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Hybl has tough day in victory

The Oklahoma QB throws early interceptions before coming up with some key passes.

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 13, 2002


DALLAS -- Oklahoma quarterback Nate Hybl said it best after throwing four interceptions against No.3 Texas.

"Kind of in spite of me, our guys excelled," he said.

The No. 2 Sooners, behind Quentin Griffin's 248 yards rushing, won 35-24 on Saturday.

Hybl was just 12-of-29 for 131 yards. His first three interceptions led to 17 Texas points and helped put the Sooners into a 17-11 hole in the third quarter.

"Nate obviously struggled," offensive coordinator Chuck Long said. "But in the fourth quarter, he made the big throw when he had to make it. Late in the first half, he made the big throw when we needed it.

"That's the sign of a quarterback who's come to play."

A shoulder injury knocked Hybl out of the Texas game in the first half a year ago. He eventually lost his starting job but got it back before beginning this season on the bench.

When Jason White went out for the season with a torn ACL in the second game, Hybl took over.

He was picked off on his fifth throw Saturday, one play after Griffin ran 45 yards to set the Sooners up at the Texas 32.

Texas drove 71 yards for a touchdown and 7-0 lead.

Late in the half, with the score 7-3, Hybl lofted a pass for Renaldo Works. But Rod Babers stepped in front of Works and took it back 73 yards for a touchdown that made it 14-3.

"I just wanted to turn it around so bad for our guys," Hybl said. "I wanted to stay aggressive. I didn't want to back off, and my offensive linemen were telling me the same thing."

On a third and 9 late in the first half, Hybl hit Will Peoples, setting up a touchdown and two-point conversion.

Down 14-11, Oklahoma's first drive of the third quarter ended with another interception, this one giving Texas the ball at the Sooners 21. The defense held Texas to a field goal that made it 17-11.

Hybl came through with some key throws as Oklahoma took control in the fourth quarter.

With the score 17-14, Oklahoma took over at the Texas 38 after linebacker Teddy Lehman returned an interception 20 yards. On second and 10, Hybl threw a flanker screen that Peoples turned into a 14-yard gain.

On third and goal at the 6, he threw again to Peoples, who caught it at the 2 before fumbling. Griffin picked it up and stepped into the end zone to give Oklahoma a 21-17 lead with 13:23 left.

On the Sooners' next possession, Hybl had a 36-yard completion to Peoples that put the ball at the 8, setting up a short touchdown run by Kejuan Jones that made it 28-17.

"He wasn't afraid to take a shot, and I respect that," left guard Brad Davis said.

"For every interception he threw, he had a big play times two. I'd go to the wall with him every day."

Hybl looked exhausted and relieved after the game.

"My guys kind of just drug me along," he said. "I owe everything to them."

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