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Oklahoma overcomes four turnovers, rallies past Texas Tech

Nov 12, 2006 - 5:53 AM NORMAN, Oklahoma (Ticker) -- Chris Brown showed that even Oklahoma's fourth-string running back is to be feared.

The true freshman rushed for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter as the 17th-ranked Sooners overcame some early turnover issues to post a 34-24 victory over Texas Tech in a Big 12 Conference showdown.

Paul Thompson threw for career-high 320 yards and two touchdowns for Oklahoma (7-2, 5-1 Big 12 South), which avenged a controversial loss at Texas Tech last season in which Taurean Henderson scored as time expired.

With both Adrian Peterson (collarbone) and Allen Patrick (right ankle) both sidelined, Brown rushed 16 times for 84 yards. His two biggest runs came down the stretch, including a 41-yard romp that put the Sooners in the lead for good at 27-24 with 12:51 remaining.

"I am really proud of Chris," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "He was given the game ball and made such a big run. He's a good football player and he is just a quiet guy that goes about his business and works hard."

"The team had confidence in me and I have respect for them," Brown said. "(Jacob) Gutierrez really started the game off nice and I was just lucky enough to finish it up."

Brown's performance showed a quality of the team that Stoops quite enjoys, its depth. "We are a diverse group and we have got different ways to handle situations," Stoops said. "And what I appreciate is that our guys never flinch at it. We have a lot of ability in a lot of areas."

After the Red Raiders missed a field goal that would have tied the score with 9:23 remaining, Brown helped put the game out of reach with a two-yard plunge that capped a 14-play drive with 2:29 to play.

Early on, it was Texas Tech (6-5, 3-4 South) that was making all the plays.

Graham Harrell threw his second TD of the game to Robert Johnson for a 17-10 lead with 9:25 left in the second quarter and defensive back Antonio Huffman had a 53-yard interception return with 1:59 remaining, making it 24-10.

In all, the Sooners had three of their four turnovers in the first half, leading to 21 points for the Red Raiders.

"We have got to take care of the football," said Stoops, whose team lost three fumbles. "That is something that just appalls me, not so much the interception but when we had had the football."

However, Thompson rallied Oklahoma, finding Malcolm Kelly down the left sideline for a 40-yard TD with just 17 seconds before halftime.

"That was real big for us," Thompson said. "We were in our two-minute offense. We knew we had the ball coming back to start the second half and could cut into that 14-point lead."

Thompson, who completed 25-of-32 attempts, continued to look for Kelly in the third quarter, leading to a 23-yard field goal by Garrett Hartley that cut the deficit to 24-20 with 5:25 left.

Kelly finished with a career-high 11 catches for 153 yards.

Harrell finished 26-of-48 for 250 yards with a two touchdowns and an interception for Texas Tech, which was held scoreless in the second half.

The Sooners last held the Red Raiders scoreless in a half was the first in a 60-15 victory in 2002.

"I thought both teams were really tough," Red Raiders coach Mike Leach said. "It was an extremely physical game. Both teams really wanted to win the game. This game here was a hard-fought deal of inches and we just came up a few inches short when it comes down to it."

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