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November 22, 2003

Sooners wrap up regular season in style

After a week of fans and media overlooking a salty group from Lubbock the Oklahoma Sooners found themselves in a 3-0 hole early in Saturday afternoon's match-up with Texas Tech. In an almost foregone conclusion Oklahoma quarterback Jason White had a field day against a young and overmatched bunch of Red Raiders. As good as White was, Tech quarterback B.J. Symons was as inconsistent. One moment looking the the NCAA record holder that he is -setting the season record for passing yardage in the first half- and the next looking like most of the quarterbacks unlucky enough to have to look across at Oklahoma's horde of defensive All-Americans.

"Not everyone can run the zone as effectively as Oklahoma, they run the zone to perfection," Symons said. "If everyone could run zone against us like OU, they probably would."

The duel between the two All-American quarterbacks was expected, what wasn't expected was a five touchdown performance from sophomore running back Kejuan Jones. Jones also produced 84 yards on 22 carries. However, the highlight of the evening was Jones' dash through the Texas Tech secondary on a play that was set up to simply help run out the clock and not much more. Jones has become infamous for his ability to get seven or eight yards, but something always seems to impede him from making the long runs. Several great downfield blocks, and one nifty move allowed the sophomore from Jenks to score from 77 yards out.

Despite his heroics one player that seems to continue to gain recognition as possibly the best player on the team is junior wide receiver Mark Clayton. One person that made a point to single out Clayton, after his 8 catches for 130 yards and one score was Tech defensive coordinator Lyle Setencich.

"He is the best receiver I've seen this year. I know that from what I have seen on film and so forth that he works hard when the ball is away and works hard when the ball is near him," Setencich said. "I don't know how good in terms of NFL he is but he really works hard all the time."

After giving up the early lead the Sooners used a big run after the catch by Clayton to set up shop in Tech territory. However, the offense was stuffed before White tossed up a desperation 4th and 10 toss that was snagged for a touchdown by sophomore Travis Wilson.

The score was 14-10 after the Raiders and Sooners exchanged touchdowns when the Sooners went on a 21 point two minute streak effectively putting the game away before half time. Two of the touchdowns were set up by consecutive interceptions by Brodney Pool and Gayron Allen. Both drives were capped by a Jones touchdown dive.

In the third quarter the Red Raider ran off 15 consecutive points making the score 42-25, before the Sooners scored two more touchdowns the last of which was Jones' 77 yard scamper.

The win moved the Sooners to 12-0 overall and 8-0 in the Big 12 conference. After the game no one was more pleased with the win than Sooner head coach Bob Stoops.

"I really appreciate the way that this team prepares and gets ready for an opponent," Stoops said. "They have a remarkable chance this year and I am very proud of them. This was another exciting game."

Despite his ever growing adoration and appreciation of the 2003 version of the Sooners, his coaches and players are all aware that the job isn't done just yet.

"This is a special group; they have a good attitude in the locker room," he said. "They know that even though we are a perfect 12-0 in the regular season we have not achieved our goal of winning the Big 12 Championship and that they have a chance to achieve even higher goals."

The Sooners will take some time off this week to spend with their families for the Holiday's before returning to play December 6th in Kansas City for the Big 12 championship game.


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