Peterson, Oklahoma run out of UAB's opening trap

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- It's all about Adrian for Oklahoma.

With Paul Thompson still settling in as Oklahoma's quarterback,

Adrian Peterson helped the 10th-ranked Sooners avert a second

straight season-opening disaster by running for 139 yards and

scoring twice in the second half of a 24-17 win over UAB on

Saturday night.

UAB team physician hurt

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src="" width=50 height=50

border=0 alt="UAB Blazers">

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UAB's team physician had to be carted off

the field after a Blazer receiver collided with her along

the sidelines.

Willie Edwards had caught a 30-yard pass down UAB's sideline

before running out of bounds and slamming into Dr. Brenda Baumann

in front of a large cooling fan near the Blazers' bench. Baumann

was taken off the sidelines on a cart and taken to a hospital.

Her condition was not immediately known.

-- Associated Press

"I wouldn't say we escaped," Peterson said. "We came out and

we fought."

Thompson proved inconsistent in his return to quarterback after

nearly a year away, but Peterson took control by running for 83

yards in the second half as the Sooners' offense became almost

completely reliant on him.

Peterson got the ball only nine times in the first half, but the

Sooners (1-0) went to him on 11 straight plays after halftime. His

sixth carry in a row resulted in a 4-yard touchdown run for a 14-7

Sooners lead.

The 2004 Heisman runner-up later atoned for a fumble on his

eighth consecutive rush by taking a screen pass from Thompson 69

yards down the right sideline for a score that gave Oklahoma the

lead for good at 21-17.

"It might have looked like he was starting off a little slow,

but you can guarantee he's going to break a couple of them and

that's what he did," Thompson said. "So we kept feeding him the

rock and then taking the pass whenever we felt like we could take

it. It worked out the best for us."

When the string of 11 straight Peterson touches finally ended,

so did the Sooners' offensive success. Juaquin Iglesias dropped a

potential touchdown pass in the front of the end zone, and Oklahoma

had to settle for a 30-yard field goal by Garrett Hartley.

That proved to be enough, though. Swayze Waters missed a 43-yard

field goal to end one drive for UAB (0-1), and Oklahoma took

advantage of new NCAA timing rules to run off the final 2:22 after

the Blazers' final possession ended with a punt.

"Some might look at this as we looked kind of sloppy, but it is

definitely the first game. A win is a win," Thompson said. "We

definitely feel good. We feel like we can build on this."

Still, Oklahoma has to be wondering whether Thompson is an able

replacement for Rhett Bomar, who was dismissed last month after

investigators discovered he had broken NCAA rules by taking money

for work he did not perform at a Norman car dealership. Bomar led

OU to wins in six of its last seven games last season.

Thompson, who was the starter in Oklahoma's 17-10 upset loss to

TCU in the season opener last year, had no signs of rust early

after moving back to quarterback from receiver following Bomar's

dismissal. Thompson had been practicing exclusively at receiver

from the Sooners' win against Oregon in the Holiday Bowl last

December until fall camp began.

He opened 8-for-10, including two connections with tight end Joe

Jon Finley on a swift, two-play 46-yard scoring drive on Oklahoma's

second possession. Finley's wide-open grab along the right hash for

a 21-yard score put the Sooners up 7-0.

Thompson's production dropped off from there. Passes started

flying wide, short or high, and he had two throws picked off in the

final five minutes of the first half -- one on a deflection off

Iglesias' hands as he leaped to catch a high pass and another as

Chris Felder slid in front of Iglesias at the UAB 3 to prevent a

Sooners score.

In the second half, he threw only five passes as the Sooners

rode Peterson. Thompson finished with 227 yards on 14-for-24

passing with two interceptions and two touchdowns.

"I was very pleased. I anticipated he'd play well. I really did

feel good," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "He is very, very

capable and we really believe he's got a chance to be really


UAB pulled starting quarterback Chris Williams -- who nearly led

the Blazers to an upset at No. 4 Georgia in a 16-13 loss in 2003 --

after two series without a first down, and junior Sam Hunt proved

to be an effective replacement.

He led a 15-play, 80-yard scoring drive that Corey White capped

with a 5-yard TD run. White later added a touchdown on a 24-yard

screen pass from Hunt, and the Blazers led 17-14 after Peterson's

fumble set up a 32-yard field goal by Waters.

Hunt completed 9 of 15 passes for 149 yards and also had 65

yards rushing.

It just wasn't enough to overcome Peterson.

"He is the best player we've seen in 12 years here, maybe the

best player I have ever seen," said UAB coach Watson Brown, the

brother of Texas coach and Oklahoma rival Mack Brown. "He will

touch the ball enough times that he is going to make enough plays

for them. They just keep going to him and he will figure out the