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Last minute Sooner TD beats back Buffs

10/26/2003

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- Clinging to a seven-point lead with just
two minutes remaining, Oklahoma had one more big play in its
arsenal.

Jason White threw a 59-yard touchdown pass to Mark Clayton with
1:59 left, and top-ranked Oklahoma survived a scare to beat
Colorado 34-20 Saturday night.

The Sooners (8-0, 4-0 Big 12) built a 27-7 third-quarter lead
before Colorado closed to 27-20 with two touchdowns in the fourth
quarter.

Facing a third-and-6 from their 41 with 2:13 remaining, White
hit Clayton along the left sideline, and the receiver cut back and
outraced the Colorado secondary for the clinching score. It was
White's third touchdown pass of the game and the second time he
hooked up with Clayton.

"Jason put it right there when he needed to, and Mark was
sensational," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "What a run, what a
catch. What execution, too.

"Our character was tested. Our toughness was tested. Our guys
stood in there and made the plays that made a difference."

White said the Sooners were "just looking to move the chains
and get a first down, stay in bounds and keep the clock moving. The
next thing I knew, Mark was in the end zone."

Clayton was surprised to be so open in the left flat.

"I turned around and saw a lot of grass," he said. "We needed
a play. That was big."

Oklahoma hosts in-state rival Oklahoma State next Saturday. The
Cowboys upset the Sooners each of the past two seasons.

Joel Klatt had three touchdown passes for Colorado (3-5, 1-3),
which entered the game with the worst scoring defense in the
country (40.1) but played the Sooners tough.

"I don't generally like moral victories," Colorado coach Gary
Barnett said. "But at this point in time, we've got to accept this
as one."

Colorado had surrendered more than 40 points to each of its last
five games, four of them losses.

"Our guys can walk away knowing they stood toe-to-toe with what
has been labeled the best team in the country," Barnett said,
"and they had a chance to win it."

Colorado, smothered by Oklahoma's defense for most of the second
and third quarters, pulled off a fake punt and a fake field goal on
a 76-yard scoring drive early in the fourth.

Punter John Torp's 20-yard run on the fake punt was Colorado's
initial first down rushing of the game. The Buffaloes also were
successful on a fake field goal when their pass was intercepted but
the Sooners were called for pass interference. Tailback Brian
Calhoun capped the drive, turning a short pass into a 21-yard
scoring play with 11:41 remaining.

The Buffaloes then went 61 yards in nine plays, with Klatt
passing 9 yards to Derek McCoy for the score with 5:03 left. Mason
Crosby's extra point was blocked by Brodney Pool, leaving the
Sooners with a 27-20 lead.

White and Clayton hooked up five plays later.

Oklahoma scored on its first two possessions en route to a 17-7
halftime lead.

The Sooners needed only 59 seconds and 2:29 to score their first
two touchdowns.

On the third play of their first possession, White hit a
wide-open Brandon Jones on a 54-yard touchdown pass barely three
minutes into the game.

After a Colorado punt, Renaldo Works broke off a 38-yard run,
with a face-mask penalty tacked on, putting Oklahoma at the
Colorado 17. After a pass-interference penalty against Colorado,
Works ran 2 yards for a 14-0 lead with 6:03 left in the first
quarter.

Colorado responded with a 56-yard, nine-play drive after Jeremy
Bloom returned a kickoff 36 yards to the Buffs' 44.

Klatt was 5-for-6 on the drive, including an 18-yarder to D.J.
Hackett, and capped it by finding Hackett on a 3-yard touchdown
throw.

The Buffaloes appeared primed to tie it after an Oklahoma
fumble, driving to the Sooners 8. But Daniel Jolly fumbled when hit
by Brandon Everage, and Oklahoma's Donte Nicholson recovered.

Later in the quarter, Trey DiCarlo kicked a 42-yard field goal.
Another Colorado penalty -- for pass interference -- helped set up
the kick.

Oklahoma took the second-half kickoff and marched 77 yards for a
20-yard field goal by DiCarlo.

After an exchange of turnovers, White capped a 39-yard drive
with a 15-yard scoring pass to Clayton, putting the Sooners up 27-7
with 1:37 left in the third quarter.