Sooners Rock Red Raiders!

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 22, 2002

NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma left no doubt about who's best in the Big 12 South.

The fourth-ranked Sooners controlled the ball with Quentin Griffin and harassed Kliff Kingsbury from start to finish in Saturday night's 60-15 victory over No. 24 Texas Tech.

Griffin ran for 207 yards and three touchdowns - his seventh straight 100-yard game and third 200-yard game of the season - as Oklahoma (10-1, 6-1) won the South Division title.

Kingsbury came in averaging 371 yards passing a game, but he was just 15-of-35 for a season-low 187 yards - 67 of those on a fourth-quarter touchdown. Oklahoma's defense forced two safeties, sacked Kingsbury six times and intercepted him twice.

"Everyone's talked for three weeks about how they've scored 50, 60 points, and we hold them to one touchdown, really a meaningless one at the end of the game," coach Bob Stoops said. "Just another spectacular performance by the defense."

The Sooners finish the regular season next week against Oklahoma State, then play No. 16 Colorado for the conference title on Dec. 7. Oklahoma beat Colorado 27-11 on Nov. 2, and the winner of next month's game gets a berth in a BCS game.

Texas Tech (8-5, 5-3) had won three straight games to get in position to play for the South title. But the Red Raiders had no answers for Griffin, or Oklahoma's defense, in their worst loss of the season.

"That's the best defense I've seen in four years," Kingsbury said. "They just beat us in all phases of the game."

Oklahoma's defense had been subpar in the past two weeks, allowing four TD passes in a loss to Texas A&M and then playing only so-so against Baylor. But the unit was back in form Saturday, holding the Red Raiders 24 points and nearly 270 yards below their average.

"It's all about making him throw the short pass, rallying to it and tackling good and putting pressure on the quarterback," linebacker Teddy Lehman said. "We did all that today."

Kingsbury's worst game this year had been a 268-yard effort in a loss to Colorado on Oct. 26. He is 0-3 against Oklahoma since beating them as a freshman in 1999, and the Red Raiders haven't scored more than 15 in any of those three games.

The Red Raiders had 12 yards and no first downs in the first quarter. They crossed midfield only once in the first half and were outgained 263-64. For the game, Oklahoma had a 478-236 edge in total offense.

Griffin's highlight-reel 62-yard touchdown run on the second possession gave Oklahoma a 14-0 lead and made it clear the Red Raiders were in for a long night.

The Sooners drove 70 yards in 10 plays for their first touchdown, a short run by Kejuan Jones. After Tech was forced to punt, Griffin broke a tackle at the line, ran through another at midfield, stumbled but kept his balance, then raced down the sideline, cutting back near the 5-yard line to elude a defender and get to the end zone.

"It's another one of those runs we'll watch tomorrow on tape and replay it about eight times and shake our head," Stoops said.

Kingsbury was sacked in the end zone late in the first quarter, making it 16-0. Jones scored on a 3-yard run midway through the second, capping an 11-play drive in which the Sooners ran 10 times. Then a holding call against Tech in the end zone resulted in another safety and a 25-0 halftime lead.

Brandon Shelby blocked a punt on Tech's first possession of the third quarter, and Will Peoples recovered it in the end zone for a 32-0 lead. Two short TD runs by Griffin pushed the lead to 46-0 before Vincent Meeks scored for Tech on a 98-yard kickoff return.

"They played with great tempo early," said Tech coach Mike Leach. "They didn't really have any secrets. We kind of started playing on our heels and stayed on our heels."



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