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Sooners stage comeback to beat Longhorns again

RB Quentin Griffin has another big day against Texas in a 35-24 victory.

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

DALLAS -- Just as the Red River shootout started to slip away from Oklahoma, Quentin Griffin ran to the rescue -- and all over Texas.

Griffin scooped up a loose ball for the go-ahead touchdown, ran 17 yards for the clinching score and had a career-high 248 yards as the No.2 Sooners beat the No.3 Longhorns 35-24 on Saturday in Big 12 play.

"Quentin had an incredible day," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "I think he really likes to play Texas."

The running back scored six touchdowns against Texas in 2000.

Oklahoma beat its Red River rival for the third consecutive time, but this one was the toughest.

It trailed by 11 in the second quarter and was behind at halftime for the first time since the 1999 Independence Bowl. But it rallied with 24 consecutive points.

"I knew if we kept executing, something would give," Sooners tight end Trent Smith said. "This is what we prepared for all week long. We had the confidence."

Texas got its first three scores, and a 17-11 lead, by making the most of Nate Hybl's interceptions. Otherwise, the Longhorns didn't do much.

Coach Mack Brown fell to 2-7 against Top 10 teams. Quarterback Chris Simms was 12-for-26 for 156 yards with three interceptions and four sacks, including one on the game's final play. He has committed 15 turnovers in games against Top 10 teams.

"It has nothing to do with Chris and I. It's about the team," Brown said. "Any time you lose to OU, it's disappointing."

What hurt the Longhorns more than Simms' interceptions was his inability to get the offense going during the second half.

Texas got a first down on its second play of the third quarter then didn't get another until 2:43 left. In between, the Longhorns went from being ahead 14-11 to trailing 35-17.

The Sooners' rally started after Simms' third interception.

Early in the fourth, Hybl threw a third-and-goal pass from the 6 to Will Peoples in the right flat. Linebacker Reed Boyd forced a fumble just shy of the goal line, but Griffin was right there. He scooped it up and walked in for a touchdown that put Oklahoma ahead for the first time, 21-17.

The Sooners scored again on their next possession, a 3-yard touchdown run by Kejuan Jones.

Then it was back to Griffin. On Oklahoma's next drive, he carried on all four plays for 59 yards, capped by his 17-yarder that made it 35-17.

Hybl, a senior, struggled.

After not throwing an interception in his past 148 passes, he was picked off on his fifth, 13th and 19th throws. He finished 12-for-29 for 131 yards.

Simms wasn't any better.

Simms scored on a 1-yard run after Hybl's first interception, and the second was returned 73 yards by Rod Babers for a 14-3 Texas lead.

Antwone Savage returned the kickoff 81 yards to the Texas 16. After a Texas offside on fourth and 2 kept the drive alive, Hybl threw a 3-yard touchdown to Trent Smith. The Sooners got the two-point conversion.

Hybl again proved to be Texas' best offensive weapon as his third interception put the Longhorns on the Oklahoma 21. They settled for a 36-yard field goal by Dusty Mangum to go up 17-11.

Simms scored Texas' final touchdown on a 1-yard run.

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