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Archive for Sunday, November 24, 2002

Roundup: OU wins South

Sooners smack Texas Tech, 60-15

November 24, 2002

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— Oklahoma left no doubt about who's best in the Big 12 South.

The fourth-ranked Sooners controlled the ball with Quentin Griffin and harassed Kliff Kingsbury from start to finish in Saturday night's 60-15 victory over No. 24 Texas Tech.

Griffin ran for 207 yards and three touchdowns - his seventh straight 100-yard game and third 200-yard game of the season - as Oklahoma (10-1, 6-1) won the South Division title.

Kingsbury came in averaging 371 yards passing a game, but he was just 15-of-35 for a season-low 187 yards - 67 of those on a fourth-quarter touchdown. Oklahoma's defense forced two safeties, sacked Kingsbury six times and intercepted him twice.

"Everyone's talked for three weeks about how they've scored 50, 60 points, and we hold them to one touchdown, really a meaningless one at the end of the game," coach Bob Stoops said. "Just another spectacular performance by the defense."

The Sooners finish the regular season next week against Oklahoma State, then play No. 16 Colorado for the conference title on Dec. 7. Oklahoma beat Colorado 27-11 on Nov. 2, and the winner of next month's game gets a berth in a BCS game.

Texas Tech (8-5, 5-3) had won three straight games to get in position to play for the South title. But the Red Raiders had no answers for Griffin, or Oklahoma's defense, in their worst loss of the season.

"That's the best defense I've seen in four years," Kingsbury said. "They just beat us in all phases of the game."

Oklahoma's defense had been subpar in the past two weeks, allowing four TD passes in a loss to Texas A&M and then playing only so-so against Baylor. But the unit was back in form Saturday, holding the Red Raiders 24 points and nearly 270 yards below their average.

"It's all about making him throw the short pass, rallying to it and tackling good and putting pressure on the quarterback," linebacker Teddy Lehman said. "We did all that today."

Kingsbury's worst game this year had been a 268-yard effort in a loss to Colorado on Oct. 26. He is 0-3 against Oklahoma since beating them as a freshman in 1999, and the Red Raiders haven't scored more than 15 in any of those three games.

The Red Raiders had 12 yards and no first downs in the first quarter. They crossed midfield only once in the first half and were outgained 263-64. For the game, Oklahoma had a 478-236 edge in total offense.

Griffin's highlight-reel 62-yard touchdown run on the second possession gave Oklahoma a 14-0 lead and made it clear the Red Raiders were in for a long night.

"They played with great tempo early," said Tech coach Mike Leach. "They didn't really have any secrets. We kind of started playing on our heels and stayed on our heels."

Connecticut 37, Iowa State 20

Ames, Iowa - Dan Orlovsky threw three touchdown passes and freshman Terry Caulley rushed for 191 yards as Connecticut earned its biggest victory in Division I-A. Connecticut (6-6), finishing the season with a four-game winning streak, scored 27 straight points after trailing 20-10 to stun a team that had been ranked ninth nationally in mid-October. Iowa State (7-6) lost five of its last six after a 6-1 start. All of the Cyclones' previous losses had been to teams in the Top 25. Caulley carried 32 times in rolling up a season-high rushing total and finished the season with 1,247 yards. Orlovsky was 20-of-38 for 233 yards and one interception.

Oklahoma State 63, Baylor 28

Stillwater, Okla. - Josh Fields passed for four touchdowns and rushed for another as Oklahoma State qualified for a bowl game. Tatum Bell rushed for 106 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries as the Cowboys (6-5, 4-3 Big 12) beat the Bears (3-9, 1-7) in Baylor coach Kevin Steele's final game. The Cowboys assured themselves their first non-losing season and gave themselves a chance for their first postseason appearance since 1997, when they went to the Alamo Bowl and finished 8-4. They're not guaranteed a bowl berth because nine Big 12 teams are eligible for eight conference bids. A victory next weekend over No. 4 Oklahoma, whom they stunned 16-13 last year, would bolster the Cowboys' chances. Steele, who was fired Nov. 3, completes four seasons at Baylor with a 9-36 record and just one conference victory.

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