WACO, Texas — Someplace within the commotion, quarterback and trainer discovered every different. This was once within the speedy aftermath of Oklahoma’s 34-31 comeback win in opposition to Baylor. For perhaps 10 yards, headed towards a nook of the stadium the place a knot of celebrating fanatics waited, Jalen Hurts and Lincoln Riley shared one thing comparable to a working hug, all smiles and friend punches and are you able to consider that?
By the point any individual requested Hurts about it, the rush had light. He had reverted to stoic, which appears to be his secure state. However yeah, Hurts allowed:
“It’s a second you’ve were given to embody. You’ve were given to embody it and revel in.”
Let’s all do this a lot. As a result of what No. 10 Oklahoma did in taking down No. 13 Baylor was once no less than faculty soccer at its zany easiest.
Baylor blew to a 25-point first-half lead, helped alongside by way of two turnovers by way of Hurts. However simply because the celebration alongside the Brazos River was once about to get cranked up — Matt Rhule’s unbeaten Bears saying themselves — right here got here Oklahoma, roaring all of the as far back as the biggest comeback at school historical past.
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In the second one half of, Hurts and the Sooners’ offense had been just about unstoppable. A protection that within the first half of have been porous all of sudden solidified.
When it was once over, Oklahoma by hook or by crook nonetheless had a Faculty Soccer Playoff pulse. After a win in opposition to a ranked opponent in a opposed highway setting — and sure, given how neatly the Sooners performed in a dominant moment half of — it could beat somewhat more potent than earlier than.
This crew is wrong but in addition ambitious, in a position to maddening errors but in addition lengthy stretches of dominance. See the primary half of Saturday. However then see additionally the end.
“We more or less discovered ourselves somewhat bit, that’s the easiest way I will describe it,” stated Riley: “I believe we noticed in that moment half of what we will be.”
We noticed within the first half of what Oklahoma may also be, too — what it’s been all through a midseason stretch that integrated a loss at Kansas State and an get away in opposition to Iowa State, fueling doubts concerning the Sooners’ attainable. Subsidized by way of the biggest crowd within the brief historical past of McLane Stadium, Baylor appeared able to increase its document to 10-Zero with an emphatic observation.
Yeah, Hurts harm the Sooners with a fumble and an interception. However it was once a crew effort. Oklahoma’s protection grew to become the Bears’ offense, which had scored two touchdowns in law in its final two video games, right into a first-half juggernaut. When the Bears grew to become Hurts’ interception — the second one of 3 turnovers by way of the senior quarterback — into a snappy landing, it was once 28-Three slightly 4 mins into the second one quarter. It was once 31-10 at halftime.
And but, to listen to the Sooners inform it in a while, they received self belief within the ultimate a part of the second one quarter, scoring a landing and conserving Baylor to a overdue box function. Ahead of the second one half of started, coordinator Alex Grinch stuck Hurts on his manner out of the locker room and informed him, “That is gonna be a helluva tale to inform in the future.”
“Simply upload some other one to the record,” Hurts recounted himself as announcing. “One of the.”
Right here’s an attractive excellent tale: Oklahoma’s comeback surpassed 21-point comebacks in opposition to Iowa State in 1970 and Kansas State in 1981 as the biggest within the historical past of this system. The way it came about, with what Riley appropriately referred to as a “totally dominant” second-half efficiency, is some other beautiful excellent story.
Oklahoma outgained Baylor in the second one half of, 368 yards to 69. In its first 4 possessions, Baylor ran 10 performs.
The Sooners grinded to ratings (with out all-everything receiver CeeDee Lamb, out for what the college termed “scientific causes,” there weren’t many explosive performs). Touchdowns got here after drives of:
• 12 performs, 74 yards, five mins, 44 seconds.
• 13 performs, 90 yards, 4:59.
• 13 performs, 77 yards, 6:01.
The successful box function, knocked via by way of freshman kicker Gabe Brkic with 1:45 left, got here after a nine-play, 59-yard force.
The comeback got here in spite of Hurts’ fumble on the function line overdue within the 3rd quarter — James Lynch, Baylor’s standout defensive finish, stripped the ball and recovered it finally zone — which can have quenched momentum however by hook or by crook didn’t. And it came about despite the fact that Nik Bonitto dropped the prospective clinching interception within the ultimate minute, a ball thrown proper to him. At the subsequent play, the redshirt freshman jumped an out course and made a miles harder select close to the house sideline, and the fantastic victory was once protected.
“There’s at all times alternative,” Hurts stated. “There’s at all times some way. I do know y’all didn’t assume we had been gonna come again and win?”
Any person requested: Did Hurts?
“There’s at all times some way,” Hurts stated. “There’s at all times some way.”
After we upload this outcome to the Sooners’ résumé, what will we get? When they discovered some way, there’s nonetheless an actual trail ahead within the Playoff race. In spite of their evident flaws, there’s clearly one thing ambitious, too — and transparent self belief, after rallying previous a ranked opponent at the highway, that the latter remains to be rising.
“I do know all of the other people on TV discuss taste issues, how a lot you win by way of, how a lot you lose by way of,” Riley stated in a while. “It’s a must to give you the option to win. That’s been a tight system for us the previous few years. You’ve were given to win those difficult ones like this. We’ve were given a excellent soccer crew.”
Stated Hurts: “We’re construction one thing in point of fact particular. We all know we’ve were given larger fish to fry.”
It may well be Oklahoma is just dwelling at the edge, nonetheless alive for yet one more week however destined someday to fall away. It may be we’re looking at vital enlargement, that the Sooners’ second-half efficiency was once a key step within the building of a Playoff contender.
“It is a catalyst for us,” Riley stated. “I believe it’ll be. Our easiest ball is coming quickly.”