Sooners 1-2 for first time since '97

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- Oklahoma won't be making a return trip
to the Rose Bowl this season.

Not after Drew Olson and UCLA piled on the struggling Sooners,
with a 41-24 victory Saturday that sent No. 21 Oklahoma to its
first 1-2 start since 1997.

The Sooners have played in the last two Bowl Championship Series
title games, but they can forget about playing in the Rose Bowl on
Jan. 4, when this season's championship will be decided.

Oklahoma sputtered again on offense, with quarterback Rhett
Bomar having four of the team's six fumbles. Adrian Peterson was
held to 58 yards on 23 carries.

UCLA, which makes its home in the Rose Bowl, recovered three
fumbles, including one by Peterson, and turned them into 17 points.

"You're not going to win when you turn the ball over and put
the ball on the ground like we did," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops
said. "It's just poor football. Until we can be responsible with
the ball, it's impossible to win.

"I think we're still better than the way we played."

The last time the Sooners started with two losses in their first
three games, John Blake was their coach. That team went on to
finish 4-8.

For UCLA, the win ranks as one of its biggest -- if not they
biggest -- in three season under coach Karl Dorrell.

Olson threw for 314 yards and three touchdowns.

"This game was big for our program," said Olson, a three-year
starter who has struggled along with the team much of that time.
"We knew they'd make us beat them with the pass. It's good to see
that our passing game can open it up."

Olson went 28-of-38 against an Oklahoma defense stacked to stop
the run. He threw scoring passes of 19 yards to Andrew Baumgartner
in the first quarter, and 19 yards to Marcedes Lewis and 7 yards to
Chris Markey as the Bruins pulled away from a 20-17 lead in the

"He played it like it was a championship-style game," Karl
Dorrell said of Olson.

Like the Sooners, the Bruins (3-0) focused on stopping the run
and held All-American Peterson in check. Linebackers Justin London
and Spencer Havner each had nine tackles, and Havner returned a
fumble 13 yards for a touchdown after safety Dennis Keyes' second
forced fumble of the day.

"Our defense carried us," Dorrell said after the Bruins beat a
ranked team for the first time in almost two years.

Up by three points heading into the fourth quarter, UCLA opened
it up on two Olson touchdown passes and Maurice Drew's 9-yard
scoring run on the way to their first win over the Sooners.

Oklahoma won the first three meetings with UCLA by lopsided
scores, including a 59-24 victory in Norman in 2003, Dorrell's
first year as the Bruins' coach.

The Sooners did bottle up the Bruins on the ground this time,
holding the dangerous Drew to 69 yards on 15 carries.

Justin Medlock made field goals of 44 and 51 yards for the

While Bomar had trouble hanging onto the ball, his passing was
much improved. He went 20-of-29 for 241 yards, and ran for a late
16-yard TD. The previous week, he struggled in the first half and
didn't throw a pass after halftime in a 31-15 win over Tulsa.

"I felt like Rhett started to get some rhythm and confidence in
what he was doing," Stoops said of the redshirt freshman's outing
against UCLA. "Our receivers made some nice plays, and that part
of it, I feel like we're getting somewhere."

Peterson, who began the game on the sidelines after being
disciplined during the week for missing classes, scored on an
11-yard run in the third quarter to trim UCLA's lead to 20-17.

The 2004 Heisman runner-up, Peterson entered the game for
Oklahoma's fourth offensive play and immediately made a good block
near the goal line on Travis Wilson's 56-yard touchdown on a

Peterson was suspended for two practices at the start of the
week, and Kejuan Jones started against the Bruins.


ESPN Fan Shop Powered By

  • Nike Men's Oklahoma Sooners Crimson/Grey Team Issue Performance PoloShop