It's not often in football that the smallest player on the field can dominate a game. Oklahoma running back Quentin Griffin did just that Saturday.
The five-foot-seven senior from Aldine, Texas returned to his home state and scored two fourth quarter touchdowns and ran for 247 yards as No. 2 Oklahoma (6-0, 2-0) knocked off No. 3 Texas (5-1,1-1), 35-24, Saturday at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
In fact, it was Griffin who helped put Oklahoma ahead for good when he scooped up a Will People's fumble at the two-yard line and ran it in for touchdown to give the Sooners a 21-17 lead. Griffin would later break a 17-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to put OU up 35-17.
"Quentin is very special," said Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops. "He had an incredible day. He loves to play in the Cotton Bowl. It's unfortunate he's a senior."
"The fact that I'm a smaller running back doesn't ever cross my mind," said Griffin, whose 247 rushing yards ranks second for an Oklahoma running back in the OU-Texas game. "It's a big game with two great teams. I attribute my success to our offensive linemen. They had a really good practice this week, as well as the rest of our team."
The Longhorns jumped out to a 14-3 lead in the second quarter when Texas cornerback intercepted a Nate Hybl pass and returned it 73-yards for a touchdown.
Oklahoma answered the interception return with a huge return of their own when Antwone Savage returned the ensuing kick-off 81-yards to the Texas 16-yard line.
Hybl then led the Sooners on a five-play drive capped by a 3-yard touchdown pass to Trent Smith and a successful two-point conversion attempt on a pass to Curtis Fagan to cut the Horn's lead to 14-11 at the half.
Texas intercepted Hybl again in OU territory early in the third quarter and tacked on a Dusty Mangum 36-yard field goal to extend the lead to 17-11.
Then late in the third quarter Chris Simms' third interception would prove to be the most costly. Simms' throw over the middle to receiver B.J. Johnson was knocked loose by Brandon Everage and into the hands of linebacker Teddy Lehman, who rambled to the Texas 38-yard line, which set up OU's go-ahead score on the fumble recovery by Griffin.
The only logical conclusion for Griffin's 'look what I found' touchdown appears to be 'Sooner Magic', but Griffin just knows how to find the end zone against the Longhorns. Griffin finishes his career with nine total touchdowns against the Longhorns.
"It's Sooner Magic," said sophomore receiver Will Peoples on Griffin's fumble recovery for a touchdown. "I actually thought Nate would get sacked but he made a great play to get it to me. I really didn't see the hits coming at me and didn't have complete control of the ball. Next thing I know Griffin has scooped it up and scored a huge touchdown."
"I'll take all of the Sooner Magic I can get," said Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops. "We'll sprinkle some here and sprinkle some there. Whether it's good fortune or Sooner Magic, we'll take it either way."
"It was a big shock to our defense," said Texas Head Coach Mack Brown. "They threw the pass, (Will) Peoples fumbled and (Quentin) Griffin was in the right place at the right time. They made the plays. It was a real shock."
Needless to say, Stoops was pleased with Oklahoma's effort.
"I'm proud of the way our guys played. We always felt like we were on the verge of breaking it open. I'm extremely proud of our play in the fourth quarter. Our special teams were excellent. I'm proud of our offense and the way we protected the passer. Our defense was amazing. We had good discipline and good, solid tackling today," said Stoops, who is now 3-1 against Texas.
"We knew if we played the way we are capable of, that we would be in good shape. "This was a great win, absolutely incredible environment as it always is. I congratulate Texas on a hard-fought game."
"Give Oklahoma credit," said Brown. "Oklahoma wore us down. Quentin Griffin made yards early and made yards late."
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