Oct 20, 2001
By OWEN CANFIELD
AP Sports Writer
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Given a chance to start, Jason White didn't disappoint.
White, named Oklahoma's No. 1 quarterback early in the week, threw for 343 yards and a touchdown Saturday and the second-ranked Sooners beat Baylor 33-17.
White had played well coming off the bench in relief of Nate Hybl the past two games, and that continued - he was 32-of-44 with no interceptions. Baylor had eight sacks, but White's scrambling ability kept that number from reaching double digits.
"I thought Jason White was exceptional the way he threw the football, the way he ran," coach Bob Stoops said. "He was really solid the entire day."
The Sooners (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) extended their winning streak to 20 games heading into next week's showdown at No. 3 Nebraska.
"I used to watch these at home with my dad," White said of the Oklahoma-Nebraska games. "I never thought I'd be playing in it."
Baylor (2-4, 0-4) lost its 25th straight conference game, dating to 1998. The Bears got a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Randy Davis in the first quarter, but otherwise had no luck on offense until after Oklahoma had built a 27-7 halftime lead.
The Bears chose to crowd the line of scrimmage to negate Oklahoma's running game, and it worked - the Sooners' top rusher was Quentin Griffin with 50 yards on 13 carries. But White was on target most of the afternoon and often made plays with his scrambling.
"When he's running with the football, it's like they've got another running back out there," Baylor defensive coordinator Brick Haley said. "He's a tough hombre, because we hit him hard today and he just kept getting back up."
Freshman Mark Clayton had eight catches for 108 yards. Trent Smith caught seven passes for 70 yards, and Curtis Fagan had five catches including a 16-yarder for the Sooners' first touchdown.
Oklahoma took the lead for good on a 1-yard sneak by White late in the first quarter. The 10-play drive included a 45-yard completion to Clayton on a third-and-10 play, and a roughing-the-passer penalty that gave the Sooners first-and-goal inside the 5.
Oklahoma scored on all three of its second-quarter possessions, thanks in part to good field position. A 37-yard punt return by Fagan set the Sooners up at the Baylor 33, and three plays later Renaldo Works scored on a 17-yard run.
Oklahoma ended the half with a field goal that capped a bizarre, 17-play drive that started at the Baylor 40. White was sacked three times, for 27 yards, and Oklahoma was penalized three times, including an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty against coach Stoops. Stoops got upset when a Baylor player tackled White after a play had been blown dead.
Oklahoma eventually faced second and 37, but Baylor was whistled for a personal foul that gave the Sooners a first down at the Bears 30. Ten plays later, Tim Duncan kicked a 19-yard field goal.
"That one was different than anything I've ever seen," Baylor coach Kevin Steele said.
Baylor was outgained 310-83 in the first half, but scored on a 93-yard kickoff return by Randy Davis that made the score 7-7 early in the first quarter.
The Bears were able to sustain drives in the second half and used a fourth-quarter touchdown and field goal to get within 27-17. Oklahoma then drove 80 yards for a clinching TD with 6:29 left, with Works scoring on a short run.
"We had a good first half but the second half wasn't so good," said strong safety Roy Williams, who had an interception and nine tackles. "We didn't play all four quarters. We got it together when we needed it."