College football roundup: Sooners play role of spoiler

Bell leads late charge past No. 6 Cowboys

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops hugged Blake Bell after the QB passed for 140 yards and a TD off the bench.
brett deering/getty images
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops hugged Blake Bell after the QB passed for 140 yards and a TD off the bench.

Blake Bell saved his best moment for last, sending yet another shakeup through the BCS bowl picture.

Bell threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Saunders with 19 seconds remaining to help No. 18 Oklahoma dash No. 6 Oklahoma State’s Big 12 championship and BCS bowl game hopes with a 33-24 win Saturday in Stillwater.

Bell, playing in place of injured Trevor Knight, led the Sooners (10-2, 7-2) on the winning 66-yard drive by going 5 of 8 for 57 yards.


‘‘You just love it to see a guy who’s a competitor like that, who’s been sitting on the bench all game, to come in and play so well,’’ Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said of Bell. ‘‘He played great.’’

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Eric Striker ended the game by recovering a fumble for a touchdown for Oklahoma, which has won at least 10 games in four straight seasons.

Stoops is 8-1 in his career against Cowboys coach Mike Gundy.

Desmond Roland led Oklahoma State (10-2, 7-2) with 144 yards rushing and accounted for three touchdowns.

The Cowboys, who were trying to win their second Big 12 title in three seasons, appeared to have their spot in a BCS bowl game secured when Roland scored on a 1-yard run with 1:46 remaining to put Oklahoma State up, 24-20. The score capped a seven-play, 89-yard drive.


Quarterback Clint Chelf completed five straight passes for first downs on the drive, and it appeared the Cowboys had the Big 12 title in hand.

Chelf finished 19-of-35 passing for 200 yards and a touchdown.

The Cowboys led for the entire game until Oklahoma grabbed a 20-17 lead early in the fourth quarter on Michael Hunnicutt’s 39-yard field goal.

Baylor 30, Texas 10 — In what became a de facto Big 12 championship game after Oklahoma State’s loss, Bryce Petty threw for 287 yards with touchdown passes on the first two drives after halftime and the No. 9 Bears won their first title in the league with a victory over the No. 23 Longhorns in Waco, Texas.

The Bears (11-1, 8-1), who never even had a winning record in the Big 12 before coach Art Briles arrived six years ago, have the first 11-win season in school history and are headed to the Fiesta Bowl. That is the reward for their first outright title in any league since winning the Southwest Conference in 1980 when Mike Singletary called Floyd Casey Stadium home.


Stanford 38, Arizona State 14 — Tyler Gaffney ran for 133 yards and scored three touchdowns in a dominating first half, leading the No. 7 Cardinal back to the Rose Bowl with a win over the No. 11 Sun Devils in the Pac-12 title game in Tempe, Ariz.

Stanford (11-2) raced out to a 28-7 lead early in the second quarter. Gaffney did most of the damage, scoring on a 69-yard run on the Cardinal’s second play and a pair of 1-yard runs.

Stanford consistently gouged Arizona State for big plays, racking up 517 yards to earn a shot at repeating as Rose Bowl champion.

D.J. Foster accounted for 142 total yards and two touchdowns for the Sun Devils (10-3), who will likely play in the Holiday Bowl or Alamo Bowl.

Central Florida 17, SMU 13 — Blake Bortles threw for 242 yards and ran for two touchdowns as the No. 15 Knights (11-1, 8-0 American Athletic Conference) celebrated a BCS bid already in hand by rallying to beat the Mustangs (5-7, 4-4) in front of just a few hundred fans who braved a brutal ice storm in Dallas.

With the school’s first BCS berth secured by Louisville’s win at Cincinnati Thursday, the Knights were sluggish before recovering for a school-record eighth straight win and the outright title in the first year of the AAC.

The wintry blast that virtually shut down the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Friday prompted officials to offer free admission. It didn’t help much, with fewer than 1,000 fans showing up for the game — far short of the announced attendance of 12,598.

UConn 45, Memphis 10 — Casey Cochran threw for a school-record 461 yards and four touchdowns in leading the host Huskies (3-9, 3-5 AAC) to a season-ending victory over the Tigers (3-9, 1-7).

The redshirt freshman completed 36 of 54 attempts and didn’t throw an interception in leading Connecticut to a third straight win after an 0-9 start to the season.

It was likely the final game for UConn interim coach T.J. Weist, who took the reins from Paul Pasqualoni after he was fired following the Huskies’ 0-4 start.

Rice 41, Marshall 24 — The Owls (10-3) relied on a bruising ground attack to subdue the Herd (9-4) in Houston and claim the Conference USA title. It is Rice’s first outright conference crown since 1957, when it clinched the Southwest Conference title to earn a berth in the Cotton Bowl.

Rice’s Charles Ross rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns, upping his season total to 14 and matching the program season mark set by Trevor Cobb in 1991. Luke Turner passed for two touchdowns, doubling his career total.

Southern 34, Jackson State 27 — Dray Joseph hit Lee Doss for a 16-yard touchdown pass to give the Jaguars (9-4, 7-2) a double-overtime victory over the Tigers (8-4, 8-1) in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship in Houston.

During the ensuing drive, Jackson State running back Tommy Gooden stepped out of bounds to negate what would have been a 5-yard touchdown pass from Clayton Moore.