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Oklahoma Starts Slow, Rides Defense to Victory

November 11, 2001|From Associated Press

Oklahoma's offense took a while to get going against Texas A&M. But as well as the Sooner defense is playing, what's the hurry?

Oklahoma limited Texas A&M to 132 yards and five first downs in a 31-10 victory Saturday at Norman, Okla., that kept the Sooners in the hunt for the conference and national titles.

"Really exceptional. They just continue to play outstanding football," Coach Bob Stoops said. "They were sound, disciplined, rarely out of position, made plays, tackled well. Really a solid game. We gave all the starters on defense a game ball."

The Sooners, 9-1 overall and 5-1 in the Big 12, overcame a 10-0 first-quarter deficit to win their 19th in a row at home. Nate Hybl threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score, and special teams played a big role. Oklahoma scored one touchdown after tackling the punter deep in Aggie territory, then got the go-ahead score on a fake field goal in the third quarter.

The Sooners gained nearly 230 of their 361 yards in the second half, and sealed the outcome with two fourth-quarter touchdowns. But given how well the defense was playing, there wasn't any doubt about the outcome once Oklahoma took a 17-10 lead with the fake field goal.

"Oklahoma's defense is not a team to make a comeback against," said Texas A&M Coach R.C. Slocum, whose offense has gone eight quarters without a touchdown. "Other teams I'd seen play them had trouble moving the ball. We did also."

The Aggies (7-3, 4-3) made three of their first downs in the first quarter, then didn't make another until early in the fourth. By that time, the score was 24-10.

No. 5 Texas 59, Kansas 0--Chris Simms passed for 284 yards and two touchdowns in just more than a half, and Cedric Benson ran for 213 yards and scored three times at Austin, Texas, in the Longhorns' fifth win in a row. Simms' scoring passes to Roy Williams and Benson gave him 22 this season, breaking the Texas record of 21 set by Major Applewhite in 1999.

Applewhite took over in the third quarter with Texas (9-1, 6-1) leading, 38-0.

The Longhorns' third-ranked defense held Kansas (2-7, 1-6) to 67 yards in recording Texas' first shutout of the season.

No. 21 Colorado 40, Iowa St. 27--Cortlen Johnson became the first Colorado player to gain 100 yards both rushing and receiving in a game and Jeremy Flores kicked four field goals at Ames, Iowa.

With its third victory in a row, Colorado (8-2, 6-1) set up a showdown with Nebraska for the league's North Division title. Colorado will play the Cornhuskers at home Nov. 23.

Iowa State (5-4, 3-4) lost its third straight. The Cyclones led, 14-10, but eventually were done in by Colorado's speed and their own sloppy play.

Texas Tech 49, Oklahoma St. 30--Kliff Kingsbury threw for 440 yards and four touchdowns at Stillwater, Okla.

Texas Tech (6-3, 4-3) won its third straight and Kingsbury moved into second place on the school's career touchdown pass list with 44. He is four behind leader Robert Hall.

Oklahoma State (2-7, 0-6) lost its fifth in a row.

Missouri 41, Baylor 24--Justin Gage caught 13 passes for a school-record 236 yards and two touchdowns and threw for a third score on a reverse at Columbia, Mo.

Kirk Farmer was 23 for 34 for a career best 360 yards and three touchdowns, and Zain Gilmore scored twice for Missouri (4-5, 3-4), which led, 34-3, at halftime.

Baylor (2-7, 0-7) has lost 28 straight in the Big 12.

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