Sooners pick off Leaf with 33 seconds left to secure win

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Leave it to a Leaf.

Brady Leaf has steered clear of older brother Ryan's legacy of
boorish behavior, but he couldn't evade another of his sibling's
other traits -- throwing interceptions.

Oklahoma linebacker Clint Ingram made a leaping interception of
Leaf's pass at the 10-yard line with 33 seconds left in the Holiday
Bowl to preserve the Sooners' 17-14 upset of the No. 6 Oregon Ducks
on Thursday night.

"It was a good call, I just underthrew the ball a little bit,"
said Leaf, who had moved the Ducks into position to win it. "There
is not much more to it. Ingram made a nice play."

Ingram missed the call for a blitz on second-and-9, so he was in
position to get in front of Demetrius Williams for the pickoff.

"This was the biggest play that I've ever made in any sport,"
Ingram said. "Everything we've gone through, everyone made plays
and I just made the last one."

Leaf said he saw Ingram.

"I just tried to put it up and take some trajectory off it a
little bit to try and get the ball to him quicker and I just didn't
get it high enough."

Said Oregon coach Mike Bellotti: "I'm proud we came back and
had a chance to win this game, not just tie it up. We just didn't
make the play right there."

Leaf had thrown a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tim Day
with 3:30 left to pull the Ducks to 17-14.

Oregon's defense held, and Leaf began another drive at his 22
with 3:04 to play. He threw a 38-yard pass to Terrence Whitehead,
who zigzagged to the Oklahoma 34. On third-and-14 from the 39, Leaf
rolled right, was flushed back to the left and dodged a tackler
before side-arming a pass to Jeremiah Johnson for a 19-yard gain.

The interception came two plays later.

"As soon as I saw him go up for the ball I knew it wasn't going
to be dropped," coach Bob Stoops said. "He doesn't drop balls."

Leaf was booed when he came in for Oregon's third possession of
the game, and again when a scoreboard graphic noted that he was
Ryan Leaf's younger brother. Ryan Leaf, the bad-boy quarterback who
played for the Chargers for three seasons, was perhaps the biggest
bust in NFL history.

"I tried to block that stuff out," Leaf said. "I'm not trying
to pay attention to the crowd too much, I'm focused on the team. I
was just trying to get them a win."

Brady Leaf had helped rally the Ducks (10-2) in three of their
final four regular-season games.

The Sooners (8-4) have won six of seven. They were coming off
consecutive losses in BCS championship games.

It appeared the Ducks and Sooners would play the lowest-scoring
Holiday Bowl ever. It turned out to be the second-lowest. The
Holiday Bowl has a reputation of wild finishes and high scores,
with an average of 57 points being scored in the first 27 editions.
In the last five Holiday Bowls, the teams combined for an average
of 67 points.

Oregon led 7-3 after the lowest-scoring first half in Holiday
Bowl history, but its offense was a no-show for most of the second

Leaf finally got it going on a 13-play, 78-yard drive that was
extended when Oklahoma's Eric Bassey was called for pass
interference on a fake field goal. Leaf, the holder for placements,
took the snap and threw to Day, who collided with Bassey at the
three. One play later, Leaf hit Day for the 3-yard TD.

Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson heated up in the second half,
finishing with 84 yards on 23 carries.

Rhett Bomar threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to fullback J.D.
Runnells for a 10-7 Oklahoma lead with 9:20 to play in the third

Late in the third, Peterson's backup, Kejuan Jones, scored on an
8-yard run to make it 17-7. Peterson softened the Ducks with three
bruising carries on the drive for 36 yards, including a 20-yard
gain when he leveled safety J.D. Nelson.

Peterson apparently needed stitches in his forehead in the third
quarter after he hit it on the back of a teammate's helmet while
celebrating a big play. He was treated on the bench, and when he
stood up, had a big bandage on his forehead.

Peterson fumbled on the Oregon 1 early in the fourth quarter
trying to stretch for the end zone.

Oregon at least had the spirit of the Holiday Bowl on its first
possession, running two trick plays and then going for it on fourth
down before failing to convert. Matt Dragich gained 20 yards on a
fake punt before wide receiver Garren Strong threw a pass down the
left sideline to quarterback Dennis Dixon, who dropped it.

After taking over on downs, Oklahoma settled for Garrett
Hartley's 34-yard field goal.

Oregon came back and made it 7-3 on Demetrius Williams' 5-yard
touchdown run on an end-around.

Bomar was 17-of-30 for 229 yards, with one interception. Leaf
was 14-of-24 for 136 yards. Oregon starter Dennis Dixon was
11-of-19 for 107 yards.


ESPN Fan Shop Powered By

  • Nike Men's Oregon Ducks Apple Green/Yellow Team Issue Performance PoloShop

  • Nike Men's Oklahoma Sooners Crimson/Grey Team Issue Performance PoloShop