The freshman running back scored four touchdowns, one on a 91-yard kickoff return, as No. 4 Oklahoma beat Baylor 52-21 on Saturday.
Oklahoma (9-1, 5-1 Big 12 Conference) has not lost to Baylor (3-8, 0-7) in 17 meetings between the teams. Baylor lost its seventh straight game amid reports that its coach, Guy Morriss, would be replaced at the end of the season.
Oklahoma entered the game fifth in the BCS standings, and when the final score from No. 1 Ohio State's loss to Illinois appeared on the Owen Field scoreboard moments before kickoff, the crowd roared.
Then the Sooners went out and presented their case for moving up in the rankings. Murray contributed two highlight-reel plays, a 25-yard first-quarter scoring run and his kickoff return, which came moments after Baylor had pulled within a touchdown late in the first half.
Murray, who had 13 rushes for 95 yards, is the first Oklahoma freshman to score at least three touchdowns in one game on three separate occasions. He has 15 touchdowns this season, tying the school record for freshmen set by Adrian Peterson.
Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford threw three touchdown passes, two to Manuel Johnson, who caught four passes for 126 yards and had the first multiple-TD game of his career.
While the Sooners keep an eye on the BCS standings, about the only mystery left in Baylor's season is whether or not Morriss will keep his job. Two Texas newspapers, citing anonymous sources, reported this week that he would not be back in 2008. Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw has told the Associated Press that the status of Morriss' future hasn't been determined.
Baylor senior fullback Brandon Whitaker, who is from Edmond, Okla., starred in his return to his home state, rushing 15 times for 149 yards and catching 10 passes for 68 yards.
He had an early 57-yard run to the Oklahoma 3, but Reggie Smith intercepted a pass on the next play, ending the threat. Whitaker reeled off a 46-yard touchdown run on the Bears' next possession, putting Baylor ahead 7-0.
Murray's 25-yard touchdown run, on which he sidestepped a defender at the line of scrimmage and broke three tackles, tied the game. After Baylor went three-and-out, Bradford connected with Malcolm Kelly on a 51-yard touchdown pass, giving Oklahoma a 14-7 lead late in the first quarter.
A 43-yard pass from Bradford to tight end Jermaine Gresham set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Murray, making it 21-7.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops eschewed a field-goal attempt and had the Sooners go for it on fourth-and-2 from the Baylor 26 late in the half, but the Bears held, and on the next play, Blake Szymanski hit Thomas White on a 75-yard touchdown pass.
Murray quickly returned the momentum to Oklahoma. Baylor tried a short, bouncing kickoff, and Murray eventually corralled the football at his own 9. He went backward and reversed field twice before breaking into the open. Juaquin Iglesias blocked the last potential Baylor tackler moments before Murray reached the end zone, giving the Sooners a 28-14 halftime lead.
It was Murray's second kickoff return for a touchdown this season.
Bradford and Johnson connected on scoring passes of 60 and 13 yards in the third quarter. Szymanski hit White on a 42-yard touchdown pass to pull Baylor within 42-21, but the Bears never threatened again.
Murray's final touchdown, a 21-yard fourth-down run, came with 2:48 left.
Szymanski completed 25 of 42 passes for 280 yards with two interceptions. The Bears had 307 yards of offense in the first half and 450 in the game.
Bradford finished 20-of-25 for 353 yards with one interception. The Sooners had 533 yards of offense.