7:00 PM ET, September 11, 2004
Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, NORMAN, OK
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Jason White was on the run, his passes were on the mark and No. 2 Oklahoma was on a roll.
White threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns, Antonio Perkins tied the NCAA record with his eighth career punt return for a score and the Sooners cruised to a 63-13 victory over Houston on Saturday night.
White showed his improved mobility by evading the pass rush and finding receivers while on the run. He was in sync with his receivers all night, completing 14 of 18 passes without an interception.
"He's a great player on the run," Sooners coach Bob Stoops said. "You can see he's more difficult to get a hold of now than a year ago."
The Heisman Trophy winner hit Brandon Jones in stride for a 40-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. White also found Travis Wilson in the back of the end zone for a 7-yard TD pass. White played the Sooners' first drive of the second half before being replaced by freshman Tommy Grady.
White, who had minor surgery on his right knee and also had time for his broken left foot to heal in the offseason, has said he feels completely healthy this season.
White's mobility was most evident on a scramble in the first quarter that helped set up the Sooners' first touchdown. Pressured out of the pocket, White scrambled beyond the right hash mark, reversed field and ran to the left as he delivered a 34-yard pass to Mark Clayton to put Oklahoma at the 1 yard line. Kejuan Jones scored on the next play to tie it at 7.
"Jason's got a whole new set of legs," receiver Mark Bradley said. "With him being able to move around, it gives us a little bit more confidence. He scrambled a couple of times, found Mark Clayton. That's another advantage that we've got with Jason this year."
Following a 3-yard touchdown run by Jackie Battle for Houston (0-2) on its opening drive, the Sooners scored touchdowns on each of their first seven possessions to take a 49-7 halftime lead. Trey DiCarlo missed a 47-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to end the string.
"As a whole, our offense is getting on track," White said. "We're starting to click a little bit."
Perkins put Oklahoma (2-0) ahead 42-7 with his record-tying return. After fielding Justin Laird's line-drive punt, Perkins headed up the right side of the field, shed two tacklers at the 25 and cut across the field on his way to a 41-yard return.
Perkins tied Texas Tech's Wes Welker for the NCAA career punt return mark. Perkins already holds the NCAA records for punt return touchdowns in a game (three) and a season (four).
"You only get a couple of chances a game to touch the ball, so I try to make the most of it when I do," Perkins said.
Jones and Adrian Peterson each had two short TD runs for the Sooners.
Jones scored on 1-yard runs on consecutive drives to give Oklahoma a 14-7 lead midway through the first quarter. The game started snowballing Oklahoma's way when Battle fumbled on Houston's next possession and the Sooners scored on the following play with a 41-yard touchdown run on a reverse by receiver Mark Bradley.
White finished the Sooners' next two drives with touchdown passes.
Peterson, the top-rated high school recruit, made several flashy moves, including two stutter steps on a 7-yard scoring run in the second quarter. Peterson, who last week became the first Oklahoma running back to rush for 100 yards as a freshman, also scored on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter and finished with 117 yards on 25 carries.
"College is a different level of play," Peterson said. "It's not like the way I used to be able to run over everybody. I had to put some moves on them."
Clayton caught five passes -- all to convert third downs -- for 122 yards and Wilson caught two touchdown passes.
Kevin Kolb completed 15 of 22 passes for 221 yards for Houston. His first throw gained 63 yards when Oklahoma left Kendall Briles, coach Art Briles' son, uncovered on a short slant pattern and Briles took off downfield. Oklahoma extended the drive when Dusty Dvoracek jumped into the neutral zone on fourth-and-1 and Battle ran it in for the score on the next play.
Ryan Gilbert added a 1-yard touchdown run for Houston late in the fourth quarter.