NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ In a span of 11 plays, Adrian Peterson showed why he's a contender for the Heisman Trophy and just how big of a lift he can give Oklahoma when it's needed most.
His presence, most notably on a dump-off pass that he turned into a 69-yard touchdown dash, smoothed the edges on a rough 24-to-17 opening win Saturday against Alabama-Birminham. But just how far can the Sooners go by relying almost solely on one of college football's premier tailbacks?
For the second straight season, O-U looked vulnerable and mistake-prone in its first game. Peterson's muscle and moves helped the 10th-ranked Sooners overcome four turnovers and avoid losing consecutive home openers for the first time in 23 years.
Paul Thompson completed 14 of 24 passes for 227 yards, but he was heavily reined in after throwing two interceptions inside the U-A-B 25 at the end of the first half.
O-U coach Bob Stoops says he thought Thompson's numbers were skewed a little because Juaquin Iglesias dropped one touchdown pass and Thompson fired too high on a throw to Malcolm Kelly that could've resulted in another score.