Alan Bowman will get one crack at Bedlam (unless these teams meet again in Arlington). How will he leave his mark?
Saturday’s tilt with Oklahoma will provide myriad storylines both for this season and Bedlam history. Bowman can put his stamp on both with a strong showing.
He’ll join a small group of OSU passers to play in a single Bedlam game. We’ll look at three of them from the Mike Gundy era and see how Bowman’s Bedlam might compare.
J.W. Walsh (2015) | OU 58, OSU 23
I was actually surprised to see that the former fan favorite and current OSU staffer qualified. While riding a QB carousel over four seasons, Walsh somehow only recorded passing stats in one Bedlam game, when he spelled an injured Mason Rudolph in 2015. (He did rush once for a two-yard touchdown in Bedlam 2012, behind Clint Chelf.)
Walsh went go 25-of-42 for 325 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He found James Washington seven times for 169 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown, but the Sooners thumped the Pokes 58-23 on a frigid night in Stillwater.
Taylor Cornelius (2018) | OU 48, OSU 47
Oh so close.
This one was almost an all-time Bedlam win for OSU, but I consider it an all-time Bedlam performance by Cornelius.
In his lone season as a starter — and with fans peering at Spencer Sanders on the bench — Cornelius turned in a solid performance after solid performance. But he saved his career game for Norman.
Cornelius went 34-of-53 for 501 yards (the third highest in OSU history) and threw three TDs and no picks. He was a two-point conversion short of taking a Bedlam lead with 63 seconds left when he and Tylan Wallace weren’t able to connect at the goal line. It was gut punch, but Cornelius wasn’t the reason OSU came up short. You’d take that performance from your QB any game.
Dru Brown (2019) | OU 34, OSU 16
Similar to Walsh’s Bedlam game, Brown was thrust into action due to an injury to Spencer Sanders. The Cowboys’ offense wasn’t exactly a world-beater that year, but it relied heavily on Sanders’ run threat, which Brown couldn’t duplicate.
Brown went 22-of-32 for 207 passing yards and an interception, and the Cowboys struggled to keep up with the No. 7 Sooners. Even with Sanders, it would have been tough to keep up with the No. 4 scoring offense that season.
Alan Bowman (2023) | ?
Since taking the reins of the offense, Bowman has quietly captained the Cowboys from early struggles to a team in the Big 12 title race in November.
Ollie Gordon II has gotten much of the pub — he’s been on a historic tear — but Bowman has done a good job of making plays on his own and finding his playmakers (like Gordon).
If we were to project his upcoming Bedlam game compared to the others on this list, you’ve got to shoot for somewhere in the middle. OSU needs to lean on its resurgent run game and then take the opportunities the Sooners’ defense gives down the field. So, I wouldn’t expect a 500-yard (Corn Dog-esque) outing, but the Cowboys may not need that from Bowman.
This is the final scheduled Bedlam football game with the Sooners leaving for the SEC next season. If Bowman can lead the Pokes to a win, they’ll put an orange cap on the historically tilted rivalry. And it would be the Cowboys’ first back-to-back home Bedlam wins since 1930 and 1932.
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