Stillwater, Okla. With a chance to lead No. 13 Oklahoma to another Big 12 championship, Landry Jones couldn't find a way to dig the Sooners out of big first-half deficit for a second straight year.
Instead, the mistakes kept piling up.
Jones was responsible for four of Oklahoma's five turnovers, including two fumbles that directly led to touchdowns, and No. 13 Oklahoma State routed the Sooners 44-10 Saturday night to win its first Big 12 title.
"You can't put it on anyone but me tonight," said Jones, who finished with 250 yards passing, two interceptions and no touchdowns.
"I singlehandedly lost this game for us. That's just the way it is. I had the ball in my hands and coach put the ball in my hands to win the game, and I lost it for us."
Just a year earlier, Jones had rallied Oklahoma from a 17-0 first-half deficit to beat Nebraska in the Big 12 championship game. This time, he came out from halftime and committed another costly mistake.
Jones dropped back to pass but the ball came squirting out of his hands. Richetti Jones bobbled it and then corralled it for a 5-yard score that extended Oklahoma State's lead to 34-3 early in the third quarter.
Jones also fumbled while getting sacked by Alex Elkins in the second quarter, and Jamie Blatnick returned it to the 1-yard line to set up the first of Joseph Randle's two touchdown runs.
"It happens. Young guys make mistakes, but old guys make mistakes," Jones said. "We're a team. We win as a team, and this is a team sport. I didn't play well enough to put our team in a good enough position to give us some opportunities."
Randle ran for 151 yards as the Cowboys (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) snapped an eight-game losing streak in the Bedlam rivalry and won their first outright conference title since 1948 in the three-team Missouri Valley. In the process, they made a case to play for the national championship, too.
Fans started chanting "L-S-U!" midway through the fourth quarter with the victory well in hand, then stormed the field and tore down the goal posts when it was over.
The top-ranked Tigers could be next up for the Pokes, but only with a boost in the BCS standings due out Sunday night.
"If that's the way it works out, absolutely. We took care of what we could take care of," said quarterback Brandon Weeden, who threw for 217 yards with no scores and no picks. "We had to worry about us and control what we could control, and if we were able to do that, we were conference champs."
While the top-ranked Tigers won the SEC championship Saturday to lock up a spot in the BCS title game, No. 2 Alabama sat at home idle after finishing second in its division. Oklahoma State, meanwhile, proved itself the best team in its state and its conference. But it's up to the voters, who had the Cowboys fifth in the coaches' poll and Harris poll, to decide whether Oklahoma State will play for the highest stakes.
Gundy proclaimed earlier this week that he considered the Crimson Tide to be the second-best team in the nation "right now" — maybe because that's what he thought his team needed to hear that to get fired up and prove him wrong.
"Last week, I said Alabama should be there," Gundy said on the field after the game. "There's no question Oklahoma State should be No. 2 right now. No question."
The Cowboys won over at least one voter: Sooners coach Bob Stoops said he'd put them at No. 2 on his ballot.
"I'm sure they're going to have some great opportunities from here," Stoops said. "I don't know what will happen."
For most of the 107 years of the Bedlam rivalry, the Sooners had the better team and more on the line.
But each of the past two years, Oklahoma came in with a lower ranking and still found a way to derail a couple of the best teams in Oklahoma State history — first dashing any hopes of a BCS at-large berth two years ago and then taking away the Cowboys' shot at the Big 12 championship last season.
With all that history on their side, the Sooners came out looking to intimidate.
After coming onto the field, players ran into the west end zone for a pregame prayer and then lingered after it was over — right outside the gate where the Cowboys were getting ready to run out. Coaches, game officials and security officers made them get out of the way.
The Sooners couldn't back up the pregame bluster, though.
Weeden's 53-yard pass to Tracy Moore set up Jeremy Smith's 9-yard touchdown run, and the Cowboys defense — which entered the game ranked 107th out of 120 teams in the nation — never needed any more than that.
Brodrick Brown outfought Jaz Reynolds to pick off Jones' pass in the end zone and prevent an Oklahoma score, setting the tone for a dominant defensive effort.
"When we came out, we were all fired up," defensive end Frank Alexander said. "But a couple bad plays happened and we lost our edge, I guess."
With a win, Oklahoma would have won a three-way tiebreaker with Oklahoma State and Kansas State for the Big 12 title and the conference's automatic BCS bid.
"They obviously don't need to be worrying about sharing the trophy with anybody," Stoops said. "They played an excellent game and deserved and won a big game."
The Sooners got their only points on Michael Hunnicutt's 48-yard field goal at the end of the first half and Blake Bell's 28-yard TD scamper with 2:25 left in the game.
"It was a bad game all around," fullback Trey Millard said. "We got beat everywhere."