Norman, Okla. — No Adrian Peterson? No problem. Well, at least not during No. 20 Oklahoma's (5-2, 2-1) 24-3 romp of Colorado (1-7, 1-3) despite the windy, chilly conditions Saturday night in Norman.
All eyes were on Peterson's replacement, Allen Patrick, but it was the Sooners' defense that stole the show shutting out the Buffaloes for the 53 minutes and 47 seconds and holding them to 113 yards of total offense on 44 plays.
"I was really pleased on how they played the entire night," said OU head coach Bob Stoops, who improved to 5-1 against Colorado, on his defense. "Just on our positioning, they were solid. You saw all the moving and jumping around all night that Colorado does. I thought they did a great job recognizing, adjusting to what they were doing and being physical in tackling and containing their quarterback as well. Extremely pleased that way in the way we played."
"We have some great coaches on the defensive side of the ball with Coach Venables, Coach Stoops, Coach Wright and the rest of those guys came together with a great game plan," said senior linebacker Rufus Alexander, who finished with a season-high 11 tackles. "We had a good game. I thought we went out and executed well. Every defense wants the shutout, so we thought we kind of gave them the three."
Colorado's 13 passing yards were the fifth-lowest of the Stoops era, and it marked the 28th time under Stoops OU has held an opponent under seven points.
Offensively, the Sooners took advantage of having the wind at their backs in the first quarter. Paul Thompson capped Oklahoma's first possession of the game, a 12-play, 61-yard drive, with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Manuel Johnson that gave OU an early 7-0 lead at the 7:49 mark of the first quarter.
On their third possession, Stoops called timeouts after second and third down so that Garrett Hartley would still have the wind at his back for a 46-yard field goal with four seconds left in the quarter that pushed the lead to 10-0.
The Sooners extended the lead to 17-0 with 10:26 to go in the game when Allen Patrick finished a 12-play, 54-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run. Oklahoma then closed the game in dominating fashion with a 12-play, 43-yard drive, 11 of which were running plays, when true freshman Chris Brown scored on a 4-yard run with 17 seconds left.
All four of Oklahoma's scores were with the wind.
In all, the Sooners outgained the Buffaloes 271-113 and recorded 17 first downs to Colorado's five. Oklahoma also ran for 166 yards against the 'Buffs defense, which came into the game ranked ranked ninth nationally in rushing defense giving up just 77.43 yards per game.
"I thought starting fast was great," said offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. "Second quarter was tough. I thought we moved the ball well in the third, just didn't come away with points. It was like one of those old fashioned Big Ten games. Both teams were playing great defense."
"I thought we really managed the game," Stoops said on his offense. "Everyone knows and could tell how windy that was here. The conditions weren't the best. I believe that resulted in a lot of the drops. We had quite a few drops out there. They had a hard time throwing it as well. Just the gusts of wind that were down there were really tough."
Patrick, who made his first start in place of the injured Peterson, recorded career-highs in carries (35) and rushing yards (110). Thompson, who completed 17 of his 26 pass attempts for 105 yards, rushed for a season-high 25 yards.
"I did what I had to do to get things done," Patrick said. "We had planned to have more of a passing game, but because of the weather we ended up running a little more. We executed the whole time.
"I was excited because I was getting to play the whole game. I just wanted to let Colorado know who I was and that I was on the field."
"Really proud of Allen Patrick," Stoops said. "I thought he ran the ball really tough, really well. "Allen's a tough guy. He is a competitor. I always love his attitude."
"I thought Paul was really good," Stoops continued. "He had a lot of drops on him. He threw a lot of nice balls, and again, with the gusts of wind, I thought he managed the game really well. Offensive line did a really good job, I felt, running, protecting the quarterback."
The bad news of the day came in the third quarter when sophomore starting offensive tackle Branndon Braxton suffered a season-ending injury with a broken fibia.
"I thought Trent Williams went in for Branndon Braxton and did a really nice job," said Stoops. "Brandon broke, I believe, his fibia, and so he'll be out now. But Trent came in there and did an excellent job.
With the win, OU extended their winning streak over Colorado to five games and now hold a 39-16-2 lead in the all-time series.
The Sooners will now hit the road for a two-game stretch beginning at Missouri next Saturday. Kick-off is set for 11 a.m.
--07:49 OU - Johnson, Manuel 3 yd pass from Thompson, Paul (Hartley, Garret kick), 12-61 5:20, CU 0 - OU 7
--00:04 OU - Hartley, Garret 46 yd field goal, 6-17 2:17, CU 0 - OU 10
--10:26 OU - Patrick, Allen 2 yd run (Hartley, Garret kick), 12-54 4:51, CU 0 - OU 17
--06:13 CU - Crosby, Mason 39 yd field goal, 11-51 4:00, CU 3 - OU 17
--00:17 OU - Brown, Chris 4 yd run (Hartley, Garret kick), 12-43 5:49, CU 3 - OU 24
RUSHING: Colorado-Jackson,Bernard 10-54; Holliday, Mell 10-23; Charles, Hugh 6-2; Williams,Patric 3-0; TEAM 1-minus 5. Oklahoma-Patrick, Allen 35-110; Thompson, Paul 5-26; Gutierrez, Jacob 5-18; Brown, Chris 4-12.
PASSING: Colorado-Jackson,Bernard 3-14-1-39. Oklahoma-Thompson, Paul 17-26-0-105.
RECEIVING: Colorado-Crawford, Cody 1-22; DeVree, Tyson 1-11;
Williams,Patric 1-6. Oklahoma- Kelly, Malcolm 7-64; Finley, Joe Jon 2-22;
Zaslaw, Dane 2-12; Johnson, Manuel 2-11; Iglesias, Juaquin 2-minus 4; Eldridge,
Brody 1-3; Gutierrez, Jacob 1-minus 3.
INTERCEPTIONS: Colorado-None. Oklahoma Sooners-Latimer, Zach 1-0.
FUMBLES: Colorado-Jackson,Bernard 2-0; Robinson,Stepho 1-1;
Williams,Patrick 1-0. Oklahoma- Smith, Reggie 1-0; Kelly, Malcolm 1-1.
SACKS (UA-A): Colorado-None. Oklahoma-None.
TACKLES (UA-A): Colorado-Washington,Thad 8-9; Dizon, Jordon 6-9;
Washington,Terr 8-1; Nicolas,Brandon 2-7; Walters, Ryan 4-3; Harris, Lionel 2-4;
Jones, Brad 2-4; Hypolite,George 0-5; Wheatley,Terren 2-1; Wright, Abraham 1-2;
Boye-Doe,Walter 2-0; Burney,Benjamin 1-0; Barrett, Alonzo 1-0; McKay, Gardner
0-1. Oklahoma- Alexander, Rufus 6-5; Latimer, Zach 4-2; Baker, Lewis 2-1;
Thibodeaux, Calvin 2-1; Williams, Darien 1-2; Harris, Nic 1-2; Lofton, Curtis 1-2;
Ah You, C.J. 0-3; Bennett, Cory 1-1; Holmes, Lendy 1-1; Clayton, Keenan 0-1;
Birdine, Larry 0-1; Walker, Marcus 0-1; Coleman, Steven 0-1.
Sooners stuff the 'Buffs, 24-3
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