No. 2 Oklahoma 35, No. 3 Texas 24
DALLAS -- Oklahoma RB Quentin Griffin ran for 248 yards on 32 carries and scored two touchdowns ó one on an alert recovery of a teammateís fumble and another on a 17-yard run ó that sealed the second-ranked Sooners' 35-24 victory against No. 3 Texas. A sellout crowd of 75,587 packed the historic Cotton Bowl to watch the Sooners prevail for the third year in a row in the 97-game series.
Oklahoma QB Nate Hybl threw three interceptions and the Longhorns scored after each one and held a 17-11 advantage midway through the third quarter. However, as the Longhorns had difficulty moving the ball in the second half, Griffin and the Sooners were nearly unstoppable.
OU scored 24 unanswered points and held the Longhorns without a first down for more than 25 minutes in the second half. UT got a first down on its second play of the third quarter, then didnít get another until there was 2:43 left in the game. In between, the Horns went from being ahead 14-11 to trailing 35-17.
OUís rally got going in earnest following a third interception by senior QB Chris Simms.
Hybl threw a third-and-goal pass from the UT 6-yard line to Will Peoples in the right flat. Junior MLB Reed Boyd forced the ball out just shy of the goal line, but Griffin was right there to scoop it up and run in untouched for a touchdown to give OU a 21-17 lead early in the fourth quarter.
The Sooners scored again on their next possession, getting a 3-yard TD run by true freshman RB Kejuan Jones after Hybl and Peoples connected on another clutch play.
Then it was back to Griffin. On the next drive, he carried on all four plays and scored from 17 yards out to extend the Soonersí lead to 35-17.
Griffin ran for 117 yards on just nine carries in the first quarter against a UT defense that hadnít allowed a 100-yard runner all season. He was held to 29 yards in the middle two quarters but had 102 on 13 attempts in the final period.
Griffinís success on the ground should have made things easier for Hybl, but the senior signal caller struggled.
After not throwing an interception in his last 148 passes entering the contest, he was picked off on his fifth, 13th and 19th throws. He finished the game 12-of-29 for 131 yards and four interceptions.
Simms, who finished the afternoon 12-of-26 for 156 yards and three interceptions, scored on a 1-yard plunge following Hyblís first interception and Hybl's second pick was returned 73 yards by senior CB Rod Babers for a 14-3 UT lead.
Antwone Savage returned the ensuing kickoff 81 yards to the Texas 16-yard line and the Longhorns helped keep the drive alive with a false start penalty on fourth-and-2. Hybl then threw a 3-yard TD pass to Trent Smith and followed with a two-point conversion pass to Curtis Fagan to make it 14-11 at halftime.
Hybl again proved to be UTís best offensive weapon as his third interception put the Longhorns on the Oklahoma 21-yard line. They settled for a 36-yard third quarter field goal by sophomore PK Dusty Mangum to go up 17-11.
A 37-yard field goal by Trey DiCarlo with 3:38 remaining in the quarter got the Sooners back within three at 17-14.
Simms scored Texasí final touchdown with 1:58 left in the game on another 1-yard dive late in the game, but the Sooners ran out the clock for the 11-point victory.
Redshirt freshman DB Cedric Griffin paced the Longhorns defense with a career-high 15 tackles, while junior FS Dakarai Pearson added 12 stops and a pair of interceptions. Sophomore LB Derrick Johnson registered 12 tackles and junior DE Kalen Thornton had a season-high 10.
The Sooners have their first three-game win streak in the rivarly since winning four in a row from 1985-88, but Texas leads the all-time series, 55-37-6.