BOULDER – University of Oklahoma quarterback Jason White hooked up with Mark Clayton for a pair of touchdowns, the last with 2:13 remaining, to lead the top-ranked Sooners to a 34-20 Big 12 Conference win over the University of Colorado, Saturday evening before a Folsom Field record crowd of 54,215.
Colorado falls to 3-5 overall and is 1-3 in the Big 12. Oklahoma improves to 8-0 overall, 4-0 in league play.
Down 27-7, Colorado mounted an impressive fourth-quarter rally that began with one of two trick plays. With CU facing 4th-and-3 at its own 31-yard line, punter John Torp took the snap and ran 20-yards down the left side for a first down at the OU 49.
"It was good timing," Torp said. "We wanted to make sure that there was no block return called and it opened perfectly."
The drive stalled at the OU 32 and the Buffs lined up to attempt a 49-yard field goal. Holder John Donahoe took the snap and passed the ball towards tight end Jesse Wallace. The pass was intercepted by Oklahoma’s Antonio Perkins, however the Sooners were called for pass interference, giving the Buffs a first down.
On the next play, Joel Klatt found Brian Calhoun over the middle for 21-yard touchdown strike to cut the OU lead to 27-14.
After forcing the Sooners to punt on their next possession, the Buffs put together a solid drive, aided by another fourth-down conversion. On 4th-and-8 from the Sooners’ 49, Klatt found D.J. Hackett for a 17-yard gain. The next play, Klatt hit Joe Klopfenstein for 18-yards down to the OU 14. CU would cut the lead to 27-20 moments later on a 9-yard toss to Derek McCoy.
Klatt completed 24-of-33 attempts for 187 yards and three touchdowns. Hackett had seven catches for 64 yards and McCoy had seven catches for 43 yards.
The back-breaker came from the arm of White who finished 19-of-28 for 248 yards. Facing 3rd-and-6 from their own 41, White hooked up with Clayton on a 59-yard touchdown strike to put the game away. Clayton had a big day hauling in six receptions for 96 yards.
"I'm really proud of this football team," CU head coach Gary Barnett said. "I'm proud of this team and I'm proud of our fans. We laid it on the line and we came up short to a really good team. I think Oklahoma left here knowing that this is a good team that is really improving. We played hard enough to win, but we didn't make enough plays."
Oklahoma looked solid on its first two drives, scoring touchdowns on each. White found Brandon Jones deep down the right side for a 54-yard touchdown to give OU a 7-0 lead just 3:06 into the first quarter.
On OU’s next drive, running back Renaldo Works ran four times for 49 yards, capped off with a 2-yard touchdown run to give the Sooners a 14-0 lead. Works finished the day with a game-high 120 yards on 22 carries.
Colorado kick returner Jeremy Bloom put the Buffs in good position to strike back on the ensuing kick off. Bloom caught Trey DiCarlo’s kick at the 8-yard line and returned it 36-yards to the Buffs’ 44-yard line.
The CU offense took advantage of the good field position as Klatt led a nine-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Hackett to cut OU’s lead to 14-7.
"We showed a lot of heart, and I think we showed a lot of people that we never quit," junior defensive end Matt McChesney said. "Everyone knew if we went out and played our game, then we would have a shot to beat them. We are going to go after these last four games, and try to play every game like we played tonight."
A pair of Dicarlo field goals and a 15-yard touchdown pass from White to Clayton gave OU a 27-7 lead with 1:37 remaining in the third quarter.