12:00 PM ET, October 9, 2004
Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, NORMAN, OK
DALLAS (AP) -- The Oklahoma Sooners found a new way to devastate the Texas Longhorns.
Slowly. Painfully. And with a freshman plucked from East Texas doing most of the damage.
In just his fifth college game, Adrian Peterson ran for 225 yards and made many big plays when No. 2 Oklahoma needed it most, helping the Sooners grind out a 12-0 victory over No. 5 Texas and stretch their winning streak in the storied rivalry to five straight.
The Longhorns were in it until the end, but still suffered some stinging embarrassment -- getting shut out for the first time since November 1980, a run of 281 games that was the longest in the country.
As the final seconds ticked off, crimson-clad fans chanted "Five in a row! Five in a row!" and flashed their hands open to show off five fingers. Then came what's become the typical postgame scene, an Oklahoma player planting an oversized school flag at midfield while the Sooner Schooner takes a victory lap.
Peterson was in the middle of it all, even getting passed by center Vince Carter running with the flag. Surrounded by television cameras and grateful teammates, Peterson probably never felt better about his decision to spurn his lifelong support of the Longhorns and join the Sooners.
"I was looking forward to this game," Peterson said. "It was a really good experience for me."
The Sooners (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) won two of the previous four meetings with early, ugly blowouts, scoring into the 60s both times. In the other two, seniors made key plays in the fourth quarter to win by 11.
This time -- before a crowd of 79,587, biggest in the series' 99-game history -- it was the youngster from Palestine who made the difference.
Peterson showed he was going to be a force from his second carry, a 44-yard burst.
Although he never reached the end zone, his 32 carries went a long way toward setting up all three Oklahoma scores, two short field goals and a 6-yard touchdown by Kejuan Jones with 8:07 left.
"I'm just glad he's on our team," said Sooners receiver Mark Clayton.
The problems for Texas (4-1, 1-1) were more on offense than defense.
A unit that was revamped after Oklahoma scored 65 points last October simply wore out because it was on the field for 36 minutes, including all but 10 snaps from the middle of the second quarter until the end of the third. OU scored both its field goals during that span.
Now the pressure from Texas' Sooners-scorned boosters could be on coach Mack Brown's longtime offensive coordinator Greg Davis, who guided his squad past midfield on all five first-half possessions but never cracked the scoreboard.
They also failed to capitalize momentum the defense began building by harassing Jason White into two interceptions -- starting with the game-opening drive -- and a fumble.
The Longhorns were one play from going ahead until Jones' touchdown, yet couldn't make any big plays. Their longest pass at that point was for 17 yards and the longest run went 22. And this was against an Oklahoma defense supposedly weakened by losing three starters to the NFL and another recently being kicked off the team.
"I'm really proud of the effort my guys gave and they made some plays -- they just didn't make enough inside the 30," Brown said.
Texas' Cedric Benson finished with 23 carries for 92 yards, nowhere near his nation-leading 186.5. Vince Young wasn't effective throwing (8-of-23 for 86 yards) or running (16 times for 54 yards).
Young also was sacked three times, twice knocking Texas out of field-goal range, and lost two fumbles. Benson lost one, too.
Add these four scoreless quarters to a second-half shutout last year and the Longhorns have gone 93 minutes and 12 seconds without scoring on the Sooners.
"They just had a better game plan than we did and made plays at the right moments," Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson said.
Benson is a senior, meaning he'll leave Texas without ever having beaten Oklahoma. He also has less of a chance of winning the Heisman Trophy or a national championship.
The worst news for the Longhorns is that Peterson could be back for a few more seasons.
Peterson personally outgained all four other teams the Longhorns have played this season and became the first Oklahoma player to crack 100 yards in each of his first five games.
Two things stand out about that: His predecessors include three Heisman-winning running backs. And, in this game, he hit 100 about five minutes before halftime.
He hit the milestone on what proved to be the game-changing drive.
The Sooners started at their 12, continuing a first-half trend of bad field position, and Peterson opened with a 15-yard run. He went for 27 on his next carry, then six and five, that one giving Oklahoma its first third-down conversion.
He got the ball the next three plays, too, giving him eight carries in nine snaps. He had only five on OU's first five drives.
The Sooners settled for a 22-yard field goal, but it put them ahead for good. Texas went three-and-out to start the second half, then another Peterson-led drive ended with a 24-yard kick.
Peterson set up Jones' touchdown with runs of nine, 10 and 19 yards, sealing Oklahoma's longest streak in the series since also winning five straight from 1971-75.
OU's record is six. The Sooners could be going for seven when Peterson is a junior.
"He's only going to get better," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||6-15||4-14|
|4th Down Conversions||1-2||1-1|
|FG||0:09||TREY DICARLO 22 YD FG|
Drive info: 15 plays, 83 yards.
|FG||9:02||TREY DICARLO 26 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 48 yards.
|TD||8:07||KEJUAN JONES 6 YD RUN (FAILED 2PT PASS)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 80 yards.