Oklahoma snaps BCS losing streak

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Bye, bye BCS bug and so long Cinderella struggles.

Neither of those were the case Saturday night, as No. 7 OU defeated the Connecticut Huskies 48-20 in front of 67,232 at University of Phoenix Stadium to cap off the season with a Fiesta Bowl victory and end its five-game BCS losing skid.

"[I'm] very proud of our football team for the way they played," said OU head coach Bob Stoops. "They deserve the credit. They were out there making plays. They played hard. They played well really all night."

It started from the opening coin toss, which OU won and deferred, then followed up with a defensive stand.

The Sooners got on the board first moments later when quarterback Landry Jones hit tight end James Hanna for an 8-yard touchdown reception on third-and-7.

OU took a two score lead late in the first quarter after running back DeMarco Murray wisely pulled back from a crowd on a play designed up the middle and blasted around the end for a 3-yard touchdown.

"I just think [getting off to a fast start] gets you off as a quarterback, just gets you into a rhythm of the game," Jones said. "Starting well just gets your confidence up and maybe some shots that are a little tighter on in the game, you throw them instead of if you start off bad, maybe checking it down or something like that. It just gets your confidence rolling."

The Sooners were poised to take total command of this game, driving near midfield still up 14-0, until Jones threw an interception that UConn cornerback Dwayne Gratz took back 46 yards to the house, slicing the lead in half.

However, that was virtually his only mistake in an otherwise flawless outing, as he bounced back nicely on his way to winning Offensive Player of the Game.

"Yeah, as a quarterback you are going to throw interceptions," Jones said. "In a football game, things are going to happen. Just thinking back on Oklahoma State and just some of the games where we had multiple-interception games, just learning from those experiences and guys just really brought me through a lot this season, playing bad on the road and then coming back and playing really well."

Place kicker Jimmy Stevens hit a pair of field goals, first from 41 yards and then from 24, extending OU's lead to 20-7.

UConn place kicker Dave Teggart booted one through from 37 yards out to make it 20-10 at halftime.

After stalling on their opening drive of the second half, OU's defense held, and that's when Jones threw a strike down the right sideline to a wide open receiver, Cameron Kenney for the 59-yard touchdown and 27-10 advantage.

Moments later, cornerback Jamell Fleming picked off UConn quarterback Zach Frazer and returned it 55 yards for the score.

"I broke up on the route, he tipped the ball right to my hands and I just took off and ran as hard as I could," Fleming said.

It was 34-10 at the time.

But UConn kickoff returner Robbie Frey took the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, and the lead was back to 17.

Teggart added his second field goal of the evening with 5:04 left in the third, a 38-yarder, that made it 34-20.

A couple minutes later, after OU went three-and-out and UConn followed suit, Ryan Broyles appeared to be headed for the end zone on a punt return but coughed it up while changing hands with the football on the UConn 25-yard line, and the Huskies recovered at the 18.

But they held again, setting up another big play in the game when OU marched down to the Huskies' 30.

On fourth-and-7, Stoops went back to the same fake field goal play he tried against Texas A&M that failed.

With one minor change—tight end Trent Ratterree was the intended target instead of Hanna—the try still failed, and OU's lead stayed at 34-20.

The Sooners did eventually go up 21 when Broyles hauled in a fantastic catch on the right boundary of the end zone, a 5-yard touchdown reception.

"Jeez, that catch he made, he just every—does something amazing every game," Stoops said.

From that point on, it was smooth sailing.

Safety Tony Jefferson returned the Sooners' second interception for a touchdown with just 2:40 remaining to finish off the scoring for the night.

OU outgained UConn 524-335 in the contest.

Jones was 34-of-49 for a record-setting 429 yards, the most ever in an OU bowl game—he surpassed his previous mark of 418 in last year's Sun Bowl—and had three touchdowns as well.

Broyles had yet another monster receiving day, racking up 170 yards and a touchdown on 13 receptions.

Kenney also had a huge night with 154 yards and a score on seven catches.

UConn's Frazer finished 19-for-39 for 223 yards, no touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.

Todman rushed for 121 yards for the Huskies.

Get inside coverage of your favorite team. Click here now to get started.

Follow me at twitter.com/joeyhelmer10 or facebook.com/joeyhelmer.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories