Still the one: Sooners survive the Tide

Oklahoma's Vince Carter celebrates after the Sooners' 20-13 win over Alabama Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Jason White threw two touchdown passes and the Sooners' defense did the rest as Oklahoma improved to 2-0. (AP Photo/John David Mercer)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Oklahoma became the first top-ranked opponent to ever play in Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday night, and that's exactly how they left — still on top.

The Sooners (2-0) used a stingy defense, two Jason White touchdown passes and one gutsy fake punt call to knock off Alabama (1-1), 20-13, in front of 83,818 upset hungry Crimson Tide fans Saturday in Tuscaloosa.

Leading 13-10 and facing fourth and 11 on their own 31-yard line with just under five minutes to go in the third quarter, Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops shocked everyone in Tuscaloosa with a fake punt call that resulted in a 22-yard pass from punter Blake Ferguson to backup safety Michael Thompson. And on the next play, the Sooners went for the jugular and took the sail out of the Tide with a 47-yard touchdown pass from White to Brandon Jones for what would be the eventual game-winning score.

"The fake punt gave us the momentum," said White, who completed 21 of 35 passes for 259 yards. "Coach Stoops made a great call, and since we had the momentum, we went with the deep shot and we got the game back. We kind of knew what defense they would be in so we went for it and it was a great call.""

"We practiced it this week," said Stoops on the fake punt call. "There was a time earlier in the game when I regretted not calling it, but we got another chance. In some of these games away from home, you need to make some calls and we had the guts to go for it and it worked."

"It was 4th and 11 and I couldn't believe we were going to run a fake punt," said Ferguson, who said that was his first pass attempt in a game since ninth grade. "But Coach Stoops drew up a good play. I was really nervous but luckily it worked and it was perfect. It was just a shot-put pass right over the line and it worked."

The Sooners jumped out to a quick lead early when Antonio Perkins' interception, of Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle's first pass of the game, set up a 34-yard field goal by Trey DiCarlo to give the Sooners a 3-0 lead at the 12:22 mark of the first quarter.

Oklahoma got great field position on their second drive and DiCarlo helped the Sooners extend the lead to 6-0 by hitting a 40-yard field goal with 7:10 to go in the first quarter.

Alabama got on the board with a 44-yard Brian Bostick field goal at the 4:55 mark of the second quarter, but the Sooners quickly responded with a 46-yard touchdown pass from White to Mark Clayton to put the Sooners up 13-3 at halftime.

But just like a year ago in Norman, the Tide began to roll in the second half and cut Oklahoma's lead to 16-13 when Brodie Croyle capped a 6-play, 80-yard drive with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Triandos Luke midway through the third quarter.

At that point, the Tide was rolling. Alabama's defense shut down the Sooners on their next drive, but that's Stoops' fake punt call changed the game.

"It hurt," said Alabam Head Coach Mike Shula on the fake punt. "After a nice drive we held them and then they got the fake punt and that was a big play."

Alabama would add a late field goal to cut OU's lead to 20-13 at the 2:45 mark, but Travis Wilson recovered the Tide's onside kick and the Sooners ran out the remainder of the clock to seal the win.

"They are number one for a reason and we found that out tonight," Shula said. "They are extremely well-coached and they have great players. They are a great team."

"My compliments to an excellent Alabama team," said Stoops. "It was a hard fought game. To hold the lead the entire game is not easy, against a team like Alabama."


Oklahoma-Kejuan Jones 20-63; Renaldo Works 6-12; TEAM 1-minus 1. Alabama-Shaud Williams 17-91; Ray Hudson 3-13; Brodie Croyle 10-12; Kenneth Darby 1-minus 2; Team 1-minus 6.

Oklahoma-Jason White 21-35-0-259; Blake Ferguson 1-1-0-22. Alabama-Brodie Croyle 24-42-2-195.

Oklahoma-Brandon Jones 7-86; Mark Bradley 4-83; Mark Clayton 3-54; Travis Wilson 2-9; Micha Thompson 1-22; J.D. Runnels 1-17; Jejuan Rankins 1-5; James Moses 1-4; Lance Donley 1-3; Kejuan Jones 1-minus 2. Alabama-Dre Fulgham 4-59; Triandos Luke 4-48; Shaud Williams 4-8; Zach Fletcher 2-23; Brandon Greer 2-17; Clint Johnston 2-15; Tim Castille 2-7; Kenneth Darby 2-5; Ray Hudson 1-7; Lance Taylor 1-6.

Sacks (UA-A)
Oklahoma-Tommie Harris 1-0; Dusty Dvoracek 1-0; Dan Cody 1-0; Jonath Jackson 1-0; Larry Birdine 1-0. Alabama-None.

Tackles (UA-A) Oklahoma-Lance Mitchell 10-0; Brandon Everage 7-3; Teddy Lehman 8-1; Donte Nicholson 7-1; Derrick Strait 3-1; Dan Cody 3-0; Jonathan Jackson 3-0; Antoni Perkins 3-0; Brodney Pool 2-0; Tommie Harris 2-0; Travis Wilson 1-1; Dusty Dvoracek 1-0; Mark Clayton 1-0; Kory Klein 1-0; Larry Birdine 1-0; Mark Bradley 1-0; Pasha Jackson 1-0. Alabama-Derrick Pope 10-4; Demeco Ryans 6-3; Freddie Roach 5-3; Anthony Madison 4-3; Roman Harper 5-1; Anthony Bryant 2-2; Charlie Peprah 3-0; Ahmad Childress 3-0; Charles Jones 3-0; Thurman Ward 3-0; David Scott 2-1; Antwan Odom 2-0; Shaud Williams 1-0; N M. Loescher 1-0; Mark Anderson 1-0; Juwan Garth 0-1; Ramzee Robinson 0-1.

Link to complete stats/box score

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