12:00 PM ET, October 16, 2004
Bill Snyder Stadium, MANHATTAN, KS
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- Jason White spent much of the week touting a young Oklahoma teammate for the Heisman Trophy.
On Saturday, he played -- with one exception -- like a front-runner for a second straight award of his own.
White threw what could have been a disastrous interception in the third quarter against Kansas State. But he rebounded to toss two clutch touchdown passes to Mark Clayton -- part of a four-TD day for White -- lifting No. 2 Oklahoma to a 31-21 victory over Kansas State.
"I knew I made a mistake but you wanted to make up for it," said White, who also threw two touchdown passes to Travis Wilson in the first half. "The pass game was there all day, and we had to take advantage of it."
Freshman Adrian Peterson added 130 yards rushing -- all but 26 of those after halftime -- and helped the Sooners (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) control the tempo in the fourth quarter. White is among those campaigning for Peterson to get Heisman consideration.
"If you've got a horse, you just keep feeding him," Kansas State cornerback Cedrick Williams said. "We tried to, but we just couldn't get the ball out of his hands."
Kansas State, which beat Oklahoma 35-7 for the Big 12 title a year ago, led three times Saturday but dropped to 2-4 overall and 0-3 in conference play for the first time since 2001.
"We are not finished and not focused all the way," wide receiver Jermaine Moreira said. "We're making a lot of little mistakes right now, and it's killing us."
A big mistake with just under 10 minutes left in the third quarter could have done in the Sooners.
White, who finished the game 20-for-31 for 256 yards, threw into the left flat on first down from his own 27. The pass went straight to linebacker Brandon Archer, who returned it 27 yards for a touchdown and a 21-17 Kansas State lead.
But White redeemed himself on Oklahoma's next possession, throwing a 15-yard scoring pass to Clayton for a 24-21 lead. Clayton's 8-yard TD catch made it 31-21 midway through the fourth quarter, capping a drive on which Peterson carried seven times for 46 yards.
"I had to be real patient," said Peterson, the only Oklahoma freshman to go over 100 yards in each of his first six games. "The guys kept me going and told me that it would open up."
Running back Darren Sproles was held largely in check both by Oklahoma's defense and Kansas State's pass-first game plan.
Sproles, who ran for 235 yards in the Big 12 title game last year, had 34 yards on only 13 carries. One of those carries was a botched halfback pass attempt in the first quarter, one snap before a turnover that slowed the Wildcats' early momentum.
"I'll do whatever I have to out there to help the team," said Sproles, who has not gone over 100 yards rushing in three Big 12 games this season. "But I would like the ball."
"We kept giving them different wrinkles with our blitzes," Sooners coach Bob Stoops said. "I'm really proud of our rush defense, too, to hold Sproles down like that."
Sproles tied former quarterback Ell Roberson's school record for career touchdowns with a 1-yard burst for a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Sooners, who went three-and-out on their first two possessions and had six penalties for 60 yards in the first 16 minutes, fell behind 14-7 on Dylan Meier's 38-yard pass to Yamon Figurs early in the second quarter. But on Oklahoma's next possession, White and Wilson hooked up twice for 55 yards, the last time on a 14-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-all.
Oklahoma took its first lead, 17-14, on Trey DiCarlo's 26-yard field goal with just more than three minutes left in the half.
Meier finished with 242 yards on 20-for-38 passing but left the game late in the fourth quarter after being knocked down hard by defensive ends Larry Birdine and Jonathan Jackson.
Meier lay on the field for several minutes after the sandwich hit and had to be helped off. He appeared dazed and blinking after the game and did not attend the team's interview session.
"He had too much pressure," Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. "I think he just got knocked around a little bit. We don't know about his health status yet."
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||8-17||4-14|
|4th Down Conversions||1-1||0-1|
|TD||9:25||DARREN SPROLES 1 YD RUN (JOE RHEEM KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 59 yards.
|TD||1:07||TRAVIS WILSON 17 YD PASS FROM JASON WHITE (TREY DICARLO KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 61 yards.
|TD||14:07||YAMON FIGURS 38 YD PASS FROM DYLAN MEIER (JOE RHEEM KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 79 yards.
|TD||10:27||TRAVIS WILSON 14 YD PASS FROM JASON WHITE (TREY DICARLO KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||3:12||TREY DICARLO 26 YD FG|
Drive info: 6 plays, 28 yards.
|TD||9:52||BRANDON ARCHER 27 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (JOE RHEEM KICK)||17||21|
|TD||5:25||MARK CLAYTON 15 YD PASS FROM JASON WHITE (TREY DICARLO KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 74 yards.
|TD||7:06||MARK CLAYTON 8 YD PASS FROM JASON WHITE (TREY DICARLO KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 78 yards.