OU football notebook: Bouncing back
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Sunday, November 04, 2012
11/04/12 at 4:47 AM
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Oklahoma was being watched closely this weekend following an emotional loss to Notre Dame.
Just as it has done for the past 20 games, the Sooners avoided losing a game following a regular-season loss, a streak dating back to 2004.
"That's part of who we are as a team," OU fullback Trey Millard said. "We know that some of the goals are still out there and could happen if some things go in the right direction ... we just want to put ourselves in the best (position) we can and we have to come out and play well every weekend to do that."
Turning point: The Sooners appeared content to allow the second-quarter clock to evaporate before Brennan Clay's 9-yard run with less than a minute remaining gave the Sooners some momentum before halftime.
Landry Jones then found Justin Brown with a 40-yard pass, followed by a 21-yard touchdown strike to Kenny Stills with 14 seconds remaining.
"We always say that if we get a first down, we're going fast and we can get some shots," OU coach Bob Stoops said. "We got in a hurry-up mode and found some big plays."
Brown's breakout game: Brown set career highs with seven receptions and 107 receiving yards, including the 40-yard reception before halftime.
"We knew we had a size advantage," quarterback Landry Jones said of the deep ball. "Their guys were a little bit smaller and I knew they were going to play hard.
"I wouldn't say we expected to make big plays on them, but we thought if we got the ball in the air, we could go and make plays on them."
Brown's performance marked the fifth time for a different OU player to get at least 100 receiving yards in a game this year, which has only been done by OU in the 2001 and 2008 seasons.
Injury update: Damien Williams and Lane Johnson entered Saturday's game listed as questionable. Williams received his first carry in the first quarter while Tyrus Thompson started in place of Johnson for the Sooners.
Johnson tested his ankle during pregame warmups before a final decision was made.
Bronson Irwin also had a slight ankle injury, but returned to the game.
"Bronson battled back," OU offensive line coach James Patton said. "He just stung that ankle. It's an ongoing process and it will be for the rest of the season. Lane is the same way. Lane warmed up, but didn't feel real good."
Williams ended with three carries for 7 yards.
Up and down day: OU dominated the Cyclones offense in the first half, allowing just 84 yards. There were more breakdowns in the second half, but Iowa State was still held to 290 yards.
"I thought we were OK. I thought we were decent," Sooners defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. "The first half, we didn't give up (touchdowns) off the turnovers."
OU's defense was put in two tough spots after a pair of Jones interceptions, but just allowed two field goals.
Dominance continued: Oklahoma won for the 14th consecutive time against Iowa State and has won 21 consecutive in Ames.
Chasing history: Bob Stoops tied Bud Wilkinson on OU's career victory list by capturing his 145th career victory.
The two coaches are tied for second. Barry Switzer has the school record with 157 victories.
"I've got the greatest respect for what Coach Wilkinson did," Stoops said. "The stories I hear from his players ... I'm very proud to be at a place that he sort of, I wanna say built."