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October 21, 2006

Sooners don't need Peterson to beat Colorado

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NORMAN, Okla. -Allen Patrick ran for 110 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown to lead No. 20 Oklahoma to a 24-3 win Saturday night in the Sooners' first game without Adrian Peterson.

Paul Thompson added a touchdown pass to Manuel Johnson, and Oklahoma used a wind gusting up to 30 mph as its ally throughout the game.

Peterson, who broke his collarbone last week against Iowa State, wore a gray hooded sweatshirt and red cap and watched the game from the sidelines. After the coin toss, he and Patrick spoke near midfield. The nation's No. 2 rusher, Peterson took part in Oklahoma huddles during timeouts and was almost always among the front row of Sooners on the sidelines.

With Peterson expected to miss the rest of the regular season, it was up to his former roommate to carry the load. In his first start, Patrick surpassed his career-high for carries early in the third quarter and finished with 35 rushes - more than even Peterson has had in a game this season.

He was the first player to run for more than 100 yards this season against Colorado (1-7, 1-3 Big 12), which entered with the nation's No. 9 defense against the run.

Patrick got the ball on seven straight plays as Oklahoma ran out most of the final 6:13, finally getting a rest after converting a fourth-and-inches with 2 1/2 minutes left. Freshman Chris Brown took over and scored on a 4-yard run with 17 seconds left.

The Sooners (5-2, 2-1) got all four of their scores going with the wind, and coach Bob Stoops even called two timeouts to keep the wind at Oklahoma's back before Garrett Hartley's 46-yard field goal that made it 10-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Colorado couldn't do much on offense, no matter which way the wind was blowing. The Buffaloes managed only two first downs on their first nine possessions, and Bernard Jackson didn't complete his second pass until the fourth quarter.

He finished 3-for-14 for 39 yards with one interception, and Colorado had a season-low 113 yards of total offense.

The Buffaloes avoided their first shutout in 18 years on Mason Crosby's 39-yard field goal, a line drive into the wind, with 6:13 to play. The last time Colorado was shut out was a 7-0 loss at Nebraska on Nov. 12, 1988 - a span of 218 games.

Oklahoma went to Patrick heavily from the start. He carried seven times for 36 yards on the Sooners' first scoring drive, setting up Thompson's 3-yard TD pass that Johnson caught with one foot inside the left edge of the end zone.

Matt DiLallo's 22-yard punt into the wind gave Oklahoma field position for Hartley's field goal, and neither team moved the ball much until the fourth quarter.

Crosby missed a 56-yard field-goal attempt wide left that would have pulled Colorado within 10-3 in the second quarter, and Zach Latimer intercepted a tipped pass by Jackson after the Buffaloes had taken possession in Oklahoma territory on Jordan Dizon's fumble recovery.

The loss ended any remaining bowl hopes for Colorado, which ended a 10-game losing streak with a win against Texas Tech last week. The Buffaloes are winless in their last 13 games against ranked opponents.

For more coverage of Oklahoma, visit SoonerScoop.com; for more on Colorado, visit BuffStampede.com.

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