Adrian Peterson vs. Washington

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NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Paul Thompson found his go-to receiver and Oklahoma found its stride in the second half against Washington.
 
Thompson threw two touchdown passes to Malcolm Kelly , and Adrian Peterson ran for 165 yards and two scores as No. 15 Oklahoma pulled away from Washington in the second half Saturday for a 37-20 win.
 
Thompson broke a 13-13 tie on Oklahoma's first possession of the second half when he found Kelly racing down the right side for a 35-yard TD to put the Sooners (2-0) ahead for the first time and begin a string of 24 straight points. 
 

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''We're not surprised by anything he's done so far,'' Thompson said of Kelly. ''He's going to continue to do more and more of that.''
 
Thompson said the Sooners expected to be able to hit some big plays, and they didn't give up on it. Kelly, the only Oklahoma player with more than 20 career receptions entering this season, was the logical target.
 
''I don't want to get him too confident right now, but he's definitely got potential to be a big-time receiver not only here but at the next level,'' said Thompson, who finished with 272 yards on 21-of-33 passing with one interception.
 
Kelly had a career-high 121 yards on six catches.
 
Garrett Hartley made it 23-13 with his third field goal of the day, a 30-yarder, after Jason Carter blocked Washington's punt on its next drive.
 
The Huskies (1-1) had a chance to pull closer when Chris Stevens forced a fumble by Thompson that Scott White recovered at the Oklahoma 4, but Washington quarterback Isaiah Stanback fumbled on the next play.
 
Thompson and Kelly hooked up again for a 42-yard pickup on the ensuing drive, and Peterson scored on a 17-yard run on the next play. Peterson added a 1-yard TD run after he had converted a fourth-and-1 with just over four minutes to play.
 
Oklahoma had been unimpressive in its opener, committing four turnovers and allowing UAB to run over its defense with a bevy of missed tackles. The Sooners weren't much better through the first half against Washington.
 
But Oklahoma's defense got stingy, limiting the Huskies to three first downs on their first five drives after halftime, and Thompson was 9-of-11 for 170 yards after halftime in his second start since replacing dismissed starter Rhett Bomar .
 
''It definitely feels good to get out there show everybody that we're all right, we're fine,'' Thompson said. ''I think that the people scared were people on the outside of this team. Everyone within this organization felt real comfortable about where we were at.''
 
Stoops said the difference on defense was execution.
 
''Adjustments? We didn't make any,'' Stoops said. ''A lot of times there isn't any magic to it. It's just playing better.''
 
Peterson, who had been criticized by offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson this week for blocking poorly and looking too much for the big play, had 107 of his yards rushing in the second half and moved into sixth place on Oklahoma's career rushing list.
 
''I would not necessarily say that he challenged me. There were things that I didn't get done,'' Peterson said. ''Whatever things I was doing right I just kept trying to do.''
 
Louis Rankin led Washington with 112 yards on 17 carries, and Stanback was 9-of-22 for 139 yards. Carl Bonnell threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Sonny Shackelford in relief of Stanback in the second half.
 
The loss dropped Tyrone Willingham to 0-6 against ranked opponents with Washington. He had been 7-7 against ranked teams in his three years at Notre Dame.
 
''We only came here for one reason. We came here to win a football game,'' Willingham said.
 
Washington scored on its first play from scrimmage, when Kenny James squeezed through a hole at the line of scrimmage, spun through safety Keenan Clayton 's arms and raced the rest of the way untouched for a 54-yard score.
 
Special teams put Oklahoma in position to answer. Allen Patrick downed Michael Cohen 's punt dat the 1-yard line, and Reggie Smith returned Washington's ensuing punt 62 yards after allowing it to fly over his head.
 
After Smith's return, Oklahoma needed only four plays to cover the final 22 yards, capped by Thompson's 4-yard strike to Kelly.
 
Michael Braunstein hit field goals of 32 and 24 yards in the first half for Washington, and Hartley answered with kicks of 44 and 37 yards for the Sooners.
 
Washington's Sean Douglas was credited with an 82-yard punt, the longest in school history, because of a misplay by Smith. He had an 81-yard kick in the fourth quarter. 
 
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O-Zone Coverage | Get in the O-Zone | 2006 Multimedia
The O-Zone at SoonerSports.com continues its total coverage of the 2006 season with complete video and audio features on the Sooners.

O-Zone Video Coverage
  Oklahoma vs. Washington Game Highlights
  Coach Stoops Post-Game Press Conference
  McBride Electric Play of the Game (Malcolm Kelly)
  Jani-King Clean Sweep of the Game (Adrian Peterson)
 
O-Zone Post-Game Locker Room Audio
  Senior Quarterback Paul Thompson
  Junior Running Back Adrian Peterson
  Junior Kicker Garrett Hartley
  Sophomore Receiver Malcolm Kelly
  Senior Safety Jason Carter
  R-Freshman Tight End Brody Eldridge
  Sophomore Cornerback Reggie Smith
  Head Coach Bob Stoops
  Offensive Coordinator Kevin Wilson
  Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables