7:00 PM ET, October 4, 2003
Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, IA
AMES, Iowa (AP) -- Jason White and a dominating defense made top-ranked Oklahoma's tuneup for Texas look easy.
White tied a school record with five touchdown passes while throwing for a career-high 384 yards, Mark Bradley returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and Oklahoma smothered Iowa State's offense in a 53-7 win Saturday night.
The Sooners (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) piled up 613 yards in their third straight game with more than 50 points and now can turn full attention to their annual showdown with No. 13 Texas in Dallas next Saturday.
"I do like the way we played," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "Everyone all week wanted to talk upset and us not being ready to play and looking forward to Texas. That's not the case.
"Our guys understood they have to play ... and they want to play well when they play."
The Sooners certainly did that in this one.
Iowa State (2-3, 0-1) played stout defense early and kept Oklahoma out of the end zone on its first three possession. But the Cyclones couldn't get any pressure on White and eventually were done in by the Sooners' speed.
There was no better example than White's short flip to Will Peoples on a screen pass. Peoples simply outran the defense to complete a 45-yard scoring play that made it 29-0 early in the second half.
White also threw scoring passes of 24 and 12 yards to Mark Clayton, 15 yards to Jejuan Rankins and 39 yards to Bradley. White finished 26-of-34 with completions to 10 receivers and no interceptions.
"I'm the luckiest guy in America," said White, who has battled back from torn ligaments in both knees. "I'm surrounded by great players. All I have to do is do my job and they are going to do the rest. It showed tonight."
White had the fourth best single-game yardage total in school history and the five TD passes matched the OU record held by Josh Heupel. Heupel twice threw five TD passes in a game in 1999. White's previous best for yardage was 343 against Baylor in 2001.
He left the game after his second touchdown pass to Clayton, which came with 12:18 left.
"We dinked a little bit and then we took our shots," White said. "They dropped a lot of people off and we took what they were giving us."
And then there was that Oklahoma defense, ranked fifth nationally going in. Iowa State's first 14 plays produced only 19 yards and the Cyclones managed just 234 yards for the game.
The swarming Sooners harassed Iowa State's redshirt freshman quarterback, Austin Flynn, from the outset. Flynn was 6-of-17 for 88 yards, was intercepted twice and sacked six times.
"We made a lot of mistakes," ISU receiver Jack Whitver said. "A lot of times we were in second and long and third and long. We just didn't make plays. There's no one out there on offense that can say they played a good game as far as I'm concerned."
Iowa State avoided being shut out for the first time in 136 games when JaMaine Billups returned an interception off reserve Paul Thompson 77 yards for a touchdown with 10:48 left.
The Cyclones' celebration was short lived. Bradley fielded the kickoff at the goal line, sprinted up the middle, cut toward the right sideline at midfield and easily outran the pursuit to make it 46-7.
"I caught the ball and just took off," Bradley said. "I give the blockers a lot of credit for making that run. I wouldn't have been able to do it with them."
Oklahoma's outstanding punt returner and starting cornerback, Antonio Perkins, was helped off the field after being tackled with 8:20 left, but Stoops said he was OK.
Iowa State tried everything it could to get something going against the Sooners, including a fake punt and a halfback pass.
Running back Michael Wagner's 39-yard completion to Lance Young was Iowa State's longest gain of the night. Punter Tony Yelk completed a pass to linebacker Nik Moser that would have gone for a first down, but an illegal-procedure penalty nullified the play and the Cyclones had to kick it away.
Oklahoma promptly zipped 79 yards in eight plays to take a 9-0 lead on White's pass to Rankins, who caught the ball at the 5, broke two tackles and squirted into the end zone.
A fumble led to Oklahoma's next score. Defensive tackle Tommie Harris raced upfield to knock the ball loose from receiver Jack Whitver, who was fighting for extra yards, and Derrick Strait recovered for the Sooners at the Cyclones 39.
On the next play, Bradley got behind Ellis Hobbs and Marc Timmons and hauled in White's perfectly thrown pass in the end zone.
Oklahoma made it 22-0 after forcing a punt late in the first half and driving to the Iowa State 24. White slipped as he dropped back to pass but regained his balance and threw a straight-line strike to Clayton in the end zone with 28 seconds left in the half.
"Jason White was exceptional," Stoops said. "You cannot play much better. I know Jason and the thing he's excited about is the way our team is playing. He's worked hard for this. He's playing in a great way."