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COLLEGE FOOTBALL / WEEK 13 | BCS' No. 1 and No. 2

Taking Care of Business

Oklahoma: Heupel struggles before leading winning drive in 27-13 victory over Texas Tech.

November 19, 2000|From Associated Press

NORMAN, Okla. — Top-ranked Oklahoma did not look the part for much of the game against Texas Tech. With the game on the line, that changed.

Led by Josh Heupel, the Sooners drove 71 yards in 12 plays and chewed up more than five minutes to score the clinching touchdown in a 27-13 Big 12 Conference victory on Saturday.

Heupel had two passes intercepted and had a season-low 248 yards passing, but completed seven of eight passes for 60 yards on the final drive, including a 15-yard completion on a third-and-four play to set up the touchdown.

Quentin Griffin scored on a one-yard run with 1:53 to play.

"For our guys to put that drive together says a lot about their character and toughness," Sooner Coach Bob Stoops said. "And Josh comes up with the huge play there at the end."

The victory gave Oklahoma, 10-0 overall and 7-0 in conference play, the Big 12 South Division championship. The Sooners finish the regular season Saturday against Oklahoma State, then play North Division winner Kansas State on Dec. 2 in Kansas City for the conference championship.

Texas Tech (7-5, 3-5) put up a good fight in Coach Mike Leach's return to Norman, pulling to within 21-13 midway through the fourth quarter. But Oklahoma ended any upset hopes with the late drive.

"Basically we didn't have any tempo and rhythm," said Heupel, who completed 24 of 38 passes. "When our offense is clicking on all cylinders, we have a tempo and rhythm inside the huddle. We weren't able to get that.

"Fortunately, we were able to get out of here with a win."

As Oklahoma's offensive coordinator last season, Leach installed the spread offense that Oklahoma has used to lead the nation in scoring at 44.7 points a game.

Texas Tech controlled the clock much of the day, with Kliff Kingsbury completing 41 of 61 passes for 295 yards.

After intercepting a pass by Heupel, the Red Raiders got a field goal early in the fourth quarter, then took advantage of good field position to set up Kingsbury's 15-yard touchdown pass to Tim Baker to pull to within 21-13 with 7:13 left.

That's when Heupel took over. He passed to four receivers on the final drive, including a 15-yard completion to tight end Matt Anderson on a bootleg pass that placed the ball at the three. Griffin scored on the next play.

Stoops said it was Heupel who came up with the bootleg call during a timeout.

"He says, 'Let's fake the run and roll to the right. It gives me a chance to run with it or eat it,' " Stoops said. "Matt Anderson's covered. He puts the ball just out of the reach of the defender and Matt makes a great catch. It was a great job of Josh really having a feel for the game."

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