quickly
  • I get a warm sense of nostalgia when I see Boone Pickens Stadium before the west end zone upgrade.
  • Stoopes, like Stoops but fancier.
  • Look at this beauty Mike Gundy drew up for the first score of the game. A counter pitch play?

Also an offensive fumble touchdown to start a Bedlam game is quite the trivia question.

  • Back-to-back three-and-outs for OU to start the game. The Sooners are throwing a lot of short stuff, but Darrent Williams (RIP) keeps blowing that up.
  • Meanwhile, OSU scores back-to-back TDs. Fields hits a wide-open Rashaun Woods on a deep post route after some play-action. It’s a 41-yard completion. It’s 14-0 Pokes.
  • Are we sure Quentin Griffin and Deuce Vaughn aren’t the same person?
  • OU finishes the quarter on OSU’s 1-yard line. Regardless, it’s 14-0 Pokes after one.
Q2: The Rashaun Woods Experience
  • Kejuan Jones scores on the first play of the second quarter, but Trey Dicarlo misses the PAT. 14-6 Cowboys.
  • Field to Woods has vibes of Rudolph to Washington. Fields hits Rashaun on another long post route, and OSU takes a 21-6 lead.
  • Darrent Williams is everywhere.
  • Play-by-play guy Joel Meyers pointed out OU has given up only 14 points a game going into this.
  • Josh Fields is slicing these boys up. He hits Billy Bajema for another big gain.
  • Fields hits Rashaun Woods on an out route for Woods’ third receiving touchdown of the game. 28-6 Pokes.
  • Gabe Lindsay muffs a punt, but guess who is there to get the recovery? Darrent Williams.
  • Billy Bajema is having a great game, and he has a great name.
  • The guys in the booth just mentioned how Oklahoma’s defense shut down Texas Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury last week.
  • OU’s attempt to get some points late in the half are thwarted by a Greg Richmond sack. So many players-turned-coaches.
  • Josh Fields takes a knee to end the half 28-6 Cowboys.
Q3: Sooners Showing Life
  • If there’s a minor critique I’ve had with Mike Gundy’s offenses over the years is that sometimes there seems to be only one receiver on the field. It often works in his defense, and tossing the ball to Rashaun Woods might have been where he learned this technique.
  • Josh Fields has a pass tipped, but the ball finds it’s way to Charlie Johnson in the end zone. It’s a 13-yard touchdown pass, and Fields’ fourth of the day. It’s 35-6 Pokes.
  • So the Pokes are casually up 29 a drive into the third quarter against the No. 4 team in the country. Knowing the final score, I know the Sooners are going to go on a bit of a run here, but what domination.
  • For the second time today color commentator Dave Lapham said it’s almost like OSU’s defense is in OU’s huddle.
  • OSU just ran the counter pitch again. I need that Saturday.
  • The guys in the booth are doing a live phone interview with Colorado coach Gary Barnett. OU will play CU in the Big 12 Championship game after this.
  • I don’t remember Billy Bajema from my childhood, but what a fun player to watch. A google search revealed that he is from Westmoore High. He was a seventh round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. He played in the league from 2005 to 2013 and won a Super Bowl with the Ravens.

When Thurman Thomas spoke so passionately making OSU’s alumni group stronger, guys like Billy Bajema need to be more celebrated.

  • Hybl tosses a 50/50 ball up to Brandon Jones, who brings it in with one hand for a touchdown. They didn’t review it (were replays a thing then?), but afterward the TV crew went back and showed it hit the turf.

The Sooners needed something to bounce their way, though. OU also gets the 2-point conversion, making it 35-14 OSU.

  • OSU then catches an officiating break, though, as Fields threw a should-be interception, but the refs said the OU defensive back was out of bounds.
  • Here I was thinking this was a down year for OSU entering the game being 6-5, but Joel Meyers just mentioned this would be just the second time the Cowboys got to seven wins since 1988 (the other came in 1997, Bob Simmons’ third season).
  • Tatum Bell is the first OSU running back I remember watching, and he was a fun one to watch.
  • There was a comedy of errors on an OSU punt. The snap rolled to punter Cole Farden, who scooped the ball up and dinked it away. It went a net 4 yards.
  • That’s the end of the third. OU has the ball near midfield trailing 35-14.
Q4: Running It Out
  • Hybl hits Trent Smith for a touchdown on fourth down. It’s the second fourth down the Sooners converted on the drive. 35-21 Cowboys.
  • After a time-consuming drive, Luke Phillips hits a 40-yard field goal. It’s 38-21 OSU with 4:11 to go. OSU had the ball for 7:37 that drive.
  • Quentin Griffin is so much fun to watch. Dave Lapham just said, “I swear, I could chase him for 10 minutes in a phonebooth and never touch him.”
  • OU nickels and dimes down the field for a touchdown with 2:13 to go. It’s 38-28 Pokes.
  • OU’s onside kick goes out of bounds.
  • OSU runs out the clock. Les Miles gets two Gatorade showers, and the students are tearing down the goalposts on Lewis Field. OSU wins 38-28.
  • Miles on the field after the game: “It was a hard-fought victory, and we’re going to celebrate well into the night.”
Final Thoughts
  • Here is the full box score, but let’s hit on a couple of the highlights to wrap this thing up.
  • Miles became the first (and only) OSU coach to beat Nebraska and Oklahoma in the same season.
  • Josh Fields threw for 357 yards and four touchdowns. The yardage total was a career high.
  • Rashaun Woods caught 12 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns. That’s the second-most receiving yards Woods ever had in a game behind his 232 against SMU in 2003, where Woods famously caught seven touchdowns.
  • Billy Bajema caught three passes for 99 yards, a career high.
  • Tatum Bell ran for 106 on 22 touches.
  • This game sent the Cowboys to the Houston Bowl, where OSU beat Southern Mississippi 33-23.
  • OU would go on to beat Colorado in the Big 12 Championship game and beat Washington State in the Rose Bowl.
  • A few years back Mike Gundy, Josh Fields and Rashaun Woods looked back at the game for a little feature through OSU.
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