NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Another strong showing by Oklahoma's
defense has the No. 2 Sooners another step closer to their goal of
a Big 12 title.
Colorado's Roderick Sneed fumbles the football after a hit by Oklahoma's Trey DiCarlo.
Chris Brown became the first back in four seasons to gain 100
yards against Oklahoma, but the Sooners came up with four turnovers
and turned back three fourth-quarter drives in a 27-11 victory over Colorado (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today, No. 13 AP) on Saturday.
Brown, the nation's leading rusher at 162.9 yards per game
coming in, needed 25 carries to gain 103 yards on a cold, sometimes
"He's a great player. He deserves his reputation,'' Oklahoma
coach Bob Stoops said. "We were fortunate to make our plays a part
of the time. He made his, but in the end to keep them to 11 points
is pretty special.''
With their third straight victory over a ranked team, the
Sooners (8-0, 4-0 Big 12) justified their position atop the Bowl
Championship Series ratings, which determine who will play for the
national title. Oklahoma also beat then-No. 3 Texas and then-No. 9
Nate Hybl threw three touchdown passes, all of them after
Colorado mistakes left him with a short field. The three TD drives
covered just 39, 24 and 9 yards.
Quentin Griffin ran for 128 yards on 21 carries and Kejuan Jones
had 82 yards on 20 carries for the Sooners, who had been 0-8-1
against Colorado since 1988.
In the first half, Colorado (6-3, 4-1) lost two fumbles, had a
pass intercepted, muffed a pooch kickoff and had a field goal
blocked. Oklahoma turned the mistakes into 17 points to lead 20-3
at halftime, and it could have been worse.
Colorado's first possession of the third quarter ended with an
interception by linebacker Teddy Lehman, who returned it 31 yards
to set up Hybl's third TD pass, making the score 27-3.
"It's the same story all year,'' defensive tackle Kory Klein
said. "No one is waiting on anyone else. Someone steps up and
makes the big play. That's the kind of defense we have.''
Colorado made it 27-11 late in the third quarter on a 12-yard
run by Bobby Purify and a 2-point conversion pass. The Buffaloes
came up empty in the fourth after driving to the Oklahoma 23, 8 and
10 -- they missed a field goal the first time and turned the ball
over on downs twice.
"We dug ourselves in a hole real fast,'' Colorado coach Gary
Barnett said. "It was a hole we couldn't get out of against a good
team. We had a chance to be out of that game and we really weren't
until the last four or five minutes.''
Hybl threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Antwone Savage to
complete Oklahoma's first drive, which started at the Colorado
39-yard line after a fumble by Brown. Hybl also hit Mark Clayton on
two scoring passes, a 17-yarder in the second quarter and a
12-yarder in the third.
Hybl was 10-of-25 for 105 yards and two interceptions. Robert
Hodge of Colorado was 18-of-37 for 174 yards and two interceptions.
Oklahoma couldn't stand prosperity early. The Sooners missed a
31-yard field goal in the first quarter after taking over at the
Buffaloes' 32 following a fumble recovery. In the second quarter,
they settled for a field goal after Brandon Everage returned an
interception 64 yards to the Colorado 14.
Just before halftime, Oklahoma took over at midfield after
blocking a field goal. The Sooners eventually had first-and-10 from
the 22 but went nowhere and wound up missing a 39-yard field goal.
"I'm sure they felt they had given us some,'' Stoops said. "We
felt we had given them some breaks too, by not maybe capitalizing a
little more on some of the field position we got through
Brown is the first back to top 100 yards against Oklahoma since
Deuce McAllister of Mississippi did it in the 1999 Independence
Bowl, a span of 33 games.