More About Jason White's First OU Start

Friday, October 19th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma quarterback Jason White has shown he can finish games. Now he gets a chance to start one.

White came off the bench the past two weeks and helped lead the second-ranked Sooners to victory. He makes his first start Saturday when Oklahoma (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) plays host to Baylor (2-3, 0-3).

``I'm excited to get the chance to lead the team from the beginning,'' White said. ``Hopefully I'll lead them to a victory.''

That isn't expected to be a problem this week. Oklahoma has a 19-game winning streak and is playing a Baylor team that has lost 24 straight conference games.

Saturday's game should provide a tuneup for White before the Sooners travel to No. 3 Nebraska.

White, a sophomore, competed with Nate Hybl throughout spring and fall workouts before Hybl was named the starter.

Hybl played well through the first four games, then hurt his left shoulder in the first quarter against Texas.

White led the offense for the final three quarters, finishing 16-of-23 for 108 yards. He also gained 38 yards on 12 carries.

Hybl got the start last week against Kansas but was ineffective in four series. White replaced him early in the second quarter and ended up 18-of-29 for 151 yards and four touchdowns, plus 117 yards rushing on 12 carries.

That was enough to prompt coach Bob Stoops to make a change.

``On this team, you're going to play to a winning level or to a level we feel you're capable of,'' he said. ``And if not, then someone else deserves an opportunity to do that.''

White is much more mobile than Hybl, who has decent speed but isn't elusive. Stoops says White has made some bad plays by running too soon, and that the offense won't change to suit White's style.

Baylor coach Kevin Steele said his team doesn't care who takes the snaps for Oklahoma.

``You've got to rush the passer, you've got to stop the run and be where you're supposed to be. It's about our accountability and responsibility,'' Steele said. ``They'll take care of who their guy is and their execution.''

Baylor's last victory in Big 12 play came Oct. 10, 1998, against Kansas. The Bears nearly upset Texas A&M two weeks ago, losing 16-10 in a game that came down the final play. And they only trailed Nebraska 14-7 late in the third quarter before losing 48-7.

Stoops said this year's Baylor team is much better than last year's, which lost 56-7 to Oklahoma. Steele agrees.

``I think it's pretty obvious we're certainly making progress,'' Steele said. ``Seven of the last eight quarters, this football team has played very, very good football and given itself every chance to win.''