STILLWATER — Parnell Motley was disappointed when a would-be interception was reversed by a video review in Saturday’s first half at Oklahoma State.
There was no doubt about his second one, though, which sealed Oklahoma’s 34-16 victory over the Cowboys. He also added a forced fumble and recovery.
It was satisfying for Motley after the 2017 game in Stillwater, when his performance was shaky. He was replaced in the lineup before working his way back into a regular starter the past two seasons.
OU coach Lincoln Riley was happy to see Motley get the final interception. It was on fourth down, where OU’s defense was successful on all three tries on the night.
Motley was close to getting three interceptions. Officials ruled on the first play that his foot was out of bounds, but it was close.
“It was fitting because he made such a great play on the other one. You couldn’t tell on the other one. The replay in the stadium looked like there was green in between his feet. I don’t know,” Riley said. “I’m sure in the booth they had some different looks for them to overturn it. It must have been pretty conclusive. It was great for him to make it and very fitting for the kind of night he’s had. He’s been really steady for us all year.”
Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch said it has become a struggle to take Motley off the field. He’s been critical behind the defense’s turnaround this season.
OU finished the regular season with the Big 12’s No. 1 total offense (574.4) and total defense (336.2). Last season, OU was last in total defense.
“I was thinking several years ago how the defense was from that standpoint — how does the defense look now?” Motley said. “It's just night and day from back then.”
• The pass: Nick Basquine’s pass attempts haven’t always gone as planned. There was a dropped ball by a receiver in 2018, and another earlier this season that resulted in an interception.
His touchdown throw to Jalen Hurts was on target, though.
“I felt like I needed more props throwing it under pressure,” Basquine joked. “Nah, he was wide open. I just let it rip. You can’t think too much in those situations or you’ll mess up or do things you shouldn’t be doing. We practiced that all week and trusted in the game plan and in my ability to throw the football. It worked out.”
It was a unique Bedlam memory for Basquine, who grew up firmly in OU’s camp as a Norman native.
“I don’t really think of it like that. But I’m sure when I get older and look back at it, it’ll be real cool,” he said. “Obviously, I’m more concerned about what’s ahead of us. For sure, being specifically from Norman, growing up for OU, doing it against those guys was pretty cool.”
• Thoughts?: Alabama went down in tragic fashion against Auburn on Saturday, missing a late field goal and committing a penalty that kept it from getting the ball back in the final minute.
In the press box at OSU, all eyes were glued to the television. It would have been no surprise if, somewhere, Jalen Hurts were paying attention too.
The former Alabama quarterback was mum on the topic late Saturday.
“Sounds like rat poison to me,” Hurts said when asked about the Iron Bowl. “Gotta focus on Baylor this week.”
• They said it: Grinch said rematching Baylor for the Big 12 championship will be an interesting task.
“Well, it’s unique. I go back through it through my history. I’m trying to think how many times it’s actually happened in my career. It certainly has, but not many. You take stock in the previous game in how they attacked us, but you also gotta give them credit in terms of them analyzing how we attacked them. You also gotta be you. I think they’d look at it the same way. It’s a tremendous team, program. They have our respect. You play in a championship game, which I’ve been fortunate to be part of on both sides, you know you’re gonna play a real one. If you don’t play your best game this next Saturday, then it won’t go your way.”