No. 1 Sooners down Crimson Tide
By By Tony Krausz/assistant sports editor
September 7, 2003
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops reached deep into his bag of tricks to pull off a victory at Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday night.
The fifth-year Sooners coach called for a fake punt with just under five minutes left in the third quarter, as No. 1-ranked Oklahoma (2-0, 0-0 Big XII) notched a 20-13 win over Alabama (1-1, 0-0 Southeastern Conference).
Stoops called for the trick play facing fourth-and-10 from his own 31-yard line. The fake worked as Micha Thompson picked up 22 yards and a first down from Blake Ferguson's pass to put the ball on Alabama's
Sooners quarterback Jason White, who went 21-for-35 passing for 259 with two touchdowns, wasted no time capitalizing on the offense's new life completing his second long touchdown pass of the game on the following play.
The senior quarterback connected with Brandon Jones for a 47-yard scoring pass to give Oklahoma a 20-10 lead with 4:31 left in the third quarter.
The Sooners long scoring strike silenced a sold out crowd of 83,818 at the Tide's home stadium after Alabama had pulled to within three points of the lead.
Tide quarterback Codie Broyle, who completed 24-of-42 passes for 195 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, completed a 42-yard pass to Dre Fulgham that set up a 20-yard touchdown toss to Triandos Luke on the series before Stoops' trickery. Luke's touchdown reception reduced Alabama's lead to 13-10 with 6:53 left in the third quarter.
Croyle had his first pass of the game, on the game's first play, picked off by Oklahoma cornerback Antonio Perkins just six seconds into the contest.
The interception put the Sooners on the Tide 33, allowing Trey DiCarlo to hit a 34-yard field goal for an early 3-0 lead.
Oklahoma added another field goal midway through the first quarter on its second offensive drive of the game. DiCarlo hit a 40-yard attempt with 7:10 left in the quarter for a 6-0 advantage.
Croyle and the offense never recovered from the opening-second interception, as the Sooners defense swarmed the Tide throughout the opening 15 minutes.
Alabama didn't enter Oklahoma's side of the field in the first quarter, and Croyle was sacked three times in the opening half.
Despite Alabama's ineptness on offense, the Tide pulled to within three points of the lead late in the opening half.
Alabama traveled 60 yards on 10 plays to set up a career-long 44-yard field goal by junior Brian Bostick that cut the Sooners' lead to 6-3 with 4:55 left in the opening half.
Alabama's scoring drive was highlighted by Croyle's 13-yard scramble on third-and-11 to keep the push alive on the seventh play of the push.
But White wasted no time responding to the Tide's first score.
After gaining no yards on a handoff, White completed passes of 35 and 46 yards, the last hitting Mark Clayton for a touchdown. DiCarlo connected on the extra point to give Oklahoma a 13-3 lead with 3:54 in the first half.
Alabama continues its season, taking on Kentucky in the Tide's first SEC game of the year at home on Saturday.