Wednesday, September 6th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Scroll down for scoring summary and stats.

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Josh Heupel threw three touchdown passes and J.T. Thatcher returned a punt 66 yards for a touchdown on his way to a school record for returns as No. 20 Oklahoma beat Arkansas State 45-7 Saturday night.

All of Heupel's touchdowns came on third-and-long plays, including two in the first half when the Sooners (2-0) took a 28-0 lead. His 35 career TD passes, accomplished in 13 games, tied the school record set by Cale Gundy in 40 games from 1990-93.

Thatcher had 160 yards on five returns, breaking the Oklahoma record of 146 yards set last season by Jarrail Jackson against Missouri. Thatcher also had an interception that set up a third-quarter touchdown.

Arkansas State (0-2) didn't cross midfield until late in the first half and was outclassed one week after losing at North Carolina State in two overtimes.

Heupel was 24-of-32 for 301 yards and, thanks to a 75-yard touchdown run by Renaldo Works in the fourth quarter, the Sooners topped 200 yards on the ground.

Oklahoma's longest drive of the night was its first, an 80-yarder that Heupel capped with a 1-yard sneak.

Thatcher then scored on his punt return, taking the ball right up the middle before cutting to the outside and outrunning the Indians to the end zone.

A 30-yard return by Thatcher and a personal foul against the Indians set Oklahoma up at the Arkansas State 42 late in the first quarter. The Sooners quickly drove inside the 10, but two penalties left them with third-and-goal from the 26.

That proved to be no problem for Heupel. On the first play of the second quarter, he hit Damien Mackey deep along the left sideline. Mackey ran through a defender near the goal line for Oklahoma's third touchdown.

The Sooners made it 28-0 when Heupel, given plenty of time, found Andre Woolfolk in the back of the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown on third-and-8. The drive began after a 40-yard Thatcher return.

Heupel and Woolfolk collaborated on a touchdown again in the third quarter, this time a 35-yarder on third-and-11. A 14-yard return by Thatcher had set the Sooners up at midfield.

Arkansas State's only touchdown came on a 33-yard run by Danny Smith in the second quarter.

Quarter 1st2nd 3rd4thFinal
Arkansas St.07007

TeamScore TimeSummaryRunning Score
Oklahoma9:25 1st qtr.Josh Huepel 1 yd TD run (kick good)OU 7-0
Oklahoma3:37 1st qtrJT Thatcher 66 yd punt return TD (kick good)OU 14-0
Oklahoma14:55 2nd qtrDamien Mackey 26 yd TD rec from Huepel (kick good)OU 21-0
Oklahoma8:23 2nd qtrAndre Woolfolk 19 yd TD rec from Huepel (kick good)OU 28-0
Arkansas St.4:55 2nd qtrD. Smith 32 yd TD run (kick good)OU 28-7
Oklahoma11:48 3rd qtrAndre Woolfolk 35 yd TD rec from Huepel (kick good)OU 35-7
Oklahoma11:45 4th qtr.Renaldo Works 80 yd TD run (kick good)OU 42-7
Oklahoma3:45 4th qtr.Tim Duncan 26 yd FGOU 45-7

Quenton Griffin 9-53, Josh Heupel 4-10 1 TD, Seth Littrell 3-14, Renaldo Works 7-21, Curtis Fagan 1-7
Passing-Josh Heupel 23-30 294 yds 3 TD
Receiving-Andre Woolfolk 5-102 2 TD, Josh Norman 3- -1, Renaldo Works 2-12, Antwone Savage 3-40,Curtis Fagan 1-34, John Sturch 3-34, Damien Mackey 2-38 1TD, Curtis Fagan 1-34, Brian Friend 1-11, Quenton Griffin 3-24

Arkansas State
Rushing- Jonathan Adams 8-28, Danny Smith 4-47 1TD, Cleo Lemon 2- -8, Jacquis Walker 1-4
Passing-Cleo Lemon 20-30 183 yds
Receiving-Jacquis Walker 3-15, Jamie Hickenbotham 4-20, Robert Kilow 9-100, Mark Hamilton 1-5, Danny Smith 1-11, P. Alvin 1-11