Top Ranked OU Triumphs Over No. 5 Seminoles

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — If Sooner fans wanted to see resiliency from their No. 1 team in the nation, that's just what they got, as OU took a late punch from the fifth-ranked Florida State Seminoles and responded with a knockout punch of its own to secure a huge 23-13 road victory Saturday night at a raucous Doak Campbell Stadium.

"To finish the game like we did I just really want to start off by saying how proud I am of the character and poise we showed in the fourth quarter," said OU head coach Bob Stoops. "When they sensed blood and the stadium's on you, you feel they have the momentum and we just seized it right back."

The Seminoles tied it up at 13 when backup quarterback Clint Trockett hit wide receiver Rashad Green on a third-and-28 play for the 56-yard touchdown.

It looked like they would get the ball back when they forced the Sooners into a third-and-12, but that's when quarterback Landry Jones and the Sooner offense rose up to the occasion.

He found slot receiver Ryan Broyles on a 22-yard post to move the sticks.

One play later, Jones hit wide receiver Kenny Stills for a 37-yard touchdown to reclaim the lead at 20-13.

"Landry with a great pass, Kenny Stills with a huge catch--a really tough, competitive catch," Stoops said.

After that, the defense did what it did most of the night: come up with another big play.

With Florida State facing a second-and-13 from its own 33, free safety Javon Harris picked off a batted ball, and that allowed OU to put the game on ice.

"Then the defense answered, comes back, gets pressure, gets an interception," Stoops said.

The Sooners milked the clock and got into field goal range from that point, where place kicker Jimmy Stevens, albeit not the prettiest kicking job, booted through a 31-yarder.

"Then, to pound the clock out running the football was a big deal because they still had opportunities if you don't use the clock and get the points," Stoops said.

Even though the Sooners came out victorious, though, the story for a large portion of the evening was OU's lack of execution offensively.

In the first half with OU up 7-3, Jones threw an ill-advised pass when he should have either eaten it or thrown it away, and instead Seminoles linebacker Nigel Bradham came up with a pick.

Additionally, twice in the second quarter the Sooners were in goal-to-go situations inside the five and couldn't come up with six.

The first time, OU tried three straight runs with running back Dominique Whaley and couldn't get closer than the two.

The second time, OU squandered Harris' first pick of the game, which he returned 69-yards to the three, by coming up short on a pair of passes along with a run.

Still, OU had a 13-3 advantage at intermission.

That's because the Sooners struck first when they methodically marched down the field on the game's opening drive, distancing 80 yards on 15 plays in 6:25, as Jones snuck it in from one yard out.

But Florida State had a response.

FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel, who left in the third quarter with a shoulder injury, guided his troops down the field where they were twice at the 24, but they had to settle for a 53-yard field goal attempt.

Place kicker Dustin Hopkins was true on the first of his two field goals and it was 7-3 Sooners at the time.

OU out-gained the Seminoles 310-246 in the contest and had 20 first downs to FSU's 16.

Jones threw for 199 yards and a touchdown, going 18-for-27 with two interceptions.

Stills had a career-high 125 receiving yards on seven catches, one of those his touchdown, which was a tough catch, as Stoops said.

"You know, Landry puts the ball up and he trusts me to go make a play," Stills said. "So, yeah, it could have been in front of me, but I'm not going to complain. The ball was great, and I scored, and I made the play."

Whaley led the Sooners' ground attack with 71 yards.

For FSU, Trickett was 7-of-15 for 134 yards and a touchdown along with a pick.

Manuel finished 13-for-19 for 85 yards, but with two interceptions.

Green led all Seminoles receivers with 70 yards and a touchdown, catching three balls.

Manuel led a basically non-existent FSU ground attack with 49 yards.

The Sooners, now 2-0, await the Missouri Tigers, who will come to town next week.

FSU heads to Clemson for a showdown at Death Valley.

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