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October 20, 2007

Sooners sluggish in win over Iowa State

Box score

AMES, Iowa Oklahoma came out flat against Iowa State, and the No. 4 Sooners nearly paid the price.

Chris Brown ran for two second-half touchdowns and Oklahoma survived a major scare from Iowa State, beating the Cyclones 17-7 Saturday.

D.J. Wolfe's end-zone interception midway through the fourth quarter helped turn the tide for the Sooners (7-1, 3-1 Big 12), who won at Iowa State for the 20th straight time.

It wasn't easy.

Oklahoma, which was stunned by Colorado 27-24 in its only other Big 12 road game, committed three turnovers and didn't take the lead until the fourth quarter.

The Sooners nearly gave it back.

Iowa State (1-7, 0-4), aided by a shanked punt, drove to the Oklahoma 8 with 7:24 left, where Bret Meyer converted a fourth-and-1. However, Wolfe grabbed a tipped pass from Meyer to keep Iowa State from tying the score.

The Cyclones forced Oklahoma into a forurth-and-4 with 3:02 left, but Sam Bradford found Jermaine Gresham for a 14-yard reception. Garrett Hartley sealed the win with a 43-yard field goal with 1:34 left.

Down 7-0 at the break, Oklahoma came out for the second half intent on running it down Iowa State's throat. DeMarco Murray picked up three first downs on the ground, and Brown capped the drive with an 8-yard TD run to tie the game at 7 with 8:35 left in the third quarter.

A 15-mph wind at his back seemed to bother Bradford, as pass after pass sailed by Oklahoma wideouts. But Gresham went 30 yards on a screen pass on the final play of the third quarter, and Brown gave Oklahoma its first lead, 14-7, on a 4-yard TD run.

Bradford was 16-of-28 for 183 yards and an interception. Murray led the Sooners with 59 yards rushing on nine carries.

In an effort to keep the focus on Iowa State, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops printed out a list of Top 25 teams that had been upset by unranked foes.

Even though their loss to Colorado made the list, it didn't look like the Sooners bothered to read it.

Iowa State recovered an Allen Patrick fumble on the Oklahoma 35 midway through the first quarter. The Cyclones, helped by a pass interference call, took a 7-0 lead on a 2-yard plunge by Jason Scales.

Oklahoma responded by driving to the Iowa State 33, but the Cyclones stopped a scrambling Bradford on 4th-and-5.

Bret Culbertson missed a 36-yard field goal on Iowa State's next possession, but Allen Bell intercepted a pass that bounced off Gresham, and carried several defenders to the Sooners' 18.

Oklahoma finally made a play, stuffing Jason Scales on a 4th-and-1 at its own 9 with 1:05 left to keep its deficit at seven by the break.

It was the first time Oklahoma had trailed at the half this season.

Oklahoma improved to 67-5-2 against Iowa State, but the Sooners scored 31 points below their season average, against the Big 12's worst defense.

Meyer completed 19-of-31 passes for 174 yards for Iowa State, which lost its fifth straight.

The Cyclones are now 0-55-2 against teams ranked 6th or higher in The Associated Press Top 25.

For more coverage of Oklahoma, visit SoonerScoop.com; for more on Iowa State, visit CycloneReport.com.



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