No. 16 Oklahoma 36, Baylor 10
Saturday, November 18th 2006, 2:20 pm
By: News On 6
WACO, Texas (AP) Bob Stoops isn't having a tough time dealing with Oklahoma's turnovers, not when the players making the mistakes are also scoring touchdowns.
Plus, the 16th ranked Sooners have a 6 game winning streak and are still in contention for the Big 12 South title after overcoming 5 miscues Saturday in a 36-10 victory at Baylor.
"I thought we played well. We executed. That's the pleasing part," Stoops said. "There's a bunch of young guys that are moving the football in a good way. ... If we can learn to finish with two hands and not let the ball go, we'll be in great shape."
Malcolm Kelly had a touchdown catch and an incredible grab to keep alive another scoring drive by Oklahoma (9-2, 6-1 Big 12). But the sophomore was running down the sideline on his way to another apparent long TD play when he dropped the ball trying to fend off a defender.
Reggie Smith, another sophomore, returned 1 of his 2 interceptions 42 yards for a touchdown and set up another TD with his other. Third-string freshman tailback Chris Brown ran 24 times for 169 yards and a score.
But Baylor (4-8, 3-5) got its only scores after fumbles by Smith (who lost 2 punt returns) and Brown.
"We are young, but we know better than that," said Brown, whose fumble in the fourth quarter was returned for Baylor's only touchdown.
"I guess it's a good day because of a win," Kelly said. "But we need more self discipline. ... Securing the ball more than anything."
Oklahoma has won all 16 games in its series against Baylor that dates back to 1901.
The Sooners, who have a Stoops-era low 11 seniors, got an unexpected reprieve in the Big 12 race when Texas was upset at Kansas State last weekend. If the Longhorns lose again Friday against Texas A&M, the Sooners could win the South title by beating their state rival, Oklahoma State, the next day.
"I think there will be a lot of us cheering for A&M," defensive end Alonzo Dotson said.
Texas was the last team to beat Oklahoma, so the Longhorns have the division tiebreaker if both teams win, or lose, their regular season finales.
Dotson had 2 of Oklahoma's 5 sacks, including a safety against Blake Szymanski in Oklahoma's 23-point outburst in the first 9 1/2 minutes after halftime.
Kelly fumbled at the end of a 57-yard gain in the 1st quarter. That was 1 of 3 turnovers by the Sooners in the 1st half, when their only 2 touchdowns came only 69 seconds apart.
The next catch for Kelly was his 21-yard TD on the opening possession after halftime. Kelly finished with 5 catches for 115 yards, a week after he tied the school record with 11 catches.
After Dotson's safety, Juaquin Iglesias returned the ensuing free kick 88 yards for a TD to make it 36-3 with 5:30 left in the 3rd quarter.
"We couldn't find any rhythm. We were just really out of synch," Baylor coach Guy Morriss said. "That was probably the best defense we've seen. I know it was the fastest."
Baylor was held to a season-low 140 total yards, with minus-48 yards rushing, the lowest ever by the Bears and the second-best effort ever by Oklahoma.
The Sooners had 236 yards rushing even with Adrian Peterson still sidelined with a broken collarbone and Allen Patrick missing his second straight game with a sore ankle. Brown made his first start after scoring twice in the 4th quarter of last week's comeback victory over Texas Tech.
Paul Thompson (12-19 for 178 yards) threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Joe Jon Finley with 5:23 left in the 1st quarter, on the drive that Kelly had two 3rd down catches. After a 15-yard grab for a down, Kelly was cutting across the middle on another 3rd down when he reached back to make a one-handed grab of a pass thrown behind him.
Baylor then had only two plays before Smith's interception return made it 13-0.
Smith's botched punt on the ensuing possession was recovered by Braelon Davis at the Oklahoma 24. Ryan Havens kicked a 38-yard field goal.
Davis also recovered the fumble by Kelly, when he dropped the ball at the Baylor 10, and returned the fumble by Brown 56 yards for a touchdown.
Szymanski, the freshman starter who lost the last three games after record-setting starter Shawn Bell tore a knee ligament, was 22-45 for 188 yards with the 2 interceptions. He lost 61 yards on the 5 sacks.
"Losing Shawn hurt us because he was our leader," Morriss said. "At the same time, though, you can find a million excuses for losing."
The Bears finished their 11th straight losing season, their fourth under Morriss.