for this game

Peterson breaks collarbone; college career may be over

Oct 14, 2006 - 7:54 PM NORMAN, Oklahoma (Ticker) -- Nelson Peterson watched his son play a college game for the first time. Unfortunately, it may be Adrian Peterson's last one at Oklahoma.

Considered by many to be the nation's best running back, Adrian Peterson broke his collarbone on a fourth-quarter dive into the end zone after a 53-yard touchdown run as the 23rd-ranked Sooners rolled to a 34-9 victory over Iowa State in a Big 12 Conference battle.

It was quite an emotional day for the Peterson family. With his father, Nelson, watching in the stands for the first time after serving eight years in federal prison for money laundering, Adrian rushed for 183 yards on 26 carries.

The performance raised his career total to 3,968 yards, fourth on the school's all-time list. But he is just 151 yards shy of surpassing all-time leader Billy Sims (4,118).

Although Adrian is just a junior, he is not expected to return for his last season of college eligibility. However, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops left open the possibility that he could return if Oklahoma reaches a bowl game this season.

"At this point it looks like the best thing, the earliest he could be ready to play would be a bowl game," Stoops said.

Ironically, Adrian suffered the injury after his most electrifying run of the day - a 53-yard TD with 6:35 left in the fourth quarter.

Showing his speed and dazzling cutting ability, Adrian ran a sweep to the left side and quickly darted to the inside before racing to the end zone. Before getting there, a defender tripped him up and Adrian landed on his left shoulder, breaking the collarbone.

"Just diving into the end zone and when he landed, he landed wrong," Stoops said.

Adrian appeared to be in pain when he got to his feet and was hugged by teammates. But it was not announced until about 45 minutes after the game that he had broken his collarbone, ending his Heisman Trophy hopes and perhaps his college career.

Nelson never had seen Adrian play since serving as an assistant coach on Adrian's Little League teams. After eight years in a federal prison, Nelson served four months in an Oklahoma City halfway house. He tried to attend Oklahoma games earlier this season but was denied.

Nelson did not have to wait long to see what makes his son so special. On his first carry, Adrian flashed his speed with a 40-yard run to the Iowa State 9. Adrian gained three yards on his next carry before scoring on a six-yard run just 4:22 into the game.

"I know it meant a lot to him, but Adrian had been doing his best to downplay playing in front of his father," Stoops said. "We talked about him (Adrian's father) and he said, 'Coach, my dad has seen me play on TV,' which was his way of telling me not to get caught up in it. He felt that everyone else made a little more out of it. I think he put it in pretty good perspective."

Adrian's roller-coaster day overshadowed a solid performance by Paul Thompson, who threw for 195 yards and connected with Malcolm Kelly on a pair of touchdowns for Oklahoma (4-2, 1-1 Big 12 South), which beat the Cyclones (3-4, 0-3 North) for the 10th straight time.

Thompson nearly was flawless in the first half when the Sooners built a 24-7 lead, completing 14-of-17 passes for 187 yards. He hit Kelly with a nine-yard touchdown pass with 5:08 left in the first quarter and the two combined on a 15-yard scoring play with 39 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

But all Thompson could talk about after the game was Adrian Peterson's injury.

"It was a freak accident," Thompson said. "We will need some help from the other guys. There might be more pressure on me. I will need to step up."

Bret Meyer, Iowa State's all-time passing leader, threw for just 149 yards and was intercepted twice and sacked three times. He hit Todd Blythe with a 31-yard touchdown pass with 1:44 left in the first quarter.

It was the 25th career touchdown for Blythe, who ran past safety Reggie Smith down the right sideline.

The only other points for the Cyclones came on a safety after Thompson and Adrian Peterson botched a handoff in the end zone early in the second half. Before Adrian was tackled, he swatted the ball out of the end zone with 11:32 left in the third quarter.

"They won the battle at the line of scrimmage today," Iowa State coach Dan McCarney said. "Adrian Peterson had something to do with that too."

Garrett Hartley kicked a pair of field goals for the Sooners, making him 12-of-13 this season. His second one - a 35-yarder with 3:24 left in the third quarter - came after an interception by linebacker Rufus Alexander.

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