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September 9, 2006

No. 15 Oklahoma pulls away from Washington

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NORMAN, Okla. - Paul Thompson threw two touchdown passes to Malcolm Kelly, and Adrian Peterson ran for 165 yards and two scores as No. 15 Oklahoma pulled away from Washington in the second half Saturday for a 37-20 win.

Thompson broke a 13-13 tie on Oklahoma's first possession of the second half when he found Kelly racing down the right side of the field for a 35-yard TD to put the Sooners (2-0) ahead for the first time.

Garrett Hartley made it 23-13 with his third field goal of the day, a 30-yarder, after Jason Carter blocked Washington's punt on its next drive.

The Huskies (1-1) had a chance to pull closer when Chris Stevens forced a fumble by Thompson that Scott White recovered at the Oklahoma 4, but Washington quarterback Isaiah Stanback fumbled on the next play.

Thompson and Kelly hooked up again for a 42-yard pickup on the ensuing drive, and Peterson scored on a 17-yard run on the next play. Peterson added a 1-yard TD run after he had converted a fourth-and-1 play with just over four minutes to play.

Oklahoma (2-0) had been unimpressive in its opener, committing four turnovers and allowing UAB to run over its defense with a bevy of missed tackles. The Sooners weren't much better through the first half against Washington.

But Oklahoma's defense got stingy, limiting the Huskies to three first downs on their first five drives after halftime, and Thompson was 9-of-11 for 170 yards after halftime in his second start since replacing dismissed starter Rhett Bomar.

Thompson finished with 272 yards on 21-of-33 passing with one interception, and Kelly had a career-high 121 yards on six catches.

Peterson, who had been criticized by offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson this week for blocking poorly and looking too much for the big play, had 107 of his rushing yards in the second half and moved into sixth place on Oklahoma's career rushing list.

Louis Rankin led Washington with 112 yards on 17 carries, and Stanback was 9-of-22 for 139 yards. Carl Bonnell threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Sonny Shackelford in relief of Stanback to stop Oklahoma's run of 24 consecutive second-half points.

The loss dropped Tyrone Willingham to 0-6 against ranked opponents with Washington. He had been 7-7 against ranked teams in his three years at Notre Dame.

Washington scored on its first play from scrimmage, when Kenny James squeezed through a hole at the line of scrimmage, spun through safety Keenan Clayton's arms and raced the rest of the way untouched for a 54-yard score.

Special teams put Oklahoma in position to answer. Allen Patrick downed Michael Cohen's punt dat the 1-yard line, and Reggie Smith returned Washington's ensuing punt 62 yards after allowing it to fly over his head.

After Smith's return, Oklahoma needed only four plays to cover the final 22 yards, capped by Thompson's 4-yard strike to Kelly.

Michael Braunstein hit field goals of 32 and 24 yards in the first half for Washington, and Hartley answered with kicks of 44 and 37 yards for the Sooners.

Washington's Sean Douglas was credited with an 82-yard punt, the longest in school history, on the misplay by Smith. He had an 81-yard kick in the fourth quarter.

For more coverage of the Oklahoma Sooners, check out SoonerScoop.com; for more coverage of the Washington Huskies, check out HuskyDigest.com.

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