Mistakes costly for Oklahoma

Saturday, October 7th 2006, 11:46 am
By: News On 6

DALLAS (AP) _ When Oklahoma needed a big play the most, all it could come up with was one mistake after another.

With four fourth-quarter turnovers, No. 14 Oklahoma turned a possible comeback into certain defeat. First, Juaquin Iglesias let the ball squirt out of his arms in the red zone. Then Adrian Peterson hesitated as a toss from quarterback Paul Thompson _ ruled to be a lateral _ bounded toward the end zone and was recovered by Aaron Ross for a touchdown.

And finally Thompson threw two interceptions to seal the loss to 28-10 loss in the Red River Shootout. He called the giveaways and a season-high 11 penalties for 72 yards ``self-inflicted wounds.''

``It'd be different if we came out there and they were making big plays and stuff like that. But when you do it to yourself, that does make it hurt more,'' Iglesias said. ``You can't do that, especially with a good team like Texas.''

Gone now are the Sooners' chances at a national title, whatever was left of them after a loss to Oregon. The Sooners can't blame the officials for this one.

``I'm disappointed because no one really knows our potential, I feel, like our team does,'' receiver Malcolm Kelly said. ``And we definitely didn't show it today.''

The five turnovers were the Sooners' most since a 55-19 loss to Southern California in the Orange Bowl two seasons ago, with the BCS title on the line.

``We just have to be strong enough and take care of the football,'' coach Bob Stoops said. ``If I had the answer for it, I'd sell it.''

Texas defensive coordinator Gene Chizik said he thought his team's physical play helped create the turnovers.

``I think any time that you're trying to play physical all game long, that eventually the ball comes out on the ground,'' Chizik said. ``If you're not playing physical, it's hard to get those balls out.''

With Texas trailing 10-7 at halftime, Chizik said coaches challenged the Longhorns players to play more physical down the stretch.

``We just had to make them very aware that today as the game goes on, they have to become more physical because that's what Adrian Peterson does,'' Chizik said. ``He gets stronger as the game goes. That's what we kept telling them.''

Oklahoma actually outgained Texas 333-232, but the Longhorns never turned the ball over and had about one-fourth as many penalties as the Sooners.

``It feels like we moved the ball real well, but turnovers and penalties just killed us,'' said Peterson, who was at least partially responsible for two of the turnovers _ a fumble at the end of the first quarter and the lateral from Thompson that he thought was an incomplete pass.

Of the Sooners' penalties, seven came before the ball was even snapped _ five false starts and two offsides.

``That's just mental,'' Thompson said. ``I don't think that really depends on who we're going against. I think that definitely was mental. ... Those are the type of mistakes that we can prevent and we weren't able to.''