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Sooners Hold Off Second-Half Push to Beat Kansas State

OU running back DeMarco Murray (7) dives into the end zone for a touchdown in the Sooners' 42-30 win over Kansas State. (AP Photo) OU running back DeMarco Murray (7) dives into the end zone for a touchdown in the Sooners' 42-30 win over Kansas State. (AP Photo)

Originally Published: Oct 31, 2009 10:1 PM CDT

Game Preview | Vitals | Box Score | Recap

Corey DeMoss
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

NORMAN, Oklahoma – The OU offense got off to a hot start Saturday, but Kansas State surged back before the Sooners were finally able to secure a 42-30 win.

The Sooners (5-3, 3-1) jumped out to an early 21-0 lead, scoring touchdowns on their first three possessions for the first time this season. Landry Jones connected on two touchdown passes to Ryan Broyles and one to Dejuan Miller.

“Today, I thought we were really sharp. We started the game in a really good way in the first half,” said head coach Bob Stoops.

Meanwhile, the OU defense held Kansas State (5-4, 3-2) to negative yardage on their first two offensive drives, and the Sooners seemed primed to ride to an easy victory.

Murray and Kansas State running back Keithen Valentine traded touchdown runs, and K-State added a field goal to make the score 28-9 at halftime.

The beginning of the second half was a different story. Led by do-everything running back Daniel Thomas – the Big 12’s leading rusher – Kansas State began gaining momentum. Valentine scored his second rushing touchdown, while Thomas executed a jump pass for a two-point conversion then added a touchdown run of his own to cut the Sooners’ lead to 28-23.

The OU offense responded with a sustained drive that included earning a first down after being stuck with 1st-and-45. That drive ended with a touchdown pass from Jones to Murray, Jones’ fourth touchdown pass of the game.

“Every third down that needed to be converted, we converted it,” Dejuan Miller said. “Every short-yardage play we converted in those last couple drives we scored on in the third or fourth quarter.”

Kansas State kick returner Brandon Banks then returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown – his fourth kick return touchdown of the season – to cut the lead back to five again. The OU offense countered with another long drive that ended in DeMarco Murray’s third touchdown of the game.

Quinton Carter then intercepted K-State quarterback Grant Gregory for the only turnover of the game to seal the win for the Sooners.

The OU defense struggled for the first time in weeks, surrendering 364 total yards and allowing Gregory to amass the second-most passing yards of his collegiate career. Saturday marked the first time the Sooners have given up more than 21 points this season. The Wildcats outscored OU 21-14 in the second half.

Landry Jones had one of his most effective performances of the season, throwing for 294 yards and four touchdowns. He completed more than 70 percent of his passes for the first time this season, and did not throw an interception for the first time since Oct. 3 against Miami.

Jones continued to build a rapport with Ryan Broyles, who finished with eight catches for 91 yards and two touchdowns. Broyles also had two carries for 23 yards.

Dejuan Miller also emerged as a viable option at receiver, leading the Sooners with nine catches for 94 yards and one touchdown. Miller is the fifth different Sooner to lead the team in receiving in a game this season, joining Broyles, Murray, Brandon Caleb and Cameron Kenney. Neither Caleb nor Kenney caught a pass against Kansas State.

The Sooners’ penalty problems continued, as they were flagged nine times for 91 yards. They have committed seven or more penalties in six of their eight games.

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