The stage is set.
With Oklahoma's 33-17 win over Baylor Saturday in Norman and Nebraska's 41-31 win over Texas Tech, the stage is set for another epic "Battle of the Big Reds" next Saturday in Lincoln.
Once again sophomore quarterback Jason White was the spark offensively for the Sooners, who used a 27-point first half and a late drive in the fourth quarter to seal the victory for the Sooners and extend the nation's longest winning streak to 20 games.
White, making his first career start at Memorial Stadium, became the fifth quarterback in Oklahoma history to throw for over 300 yards, and the second quarterback in OU history to complete more than 30 passes after connecting 32-of-44 passes for 343 yards.
"I never thought I would throw the ball 44 times. The offensive line did a great job and they gave me time the whole game. Also, the wide receivers got open, but I can still make quicker decisions," said White, who was sacked eight times by the Bears. "My main problem was holding the ball too long. I could have made better decisions, like throwing it away on some of those sacks."
The sophomore from Tuttle, Okla. helped the Sooners get on the board on their opening series, directing a 10-play, 80-yard drive ending with a 12-yard pass to Curtis Fagan at the 10:48 mark of the first quarter.
Baylor quickly responded to the Sooners opening drive when Randy Davis returned the ensuing kick-off 93-yards to notch the game at 7-7 with 10:31 to go in the first quarter.
The Sooners then piled on 20 consecutive points in the second and third quarters after getting a pair of touchdown runs by White and Renaldo Works, and a pair of field goals (31, 19) by Tim Duncan.
Baylor then responded with 10 consecutive points in the fourth quarter capping a 13-play, 78-yard drive early in the fourth quarter with a 8-yard touchdown pass, and capitalizing on a Curtis Fagan fumble on the ensuing kickoff with a 31-yard field goal by Adam Stiles to cut the lead to 27-17 with 11:49 to go in the game.
Then, White and the Oklahoma offense worked their magic for the second consecutive game with a 12-play, 80-yard drive midway through the fourth quarter to put the game away, capped by a 4-yard touchdown dart by Works to give OU a 33-17 lead.
"Jason was outstanding, passing and running the ball effectively," said Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops on White performance. "What impressed me the most was he seemed to be in control of the offense throughout the game. Jason executed the first touchdown exceptionally and that set the tone for the game."
"I think one of the reasons for our success is our ability to produce when we absolutely have to, whether it is a big defensive play or a long productive drive late in the game," said Stoops.
Stoops also had plenty of praise for a much-improved Baylor team that was beaten badly (56-3) by the Sooners last year in Waco.
"I didn't think we played bad at all," said Stoops. "A lot more has to do with the fact Baylor is an improving team. You have to give them credit."
Last week, White's top target through the air was tight end Trent Smith. TThis week, it was redshirt freshman receiver Mark Clayton.
Clayton was the Sooners' leading receiver on the day with eight catches and for 108 yards. Clayton's eight receptions were the most-ever by an Oklahoma freshman, and his 45-yard reception in the first quarter was the longest of his career.
"I was trying to get upfield most of the day but Baylor is a good defensive team. I had to shorten some of my routes but I have good chemistry with Jason White," said the freshman receiver.
"It was no different with Jason back there instead of Nate. I just run my routes and if he throws it to me, I catch it."
"That's a good football team in the other locker room," said Baylor Head Coach Kevin Steele. They're well coached and they are good players."
Quentin Griffin led the Sooners rushing attack with 50 yards on 13 carries.
Next up for the Sooners is "The Battle of the Big Reds" with No. 3 ranked Nebraska next Saturday in Lincoln.
"Nebraska is a great team. We need to go out and work hard so we can play with them," said White. "We will be ready."
OU-Baylor Stats: SoonerSports.com
OU-Baylor Notes: SoonerSports.com
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