NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Chris Brown started out three spots behind
Adrian Peterson on Oklahoma's depth chart at running back. He never
thought he'd be the key to a big win down the stretch.
Brown, the fourth-string tailback, ran for two fourth-quarter
scores and Paul Thompson threw for a career-high 309 yards and two
touchdowns as the No. 17 Sooners rallied to beat Texas Tech 34-24
on Saturday night.
"The things we've gone through, whoever's in there we're going
to win with them," Thompson said. "That's our mind-set. We've got
confidence. If something happens no one's freaking out."
With their top two tailbacks injured, the Sooners' 15-game
streak with a 100-yard rusher -- the longest in the nation -- was
snapped. But Brown still gave them plenty of pop on the ground.
He broke through two tacklers, spun and then cut toward the
middle of the field for a 40-yard score that put Oklahoma up 27-24
with 12:51 left. He then added a 2-yard plunge with 2:21 remaining
that iced the game and provided sweet revenge for the Sooners (8-2,
5-1 Big 12), who lost at Tech last season on a disputed 2-yard run
by Taurean Henderson as time expired.
"It felt really good. We knew the last drive that we had to
push it in," said Brown, who finished with 84 yards on 16 carries.
"A field goal would have left them enough time to drive it down
The only previous playing time for Brown was fourth-quarter
mop-up duty in one game.
"It just shows that we're a diverse group. We've got different
ways to handle situations," Sooners coach Bob Stoops said. "What
I appreciate is they never flinch at it."
Texas Tech (6-5, 3-4) missed a pair of field goals in the fourth
quarter to aid Oklahoma's comeback.
With a chance to tie the game at 27, Alex Trlica was wide left
from 28 yards out with 9:18 to play on a drive that started at the
Oklahoma 35 after Joe Garcia recovered Manuel Johnson's fumble.
Tech's Chris Parker and Johnson appeared to hit helmets on the
play, and Johnson had to be carted off the field and taken to a
Stoops said Johnson was responsive in the ambulance but would
remain hospitalized overnight.
On Tech's previous drive, a 42-yard Trlica field goal was
negated by a false start penalty, and he missed wide left from five
yards farther back.
Oklahoma had averaged 207 yards rushing in its first three games
without Peterson, the 2004 Heisman runner-up. But this time,
neither Peterson (collarbone) or his backup, Allen Patrick (right
ankle), were available.
Brown said he never really expected to be a factor until after
Patrick's injury last week. And even then, he thought Gutierrez
would be the primary back. But down the stretch, it was Brown that
the Sooners turned to.
"It was real exciting. We were in a close game and they chose
me to be out for the remainder of the game and finish it off. That
really touched me and made me want to perform to my top ability,"
The win kept Oklahoma in the race for the Big 12 title.
Following Texas' loss at Kansas State on Saturday, the Sooners need
to win out and have the Longhorns lose at Texas A&M to claim the
Big 12 South.
"We're not out of it," Thompson said. "There's some things
that have got to happen but we're not out of it."
Thompson and Malcolm Kelly picked up the slack until Brown got
Thompson was 24-for-31 and Kelly had a career-high 11 catches
for 153 yards. The two connected on a 40-yard touchdown pass 10
seconds before halftime to ignite a run of 24 straight points for
"That touchdown was big to give us that spark going into the
locker room," Stoops said. "And Malcolm Kelly, what catches he
makes. He's just incredible."
Back-to-back Red Raiders penalties contributed 20 yards and a
first down to the drive, and Thompson cashed in with a floating
spiral down the left sideline after a pump fake.
Texas Tech opened a 24-10 lead with 1:43 left in the first half
when Antonio Huffman intercepted Thompson's pass and returned it 54
yards down the sideline for a score. It was Thompson's first
interception in 99 pass attempts dating back to the Texas game --
Oklahoma's last loss.
"I thought both teams were really tough. It was an extremely
physical game," Tech coach Mike Leach said. "Both teams really
wanted to win the game. This game here was a hard-fought deal of
inches and we just came up a few inches short when it comes down to
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Oklahoma running back Chris Brown scored the second of his two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Gameball goes to... Paul Thompson. The Oklahoma quarterback completed 24 of 31 passes for a career-high 309 yards and two touchdowns.
Stat of the game... 15. Oklahoma did not have a 100-yard rusher, snapping its streak of 15 straight games.