Sooners Down Huskers in Lincoln, 31-24

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
OCTOBER 29, 2005
Adrian Peterson 
Statistics | Notes | Quotes |   PhotosSooner Gameday Central
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) --
 Adrian Peterson says he isn't 100 percent yet, but his Oklahoma teammates and Nebraska never would have known Saturday.

Peterson ran for 146 yards and two touchdowns and Oklahoma held off Nebraska's comeback bid to win 31-24 on Saturday, giving the Cornhuskers back-to-back home losses in the same season for the first time since 1968.

Peterson, coming off an ankle injury that limited him for a month, scored a 36-yard touchdown on his first carry. He added a 2-yard TD run in the second quarter as Oklahoma broke out to a 24-3 lead.

"It was great to have him back," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "Everyone talks about how talented he is, and to me he is just so tough and competitive. To have him out there, I think everyone feeds off him, too. He just has a tough, hard-nosed presence to him. He was big."
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Peterson was injured Oct. 1 against Kansas State and played a limited amount the next two weeks. Last week he sat out the Baylor game because he couldn't make cuts on his right ankle.

"I just played my heart out and came out with a big game," Peterson said. "I'm only about 90 percent, but that's football. I had to be tough and play through it."

Nebraska put together two straight TD drives in the second half to pull within a touchdown before the Sooners escaped with their first win in Lincoln since 1987.

The Huskers, who lost 34-31 to Texas Tech here on Oct. 8, dropped consecutive home games for the first time since losing three in a row 37 years ago.

Oklahoma (5-3, 4-1 Big 12) won its third straight and extended its regular-season winning streak over North Division opponents to 12. The Sooners haven't lost to a North team since a 20-10 defeat at Nebraska in 2001.

Nebraska (5-3, 2-3) has now lost three of its last four after a 4-0 start.

For the first time in 40 Oklahoma-Nebraska games, neither team came in ranked. But that didn't diminish the drama as Nebraska tried to rally from a three-touchdown deficit in the third quarter.

Peterson's touchdown runs gave OU a 14-0 lead, and it was 21-3 after Chijioke Onyenegecha returned an interception 63 yards late in the half.

On Peterson's first TD run, he found lots of room up the middle and carried cornerback Zackary Bowman on his back the last few yards.

"That was a big play for me," Peterson said. "My first play from the line of scrimmage. I saw a lot of green and got it going."

Peterson later broke a 58-yard run, his longest of the season, to highlight a drive to the Nebraska 18, but Garrett Hartley's 35-yard field-goal attempt was blocked.

But Hartley hit from 50 early in the third quarter to push the lead to 24-3.

Then Nebraska's offense, which allowed a school-record nine sacks and was held to 16 yards rushing, finally started to move.

Zac Taylor finished a 16-play, 80-yard touchdown drive with a 3-yard pass to Terrence Nunn. After OU holder Cody Freeby mishandled a snap on a 52-yard field-goal attempt, the Huskers were set up at the OU 48. Six plays later, Taylor threw a 25-yard TD pass to Nate Swift to pull Nebraska to 24-17.

The Sooners opened a two-touchdown lead again on Kejuan Jones' 17-yard run after Hartley ran 6 yards for a first down on a fake field goal.

But the Huskers came right back, scoring on Cory Ross' 18-yard I-back pass to Swift with 5:56 left.

Nebraska got the ball back with no timeouts and 2:37 left, but Taylor could generate nothing under heavy Oklahoma pressure, and the Sooners ran out the clock.

It was the fourth straight game that Nebraska has given up a touchdown on its opening defensive series.

"We keep digging ourselves in a hole and it's making us hard to come out of. We're not giving up, and we keep pounding the rock, but we can't put ourselves in a hole like that to start the game," cornerback Cortney Grixby said.

Nebraska coach Bill Callahan lauded his players' effort after falling behind.

"They just didn't have enough at the end, and the other team made the plays we didn't make and certainly deserve the credit," he said. "I'm excited about our future and where our team is headed just because of the competitiveness and fight I see in our football team."

OU's Rhett Bomar completed 14-of-28 passes for 157 yards, with Malcolm Kelly catching eight for 86 yards.

Taylor was 25-of-45 with two interceptions, for 249 yards and two TDs.

Ross had 21 yards on 10 carries.

Nebraska, which opened the game working against a 26-mph wind gusting to 32, generated only 19 yards while going three plays and out on its first five possessions.

The Sooners didn't allow a first down until Taylor threw a 14-yard pass to Swift with 11:11 left in the second quarter.



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