Friday, December 13, 2002
No. 1 Oklahoma 27, Texas Tech 13
NORMAN, Okla. -- Josh Heupel led Oklahoma 71 yards for the clinching touchdown late in the fourth quarter as the Sooners won the Big XII South Division by beating Texas Tech 27-13 on Saturday.
Heupel was intercepted twice on an afternoon when Oklahoma (10-0, 7-0) had 11 penalties and scored its fewest points this season. But he was 7-of-8 for 60 yards on the final drive, which used more than five minutes.
The Red Raiders (7-5, 3-5) put up a good fight in coach Mike Leach's return to Norman and made things interesting by getting within eight at 21-13 midway through the fourth. But Oklahoma ended any upset hopes with the late drive.
Oklahoma ends the regular season next week against Oklahoma State and will play Kansas State for the Big XII championship on Dec. 2 in Kansas City, Mo.
As Oklahoma's offensive coordinator last year, Leach installed the spread offense that Oklahoma has used to lead the nation in scoring at 44.7 points per game. His Red Raiders controlled the clock much of the day, with Kliff Kingsbury completing 41 of 61 passes for 295 yards.
The Red Raiders used their second interception of Heupel to begin a drive at Oklahoma's 33 late in the third quarter. They failed to score after having first and goal at the 2, and settled for a short field goal.
The Sooners went nowhere on their next drive and Tech took over at the Oklahoma 40 after a punt. Five plays later, Kingsbury hit Tim Baker on a 15-yard touchdown pass that made it 21-13 with 7:13 to play.
Heupel spread the ball to four receivers on the final drive, including a 15-yarder to tight end Matt Anderson that set up Quentin Griffin's 3-yard touchdown run with 1:53 remaining.
Heupel wound up 24 of 38 for a season-low 248 yards.
Oklahoma's offense took longer than any game this season to get into the end zone. It wasn't until the 5:38 mark of the second quarter that Heupel found Trent Smith on a 6-yard scoring pass to complete a 79-yard drive.
Oklahoma's first touchdown had come in the first quarter when J.T. Thatcher intercepted a tipped pass and returned it 85 yards for a score.
But Thatcher muffed a punt in the second quarter, giving the Red Raiders the ball at the 22 and leading to their only first-half points, a 42-yard field goal by Chris Birkholz.
The Sooners had the ball fewer than five minutes in the first quarter while Tech controlled the clock with its passing game. Oklahoma had one first-quarter drive end with a blocked field goal and went three and out on another possession.
A 51-yard completion from Heupel to Curtis Fagan on the first play of the second quarter gave the Sooners a first down at the 17-yard line, but Josh Norman fumbled the ball away on the next snap.
Heupel had completions of 16 yards to Matt Anderson and 23 yards to Josh Norman to set up Renaldo Works' 5-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter, giving the Sooners a 21-3 lead.
|The Oklahoma defense stiffened up against Texas Tech's high-powered offense.|