Quarterback throws for 383 yards, 3 TDs as OU whips Nebraska
NORMAN -- Nebraska picked its poison, and Jason White served it on a crimson platter.
With the Oklahoma running game bottled up by a fast and furious Nebraska defense, White completed 29-of-35 passes for 383 yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 2-ranked Oklahoma to an easy 30-3 victory Saturday night at Owen Field.
White hooked up with 11 different receivers, including touchdowns to Willie Roberts, Brandon Jones and Mark Bradley. White, Big 12 player of the week after a five-touchdown performance at Texas A&M last week, wowed the record crowd of 84,916 by completing a school-record 18 consecutive passes (for 268 yards and three TDs) on a variety of throws. And it was Senior Day in Norman, a virtuoso performance by the decorated sixth-year senior.
"Last week I went through a pretty tough week with my grandfather passing away," White said. "Knowing that he was watching down on me, and being with my family on the field before the game was emotional."
Travis Wilson caught nine passes for 135 yards, both career- highs. OU gained 511 yards total offense to Nebraska's 274, with 140 of the Huskers' yards coming on their last two possessions.
In his last five games, White has thrown for 1,541 yards and 19 touchdowns with one interception.
"He's always been accurate," OU coach Bob Stoops said, "but he's playing, no question, right now these last five games, better than he ever has."
"He throws with a lot of precision," said Nebraska coach Bill Callahan. "He's special in every sense."
The Sooners (10-0 overall, 7-0 Big 12) clinched the Big 12 South Division for the fourth time in five years with their 19th straight home win.
OU, ranked No. 2 in both major polls and the Bowl Championship Series standings, tied a school record with a fifth consecutive 10-win season. Since the 2000 season, OU leads the nation with 58 wins, and the Sooners' 65 victories in five-plus seasons is a school record.
Nebraska fell to 5-5 overall and 3-4 in Big 12 play. It was OU's largest margin of victory in the series since a 45-10 win in 1990.
The Huskers avoided their first shutout in 102 games -- a 19-0 loss to Arizona State on Sept. 21, 1996 -- with a 39-yard field goal by David Dyches on the last play of the game, an ignominious finish to a chilly, rainy evening.
OU had been trying to tack on another touchdown -- "BCS points" is the catch phrase -- but turned the ball over on downs at the Nebraska 13 with 33 seconds to play. A 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct on the Sooner fans for throwing oranges onto the field preceded a 48-yard run by Steve Kriewald to the OU 22. Nebraska coach Bill Callahan called another run up the middle, then told quarterback Joe Dailey to spike the ball to stop the clock and set up the final play.
In the final analysis, the scenario might cost OU style points nationally.
"It's a really an odd position to be in. To be honest, I don't like being in that position," Stoops said. "But, that's the way it is."
Oklahoma finishes the regular season next week in Waco, Texas, against last-place Baylor, before meeting the Big 12 North champion -- possibly a Nebraska rematch -- on Dec. 4 in Kansas City. OU is hoping to remain at least No. 2 in the BCS standings, which determine the combatants in this year's BCS national championship game, the Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla.
No. 1 Southern Cal played Arizona on Saturday night, but the Sooners' top competition figures to come from No. 3 Auburn, which defeated No. 8 Georgia 24-6 earlier in the day.
One week after a wild 42-35 win at Texas A&M -- a team that ran virtually every conceivable trick play in the playbook in attempting the upset -- the Sooners this time faced a Nebraska team that routinely ran the ball on third-and-long, seldom threw deep and seemed content to get out of Norman by covering the 30-point spread. The game took 2-hours, 49-minutes to finish.
Callahan said the Huskers' game plan was "to win the game. . . . We were going to try to do our best to win the game."
Nebraska running back Cory Ross gained 130 yards on 30 carries before leaving the field in the fourth quarter with an injury. Ross became the first opponent all season to surpass 100 yards against the OU defense. The Huskers' 201 rushing yards was the most allowed by the Sooners all season.
But quarterback Joe Dailey, turnover prone much of the season, was seldom cut loose. Dailey completed 8-of-12 passes for 73 yards and was intercepted once -- by linebacker Gayron Allen.
The Nebraska defense schemed to stop Sooner freshman Adrian Peterson, who came into the game fifth nationally with a 152.6-yard-per-game rushing average. Peterson failed to crack 100 yards rushing for the first time in his young career, ending his NCAA freshman record streak at nine in a row. The record for 100-yard games by a freshman in a season is 10, and Peterson could tie that next week at Baylor.
Peterson dislocated his left shoulder last week at Texas A&M and deferred his starting position to junior Kejuan Jones. Peterson still carried 15 times for 58 yards, while Jones ran 14 times for 48 and a touchdown.
But with Nebraska ganging up on the OU running game, White feasted. He credited his receivers for making plays.
"I felt they were red hot," he said. "Not all of them balls were pretty and they made them look pretty. I felt like the passing game was clicking tonight because they took away the run."
John E. Hoover 581-8384
|Avg. Per Play||5.2||7.6|
How They Scored
|Nebraska||0||0||0||3 -- 3|
|Oklahoma||3||20||7||0 -- 30|
Attendance -- 84,916
Oklahoma 3, Nebraska 0
How: Trey DiCarlo 32-yard field goal, 8:16.
Drive: 68 yards, 14 plays, 6:44
Keys: Will Peoples 24-yard reception; Travis Wilson 8-yard reception on fourth down.
Oklahoma 9, Nebraska 0
How: Willie Roberts 13-yard pass from Jason White (kick failed), 10:55.
Drive: 70 yards, 11 plays, 4:31.
Keys: Mark Bradley 11-yard third-down catch; Mark Clayton 20-yard catch; Kellen Huston third-down pass interference.
Oklahoma 16, Nebraska 0
How: Kejuan Jones 1-yard run (DiCarlo kick), 8:03.
Drive: 31 yards, 2 plays, :24.
Keys: Gayron Allen interception; Bradley 30-yard reverse pass to Clayton.
Oklahoma 23, Nebraska 0
How: Brandon Jones 4-yard pass from White (DiCarlo kick), :59.
Drive: 83 yards, 9 plays, 4:03.
Keys: White 36- and 23-yard completions to Wilson, 22-yard screen to K. Jones.
Oklahoma 30, Nebraska 0
How: Bradley 23-yard pass from White (DiCarlo kick), 11:11
Drive: 79 yards, 5 plays, 2:12
Keys: Wilson hangs onto 23-yard catch over middle despite shot from Josh Bullocks; personal foul on Nebraska corner Lornell McPherson.
Oklahoma 30, Nebraska 3
How: David Dyches 39-yard field goal, 0:00
Drive: 66 yards, 4 plays, 0:33
Keys: Unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against OU; Steve Kriewald 48-yard run to OU 24.
Sept. 4: OU 40, BGSU 24
Sept. 11: OU 63, Houston 13
Sept. 18: OU 31, Oregon 7
Oct. 2: OU 28, Texas Tech 13
Oct. 9: OU 12, Texas 0
Oct. 16: OU 31, K-State 21
Oct. 23: OU 41, Kansas 10
Oct. 30: OU 38, OSU 35
Nov. 6: OU 42, Texas A&M 35
Nov. 13: OU 30, Nebraska 3
Nov. 27: OU at Baylor
Dec. 4: Big 12 Championship at Kansas City, Mo.