White, offense save the day for Sooners

Oklahoma's Mark Bradley catches the 39-yard game-winning touchdown from Jason White as Texas A&M's Broderick Newton chases during the fourth quarter. Bradely, quarterback Jason White and the Sooner offense racked up 433 yards of total offense and outscored the Aggies 28-7 in the second half. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

For the third game in four weeks Oklahoma found themselves trailing on the road. And for the third time in four weeks, quarterback Jason White bailed them out.

White threw five touchdown passes, three in the second half, as the second-ranked Sooners (9-0) overcame a 14-point second quarter deficit for a 42-35 win over No. 22 Texas A&M (6-3) Saturday in College Station.

"He's the best," said Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops on White, who finished with 292 passing yards. "You say all you want about him, that guy, he's talented. He sits in there all the time and he stays calm. He just keeps competing. He makes plays that matter. You see it every week. Jason White was just sensational."

"Just another day at the office, I guess," Stoops continued when asked about the win. "We knew coming in they were a far different team than a year ago and that they'd been playing awfully well. Excellent job of coaching by Coach Franchione and his group of coaches. I'm awful proud of our guys. To overcome all that we did today, I think is the positive side."

Texas A&M scored on their first four possessions of the game to break out to a 28-14 lead, but it was White who kept the Sooners closed and helped them draw within seven of the Aggies with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Joe John Finley with 1:09 to go in the first half.

From that point on, 'Sooner Magic' took when Tony Cade recovered a fumble by A&M receiver Terrance Murphy on the kick-off to begin the second half at the Aggies' 10-yard line. Two plays later, White hit Mark Bradley in the back of the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown strike to tie the game at 28-28 just 52 seconds into the second half.

Two drives later, Chijioke Onyenegecha forced fumble Murphy to fumble after a catch that was recovered by Rufus Alexander at the Aggies' 11-yard line. And two plays later, White hit Bubba Moses on a play-action pass for a 2-yard touchdown connection to give the Sooners a 35-28 lead with 8:41 to go in the third quarter.

"Those were big breaks, especially when you're not planning on that type of kick-off and it just worked the right way," said Stoops. "That's some good fortune. And then Chijioke comes up and knocks the ball loose on a short passing route. Within a few minutes we had the lead back. That was big."

Despite the fact the Sooners knocked Texas A&M quarterback Reggie McNeal, who threw for over 150 yard in the first half, out of the game midway through the third quarter, the Aggies came back behind the arm of back-up quarterback Ty Branyon. Branyon led the Aggies on 12-play, 80-yard drive which was capped when A&M Chad Schroeder hit tight end Joey Thomas for a 4-yard touchdown off a fake field goal attempt that tied the game at 35-35 at the 10:08 mark of the fourth quarter.

However, the Aggies didn't hold the lead for long as White led the Sooners down the field on an 8-play, 80 yard game-winning drive on the very next possession. On a crucial third down play, White avoided the rush, stepped up in the pocket and found Bradley over the middle for a 39-yard touchdown to give the Sooners the lead for good.

"It's ironic," Stoops said on the game-winning drive. "We squandered some excellent field position in that late third quarter, early fourth quarter. And then here we get the ball and we take it the length of the field. Excellent protection again, and Jason hangs in there on a third down play and finds Mark Bradley in the middle and Mark splits them all and scores. Big play. That was a big drive, especially after the fake field goal to tie it."

A lot of credit for the comeback also has to go to the Oklahoma defense. After getting shelled for almost 300 yards and 28 points in the first half, the Sooner defense held the Aggies to just seven points while forcing two turnovers in the second half.

"I don't believe I could walk away from this and be comfortable with what we did in the first half, but I know what we're capable of and I saw that in the second half," said Stoops on the defenses performance. "We've got to play better, and I recognize that. We'll keep working on it."

Freshman running back Adrian Peterson, who injured his shoulder late in the fourth quarter was huge once again for the Sooners. Peterson reached the century makr for the ninth straight game with 101 yards on 29 carries and one first half touchdown. Peterson came back in the game for one carry after the injury, however his status for next week's game against Nebraska is unkown at this time.

All in all, Stoops was glad to get out of College Station with a win.

"In the end, I'm smart enough to recognize all that we overcame down here in this atmosphere and still came away with the victory," said Stoops. "It's not easy to do down here, so I'm proud of their efforts and the way they hung in there."

"I'm also smart enough to realize we that we got some good fortune. On TV, I stole Coach Spurrier's line that the good Lord was smiling on the Sooners here tonight."

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