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No. 2 Oklahoma Out Steps UTEP, 68-0
September 13, 2002

NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma made Texas-El Paso wish the thunderstorms had never let up.

The Sooners got several big plays on both sides of the ball, including two interception returns for touchdowns, in a 68-0 victory Saturday night that included a 51-minute weather delay.

Antwone Savage raced for a 56-yard touchdown on the game's second play.

Nate Hybl threw for 278 yards and two touchdowns and Quentin Griffin had 108 yards rushing and two TDs as Oklahoma (3-0) won by its widest margin since a 73-3 victory over New Mexico State in 1989.

Play was stopped late in the first quarter with Oklahoma leading 14-0. After the break, which allowed thunderstorms to pass through, the Sooners scored 24 second-quarter points and kept on rolling.

"That's what I said to the team -- I didn't care who we were playing this week, the bottom line is we needed to execute, have better concentration and play to our potential," coach Bob Stoops said.

The Sooners were coming off a 37-27 victory over Alabama, a game in which they had rally in the closing minutes to win. This one was never in question against a UTEP team that lost 77-17 to Kentucky a week ago.

The Miners (1-2) were shut out for the first time since 1996, a streak of 61 games.

"I thought the rain was going to help us out, slow them down a bit," coach Gary Nord said. "But they are so talented and have so much speed that we could not match up with them.

"I knew we were going to be in for a long night. The longer it delayed, the longer it was going to take to get it over with."

Hybl, the starter again due to a season-ending knee injury to Jason White, threw a 56-yard scoring pass to Antwone Savage on the second play of the game and didn't slow down much the rest of the way. He finished 13-of-22 with no interceptions in 2? quarters.

Hybl started 11 games a year ago, but lost his job two White for two games midway through the season. He began this year as the backup, then took over last week when White was hurt against Alabama.

Hybl was rarely pressured and used his time in the pocket to find receivers downfield. He had seven completions of 15 yards or more, including the 56-yarder to Savage, a 32-yard TD pass to Renaldo Works and a 54-yarder to Mark Clayton.

"I thought we had a real exciting, successful week of practice, and we kept building every day," Hybl said.

He said offensive coordinator Chuck Long "said he felt something coming on as far as our total offensive package and it happened tonight."

Antonio Perkins' 50-yard interception return gave Oklahoma a 14-0 first-quarter lead. Hybl's TD pass to Works on the second play of the second quarter was followed 68 seconds later by a short TD run by Kejuan Jones. The touchdown came after Brandon Everage's interception and 25-yard return.

Oklahoma drove 80 yards in three plays for its fifth touchdown of the half. Griffin carried for 16 yards, Hybl hit Brandon Jones on a 35-yard completion, then Griffin scored on a 29-yard run.

Michael Hawkins had a 45-yard interception return in the fourth quarter to help close out the victory.

Kejuan Jones scored twice as Oklahoma totaled 549 yards against UTEP.

The Miners' best scoring chance came in the first half when a 57-yard pass play from Jon Schaper to Terrance Minor put the ball at Oklahoma's 25. An intentional-grounding penalty on the next play killed the drive and they wound up punting.

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