Ohio State squandered three more chances after Oklahoma turnovers on the Sooner 20-, 33- and 23-yard lines but then drove 48 yards after a third-down quick kick into the wind by Peacock to go ahead 21-20. Shortly afterward a Sooner pass by No. 2 Quarterback Dean Blevins was intercepted at the Oklahoma 33, and Ohio State moved in on Castignola's touchdown pass to make it 28-20.
From that point on, stress worked a miracle cure. The Sooners never made another mistake. Actually, the defense had played well from late in the second quarter, victim only of the offense's largesse (mostly life-or-death pitchouts). The Sooners sought to force Gerald to keep the ball, not because they thought he could not hurt them but because they thought he should be tested. "A matter," said Lacewell, "of chosing your poison."
As it developed, Gerald was knocked out of the game late in the third quarter and spent the rest of the afternoon embracing an icepack. Before that, Linebacker Daryl Hunt had played a tune on him. Hunt's responsibility on the option was Gerald alone. The first time he got to him, after the ends had sealed off the outside pitch and left Gerald to go it alone inside. Hunt whacked him solidly and stripped him of the ball. "It's going to be like that all day," Hunt told Gerald as he helped him up.
In the fourth quarter the wind was again in Oklahoma's sails, and Blevins was at quarterback for the last, breathtaking rally. ( Oklahoma's Lott, like Ohio State's Gerald, had been put out of the game with an injury.) On third down at the Oklahoma 46, Castignola was walloped successively by stunting Tackles Dave Hudgens and Phil Tabor. The ball popped free. Middle Guard Reggie Kinlaw, the best of the "new" Oklahoma defenders, came under the stunt to recover it at the Ohio State 43.
Oklahoma scored in 12 plays. Blevins, who had been booed to tears in the opener with Vanderbilt when he started in place of the injured Lott, passed 10 yards to Split End Steve Rhodes for the mover. Then, on a fourth-down play at the Ohio State 12, Blevins kept the Sooners' hopes alive by staggering the cadence on his count, drawing Middle Guard Aaron Brown offside. The play was stacked up, but the penalty gave Oklahoma a first down at the seven. Peacock scored on a fourth-down option from a yard and a half out but couldn't get in on the two-point conversion and it was 28-26.
Von Schamann's ensuing onside kick may have been anticipated by everybody in the stadium, but it was perfectly executed. Von Schamann sliced the ball hard off a Buckeye in the front line—a back inserted to improve the chances of fielding the predictable kick—and the ball caromed free just over the 50. Mike Babb dived on it for Oklahoma.
On first down Blevins got man-to-man coverage again on Rhodes and hit him for 18 yards to the Buckeye 32. From there he worked carefully on the inside legs of the option, deliberately keeping to the middle of the field and working the clock down. With six seconds to play, the ball was on the 23, and Von Foot was ushered into the game.
At that moment, Switzer was asked, could he explain what caused him to suddenly laugh out loud? Probably not. But Larry Lacewell could. Old Barry had 'em where he wanted 'em.