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November 24, 2007
NORMAN, Okla. — Allen Patrick made the most of his chance at redemption.
The tailback who turned heads while filling in for Adrian Peterson last season ran for a career-best 202 yards as No. 10 Oklahoma wrapped up a spot in the Big 12 championship game with a 49-17 win Saturday against Oklahoma State.
Patrick was coming off the worst game of his career in the Sooners' loss to Texas Tech last week.
"I kind of felt like my old self today. My family came down, and I was trying to put on a show for everybody," Patrick said. "Just to come out here and play the best game I ever had.
"It was my last game in here and I knew that, so I just came out here and tried to play the best I could."
Patrick, who had four 100-yard rushing games after Peterson broke his collarbone last season, passed the century mark for the first time since September and also caught a touchdown pass in easily his best game of the season. It came one week after his first-quarter fumble led to quarterback Sam Bradford getting hurt while making the tackle in a 34-27 loss at Texas Tech.
Sooners coach Bob Stoops said he thought he had unfairly and unintentionally dumped too much of the blame for that loss on Patrick.
"Allen's as tough and hard working a guy as we've had. I value that, and I think our team for the most part values that kind of attitude and play," Stoops said. "In our locker room, it's rewarding.
"He came out today, and we never doubted him."
Patrick got only one more chance to run the ball after his fumble against Texas Tech, but became a key part of the game plan again after leading rusher DeMarco Murray dislocated his kneecap last week.
Stoops said Murray will miss the Big 12 title game.
Stoops reassured Patrick with a talk earlier in the day, and the running back was then honored as part of Oklahoma's senior class.
"It was real emotional. I dropped a few tears before the game, and I just had my head focused," Patrick said.
Patrick went for more than 100 yards for the first time in eight games, clearing the mark early in the second quarter with a 32-yard run around the left end that set up Chris Brown's 3-yard touchdown push to make it 21-7.
By that point, Patrick had already been in the end zone twice on an 11-yard scoring pass from Bradford and a 5-yard TD run.
"Their offensive line mashed us," Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said. "They just knocked us back and pummeled our inside guys."
Bradford returned to action after sustaining a concussion early against Texas Tech and broke the NCAA freshman record for touchdown passes in a season. He had four scoring passes, including two to tight end Joe Jon Finley, to give him 32 this year. Nevada's David Neill (1998) and Texas' Colt McCoy (2006) held the old record with 29.
The Sooners (10-2, 6-2 Big 12) had been all but assured of playing in their fifth Big 12 title game in the past six seasons even with a loss, but a Bedlam blowout left no need to rely on a tiebreaker.
Oklahoma broke the game open with a huge goal-line stand in the second quarter, stuffing Oklahoma State (6-6, 4-4) on four straight rushing attempts from the 1. On fourth down, three Sooners converged on quarterback Zac Robinson just shy of the goal line to jar the ball loose, and safety D.J. Wolfe scooped it up to end the threat.
Patrick ran on each of the next four plays to pick up 31 yards, and Oklahoma cashed in on Bradford's 2-yard touchdown pass to Finley for a 28-7 lead.
Finley also caught a 12-yard TD pass from Bradford, and Patrick's 2-yard run in the fourth quarter extended the lead to 42-17.
Bradford finished with 150 yards on 11-for-15 passing with one interception, which set up one of the Cowboys' two touchdowns on the day.
Dantrell Savage scored them both, catching a 16-yard pass from Robinson and rushing in from 6 yards out. He ran for 112 yards for his ninth straight 100-yard game.
"We lost. You can never be happy with a loss," Oklahoma State defensive end Marque Fountain said. "We didn't play as well as we could."
Pregame warmups brought a glimmer of hope for Oklahoma State, as leading receiver Adarius Bowman jogged around and went through drills a week after coach Mike Gundy announced he'd be out for the rest of the regular season. Bowman was in uniform and had his helmet on, but didn't play in the game.
The result was Robinson's least productive passing day since he took over as the starter in the third game of the season. He completed 8 of 20 passes for 105 yards before being replaced by backup Bobby Reid in the fourth quarter.