NORMAN, Okla., Nov. 9 - The points that weren’t scored probably tell the story of Oklahoma’s dominance best. The top-ranked Sooners scored touchdowns on all but one possession through three quarters and were 3 yards away from another in the fourth against Texas A&M on Saturday.
InsertArt(2065321)BUT COACH BOB STOOPS called four straight runs into the middle of the line — Oklahoma’s offensive line pretty much took a dive — to keep the score from getting even more lopsided.
“It was hard to hold back,” Oklahoma backup quarterback Paul Thompson said after the Sooners’ 77-0 rout of Texas A&M. The coaches said to “just get what you can and go down,” he said.
The Aggies (4-6, 2-4 Big 12) needed the charity because they were clearly overmatched against the faster, stronger Sooners (10-0, 6-0). They probably couldn’t have won even if they’d had the 12th man on the field.
Oklahoma exacted a brutal revenge against a team that derailed its national title hopes in a 30-26 upset last season, remaining on the fast track to the Big 12 title and the national championship game — the Sugar Bowl.
The win also put the wraps on a Sooners’ payback tour that included last week’s 52-9 win over Oklahoma State, the only other team to defeat them last season. This season, Oklahoma has made it look easy against Big 12 South Division opponents — Texas, Oklahoma State and A&M — winning by a combined score of 194-22.
Baylor (3-7, 1-5) figures to fare about as well as the Aggies on its visit to Norman next week. The Bears lost to A&M 73-10 earlier this season.
It was Oklahoma’s most lopsided victory since a 77-0 win over Missouri in 1986 and was A&M’s worst loss in 108 years of football. The margin of victory set a Big 12 record and the Sooners tied another conference mark for points scored in a game.
“They are probably the best team I’ve played against while I’ve been at A&M,” senior offensive lineman Alan Reuber said. “Their speed is unbelievable. They are well coached and they play hard. When you have all those combinations, plus they’re on a roll this season, it’s hard to be successful against that kind of a team.”
With this latest victory, Oklahoma established a standard of dominance that stands out even in its own storied past.
The Sooners set a school record by scoring more than 50 points for the sixth time this season, and set a school mark for the largest margin in first downs (33-3).
Jason White tied a school record with five touchdown passes — in the first half — as Oklahoma scored touchdowns on 10 of its first 11 possessions. The Sooners got their final score of the day when cornerback Derrick Strait returned a fumble 17 yards to the end zone late in the third quarter.
The 77 points and 636 yards of offense were the most in Stoops’ five years in Norman. The Sooners also had four touchdowns called back because of penalties, but went on to score on those drives, too.
The Sooners’ defense looked every bit as good as its offense.
Texas A&M had more penalty yards (63) than offensive yards (54) and more punts (12) than first downs (3), none in the second half. The Aggies didn’t even cross their own 40 all game.
“They were fast last year, and they are fast this year,” said quarterback Reggie McNeal, who threw four touchdown passes in A&M’s upset of Oklahoma last season. “I guess they had a year to learn how to play against us.”
Dennis Franchione, who nearly engineered an upset of Oklahoma in Norman last season when he was at Alabama, suffered the worst loss of his 21-year head coaching career. He spent most of the drizzly afternoon stalking up and down the sidelines, rarely looking up from his clipboard.
A&M looks destined to have its first losing season since 1982.
“They played well and we couldn’t get anything going,” Franchione said. “That’s a bad combination. We just didn’t have any answers today. No matter what we tried it didn’t seem to work.”
© 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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