8:00 PM ET, November 4, 2006
Kyle Field, COLLEGE STATION, TX
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Facing fourth-and-inches from his own 29 with 1:29 left, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops wanted to punt to protect a one-point lead against Texas A&M.
"The second I said punt it, I looked at all the offensive guys in their eyes, then I thought 'I can't punt it," Stoops said.
The gamble paid off for the 18th-ranked Sooners, who got the first down they needed to wrap up a 17-16 victory over the 21st-ranked Aggies on Saturday night.
Paul Thompson's second effort on a sneak gave Oklahoma (7-2, 4-1 Big 12) the first down, but the play ended up being moot. Texas A&M (8-2, 4-2) -- home of the 12th man -- was called for having 12 men on the field, giving the Sooners a first down and the ability to run out the clock.
"That's what we wanted," Thompson said of the call. "We didn't want to give the ball back and allow them to score."
The Sooners won their fourth straight in Stoops' 100th game at Oklahoma while breaking a four-game winning streak by the Aggies.
Allen Patrick continued to show he's a capable replacement for the injured Adrian Peterson. Patrick ran for a career-high 173 yards and a touchdown and now has 440 yards in the three games since replacing Peterson, who is out with a broken collarbone.
The Aggies got two late field goals to close the gap, but were foiled by their inability to convert two second-half turnovers by Oklahoma into any points. Texas A&M's defense forced fumbles by Patrick and Thompson on consecutive possessions, but the offense stalled both times and had to punt it away.
"I thought our defense played a great second half and we just need one more little stop there and we might have...had a chance to win the football game," Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione said.
The Aggies cut the lead to 17-13 on a field goal by 19-yard field goal by Layne Neumann with 7:45 remaining and got within a point on a 39-yarder with less than four minutes to go.
The Sooners only points of the second half were set up by the defense.
Marcus Walker intercepted a pass by Stephen McGee and returned it 19 yards to the 6. The Sooners got a 23-yard field goal after Patrick was stopped for no gain and Thompson threw two incompletions to lead 17-10 with 7:31 left in the third quarter.
"It was just one of those things where you just don't think you're going to come up short and it hurts when you do," Aggies safety Melvin Bullitt said. "The whole time you believe you're going to win and it's just like somebody breaking your heart."
Patrick ran for 54 yards on Oklahoma's first drive and gave the Sooners an early lead when he scored on a 1-yard run. He had 14 carries for 101 yards in the first quarter.
"We came out here to run the ball," Patrick said. "I think we're coming together and we're ready to make things happen."
The Aggies got out to a quick start too with Mike Goodson taking a pitch 58 yards to the 13-yard-line. But the Aggies were called for two penalties and had to settle for a field goal.
Goodson had 10 carries for 132 yards.
The Sooners went up 14-3 after Thompson scored on a 7-yard run later in the first. Oklahoma then tried an onside kick and it almost worked, but the ball squirted out from under a Sooner and Texas A&M recovered.
Working with the short field and bolstered by two Oklahoma penalties, the Aggies got within 14-10 when burly running back Jorvorskie Lane bulled in from the 1 for the touchdown in the second quarter. Lane finished with 13 carries for 62 yards.
Thompson, 3-for-12 passing for 39 yards, was pleased with the Sooners' early success against the Aggies, but disappointed in his second-half performance in leading the offense.
"The first two drive we were rolling," he said. "And then we got a little sloppy from there on out. It's a big win, but I don't think my play was close to par. There's a lot of things I could have done better."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Oklahoma converted a fourth-and-inches from its own 29 with 1:29 remaining.
Gameball goes to... Allen Patrick. The Sooners back ran for a career-high 173 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries.
Stat of the game... 220. The Sooners had 256 yards of offense and 220 of those yards came from the running game.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||1-9||6-14|
|4th Down Conversions||1-1||0-0|
|TD||10:09||ALLEN PATRICK 1 YD RUN (GARRETT HARTLEY KICK)|
Drive info: 13 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||6:57||LAYNE NEUMANN 28 YD FG|
Drive info: 6 plays, 60 yards.
|TD||0:57||PAUL THOMPSON 7 YD RUN (GARRETT HARTLEY KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||11:24||JORVORSKIE LANE 1 YD RUN (LAYNE NEUMANN KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 57 yards.
|FG||7:31||GARRETT HARTLEY 23 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, 0 yards.
|FG||7:41||LAYNE NEUMANN 19 YD FG|
Drive info: 8 plays, 59 yards.
|FG||3:28||LAYNE NEUMANN 39 YD FG|
Drive info: 5 plays, 35 yards.