NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- With its offense sputtering and Texas A&M
closing in, the Oklahoma Sooners turned to their workhorse to
provide a spark.
Adrian Peterson rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns and
propelled Oklahoma's stalling offense to a crucial late score in a
36-30 win against Texas A&M on Saturday.
After the Aggies (5-5, 3-4 Big 12) had come back from 21 points
down to get within 30-24, the Sooners (6-3, 5-1) gave the ball to
Peterson on five straight plays on their way to the clinching
"We were all just determined to get down there and score again
when they got kind of close," Peterson said.
"We're trying to run the clock out and pound it and get the
game iced, and fortunately we were able to do it," Oklahoma coach
Bob Stoops said.
Todd Pegram kicked field goals of 34 and 27 yards to bring the
Aggies within 36-30 with 3:30 left.
A&M later stuffed Peterson for a 7-yard loss on second down, but
Bomar connected with Juaquin Iglesias for a 34-yard gain on
third-and-12, and the Sooners ran out the clock.
Bomar threw for a career-high 298 yards with one touchdown and
one interception, and Malcolm Kelly caught five passes for 118
yards for Oklahoma, which is bowl eligible for the seventh straight
season after winning its last four games.
"We're bowl eligible. We're back on track winning games, and a
lot of guys are confident knowing that we can win," Peterson said.
"(They) just step on the field knowing the attitude that we're
going to win.
"Even when they came within six, it was like a lot of guys just
knew we've got to go out there and do what we need to do and we
still can pull this win off."
Texas A&M failed in its third attempt to qualify for a bowl. The
Aggies' last chance comes against No. 2 Texas on Nov. 25.
Reggie McNeal threw for 158 yards and two touchdowns and set the
Texas A&M record for career yards passing before leaving in the
third quarter with an injury. He finished with 6,992 yards passing,
breaking Corey Pullig's mark of 6,846 yards set from 1992-95.
He'd need only 8 more yards passing to become the fourth player
in Division I history with 2,000 yards rushing and 7,000 yards
passing in his career.
McNeal had to be helped off the field after being sacked for a
safety in the third quarter.
"I didn't see what happened, but I felt my left ankle fold up
... and I couldn't walk on it," McNeal said.
McNeal said he thought the ankle was sprained, and Texas A&M
coach Dennis Franchione said it wouldn't be a season-ending injury.
"I'm a warrior, but I'll leave it up to the trainers," McNeal
said. "Hopefully, I'll be ready for Texas."
Stephen McGee replaced McNeal and ran for 67 yards on option
runs and scrambles. All six of his pass attempts fell incomplete.
Courtney Lewis finished with 146 yards -- the most for any player
this season against Oklahoma, which entered the game second in the
nation against the run. Only Texas' Jamaal Charles, who had an
80-yard touchdown run among his 116 yards, had more than 100 yards
against Oklahoma this season before Lewis.
The Aggies ended up with 292 yards rushing.
The game initially looked like a repeat of Oklahoma's 77-0 win
Oklahoma got off to an even quicker start than it did two years
ago, scoring three times before the Aggies could pick up their
second first down. Peterson scored on runs of 10 and 6 yards, and
Bomar's 15-yard score on a quarterback keeper made it 21-0 only
8:32 into the game.
Oklahoma led 28-7 after Allen Patrick's 28-yard TD run, but
after racking up 277 yards in the first quarter, the Sooners'
offense slowed considerably.
"I don't know if it's mentally that we relax. I don't think
that's the case," Stoops said. "Or if it's that we're just not
truly good enough or experienced enough yet -- seasoned, drilled,
tough, whatever -- to stick with it and to execute that way for four
quarters. "When you keep allowing someone to hang around, that's
dangerous. That's how people come back and beat you."
McNeal's 5-yard touchdown pass to Lewis and a 42-yard field goal
by Pegram cut the deficit to 28-17, but Calvin Thibodeaux sacked
McNeal in the end zone for an Oklahoma safety, knocking McNeal out
of the game.
^Notes:@ The 84,943 fans set an Oklahoma attendance record. ...
Bomar's 161 yards passing in the first quarter was the
fourth-highest total in a single quarter in school history. ...
J.D. Quinn, who was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of driving
under the influence under 21 during the Sooners' bye week, did not
start for the first time in five games. Chris Chester, who had
started at center before injuring his right knee, started at guard,
and Jon Cooper made his first career start at center. ...
Representatives of the Alamo, Independence and Houston bowls
attended the game.
Tennessee athletic director Phillip Fulmer joins The Paul Finebaum Show to share his thoughts on head football coach Jeremy Pruitt and the state of the program.
Booger McFarland says Baker Mayfield's talent will keep him in the league, but he doesn't think Mayfield has the right character to carry a franchise.
Tennessee has hired former Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke to coach running backs.
Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson guided the Demon Deacons to another bowl victory and has high expectations for his team in 2018.
Mel Kiper Jr. explains how the interviews at the combine will be critical for Josh Rosen in determining where he ends up in the draft on April 26.
Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. agree that Saquon Barley is one of the most impactful running backs and believe he would be a smart pick for the Giants.