No. 8 Oklahoma 21, No. 19 Nebraska 7

Saturday, December 2nd 2006, 11:01 pm
By: News On 6

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Oklahoma's ground game got the 8th-ranked Sooners to the Big 12 title game. The Sooners went to the air to reach the Bowl Championship Series.

Paul Thompson threw 2 touchdown passes to Malcolm Kelly and led the longest scoring drive in Big 12 championship history, leading Oklahoma to a 21-7 victory over #19 Nebraska on Saturday night.

Kelly's 142 yards receiving on 10 catches broke the previous title game record of 140 yards, set by Kansas State's Darnell McDonald in 1998.

The Sooners (11-2), who forced 5 turnovers, another championship game record, won their fourth Big 12 title and earned a berth in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Day. Strong safety Reggie Smith had 2 of Oklahoma's takeaways, including a fumble recovery that set up the Sooners' first score.

The Cornhuskers (9-4), who were in the conference championship game for the first time since 1999, will play in the Cotton Bowl, also on January 1st.

Backed up at his own 1 in the 3rd quarter, with Oklahoma clinging to a 14-7 lead and Nebraska building momentum with every defensive stop, Thompson was 6-8 for 95 yards on an 11-play, 99-yard drive. It ended with his 3-yard pass to Kelly that made it 21-7.

The Sooners also picked up the fastest score in Big 12 title game history when Allen Patrick scored on a 2-yard run just 48 seconds in.

On the game's first play from scrimmage, Marcus Walker stripped the ball from Nebraska wide receiver Maurice Purify after a short gain. Smith scooped up the ball near the sideline and returned it to the 2.

Later in the 1st quarter, Thompson hit Kelly for a 66-yard touchdown that put the Sooners up 14-0.

Nebraska cut it to 14-7 in the 2nd quarter, when Andrew Shanle's interception set up Zac Taylor's 14-yard TD pass to Hunter Teafatiller.