In a performance reminiscent of the John Blake era, No. 21 Oklahoma fumbled their way to a 41-24 loss to unranked UCLA Saturday at the Rose Bowl.
In all, the Sooners fumbled the ball seven times, losing three, which led to 17 UCLA points.
"You're not going to win when you turn the ball over and put the ball on the ground like we did," said OU head coach Bob Stoops
. It's just poor football. Until we can be responsible with the ball, it's impossible to win.
Oklahoma took a quick 7-0 lead on their first possession when receiver Travis Wilson took a reverse 56-yards for a touchdown, but the meltdown was soon to follow
The Bruins took advantage of a botched punt return by receiver Lendy Holmes, recovering the ball and one play later connecting on a 19-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 7-7 with 5:31 to go in the first half.
Then, late in the first quarter, Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson's lost fumble led to a UCLA 44-yard field goal by Justin Medlock that gave the Bruins a 10-7 lead with five seconds to go in the first quarter.
The Bruins extended the lead to 13-7 with 3:15 to go in the half on a 51-yard field, but the Sooners responded with a nice drive, led by redshirt freshman quarterback Rhett Bomar, that ended with a 37-yard Garrett Hartely field goal with 15 seconds left in the half to cut the lead to 13-10.
The Sooners got the ball to start the second half, but Bomar was sacked, fumbled and the ball was picked up by UCLA linebacker Spencer Havner, who returned it 13-yards for a touchdown to push the Bruins' lead to 20-10 with 13:13 to go in the third quarter.
Two drives later, Bomar led Oklahoma down the field again, and this time it was a tough 11-yard touchdown run by Peterson that got the Sooners in the end zone to cut the lead to 20-17 with 3:25 to go.
Oklahoma then looked to have the momentum forcing UCLA into a third and long on the drive after Peterson's score, but the Bruins picked up 22 yards on pass play over the middle.
Then, facing a third and three on the same drive, UCLA quarterback Drew Olsen found Marcedes Lewis wide open on a third and three play-action pass for a touchdown to give the Bruins a 27-17 lead with 12:32 to go in the game.
Two drives later, the Oklahoma defense appeared to have picked off an Olsen pass and returned it to the UCLA 25, but the play was called back because of a questionable pass interference call on Sooner cornerback Chijioke Onyenegecha
That call would turned out to be a major swing in the game, as it took the Sooners out of scoring position and gave the Bruins the ball back, and the capitilized by marching down the field for another touchdown to push the lead to 31-17.
The Oklahoma offense would fight back on their next drive, when Bomar scampered 16-yards for a touchdown to cut the lead back to 10 with 3:49 to go, but it was too little too late.
Overall, the Sooners racked up 398 yards of total offense to UCLA's 397. Oklahoma's defense was stout against the run, giving up just 83 yards, but soft against pass allowing the Bruins to throw for 314 yards.
The lone bright spots for the Oklahoma offense were Bomar and Wilson.
"I felt like Rhett started to get some rhythm and confidence in what he was doing," Stoops said. "Our receivers made some nice plays and in that part of it I feel like we're getting somewhere and making some progress."
Bomar completed 20 of his 29 passes for a career-high 241 yards, while Wilson caught seven passes for 101 yards and carried the ball twice on reverses for 61 yards.
Peterson, who was held under 100 yards only twice last season, was denied the century mark for the second time in three games with 58 yards on 23 carries.
OU-UCLA Box Score
Turnovers, miscues cost Sooners against Bruins
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