No. 2 Oklahoma 38, No. 20 Oklahoma State 35
Saturday, October 30th 2004, 3:15 pm
By: News On 6
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma survived another dicey trip to Oklahoma State, and the difference this time was Adrian Peterson.
The star freshman rushed for 249 yards and Cowboys kicker Jason Ricks missed a 49-yard field goal with 11 seconds left, giving the second-ranked Sooners a 38-35 victory over their pesky rivals on Saturday.
Mark Bradley caught a career-high three TD passes for Oklahoma (8-0, 5-0, Big 12), which has won two straight over the Cowboys since losing Bedlam series games in 2001 and 2002 that knocked the Sooners out of the national title hunt.
``I reminded the guys that our 2000 national championship run team won 12-7 here and went on to finish it out,'' Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. ``A lot of it sets up similarly here.''
Peterson had an 80-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that put Oklahoma up 35-21 and a 56-yarder on his next carry that broke the school freshman rushing record of 1,184 yards set by De'Mond Parker in 1996.
Peterson now has eight consecutive 100-yard games and 1,272 yards this year.
He won the running back battle over the Cowboys' Vernand Morency, who had just 93 yards on 17 carries, breaking his streak of nine straight regular season games with at least 100 yards.
Peterson said he wasn't motivated to outdo Morency, the nation's third-leading rusher coming into the game.
``I was focused on going out there and getting the win, and helping my team running the ball,'' Peterson said.
But Morency also had two touchdowns in the second half, including a 4-yard rush on an option that pulled Oklahoma State within 38-35 with 10:34 left.
``I will take my football team and play anyone in this country,'' Oklahoma State coach Les Miles said. ``I like this team. I like the fight in this ball club. I like the resolve.''
No. 20 Oklahoma State (6-2, 3-2) took possession at its own 19 with 2:44 remaining. Donovan Woods' 17-yard completion to Morency and the quarterback's two 3-yard rushes put the Cowboys in Ricks' range.
But the freshman, whose 28-yard field goal with 55 seconds left beat Missouri last week, pushed his kick wide left and Oklahoma ran out the clock. Ricks is now 0-for-3 on kicks of more than 40 yards.
``I was not very nervous about the field goal,'' Sooners linebacker Rufus Alexander said. ``If they make it, we go into overtime and play defense. We just wanted to win so we could get out of here.''
Bradley caught TD passes of 72, 23 and four yards _ all in the first half as Sooners quarterback Jason White used the passing game to burn a defense focused on stopping Peterson.
Peterson got rolling in the second half after Woods' 39-yard TD pass to Prentiss Elliott pulled Oklahoma State to 28-21.
Peterson broke loose from his own 20, spinning through a tackle, bursting through the line and sprinting away from the pack to push the lead back to 14.
``It's tough to believe he's a freshman,'' Miles said.
The Sooners leaned heavily on Peterson in the second half as White completed only one pass after halftime. Peterson had 196 yards in the second half, and his rushing used time in the fourth quarter.
White, the Heisman Trophy winner, finished 14-for-26 for 221 yards and three touchdowns.
The Sooners took a 21-14 halftime lead on White's 23-yard pass to Bradley, who was wide open in the corner of the end zone.
Bradley's 72-yard catch and run after he tipped the ball to himself on a crossing pattern pulled the Sooners even at 14. He also beat Cowboys safety Jon Holland for a 4-yard score in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead.
``They were dropping off in coverage, leaving the under routes wide open,'' White said. Bradley ``did a great job after he caught the ball,'' White said.
Oklahoma State took advantage of two Sooners special teams miscues to take its only lead, 14-7 in the second quarter.
Vernon Grant recovered a fumbled punt by Mark Clayton, who was in his first game returning punts for Oklahoma, at the Sooners 14. Two plays later, Woods scored from the 3.
Moments later, Sooners punter Blake Ferguson dropped the snap _ his second dropped snap in two weeks _ and Cowboys backup safety Grant Jones fell on it in the end zone after a scramble.
Clayton redeemed himself in the third quarter with a 50-yard punt return TD to put Oklahoma up 28-14.