(Saturday, October 3rd)
Final Score: (17) Miami-Florida 21, (8) Oklahoma 20
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Jacory Harris threw for 202 yards and three touchdowns, as 17th-ranked Miami-Florida held on to beat No. 8 Oklahoma, 21-20, in a critical cross-conference battle.
Harris completed 19-of-28 passes and threw two early interceptions, but overcame the slow start to help the Hurricanes (3-1) take the win. Miami, which was coming off a 31-7 loss to then-No. 11 Virginia Tech last week in Blacksburg, also got a career-high 150 rushing yards from Javarris James.
"Oh man, Javarris gave us a big lift today," Harris said. "We knew that we'd need to have that running game. When he came through and made some late runs during some clutch situations it really showed us that we could feed off him."
Travis Benjamin caught three passes for 61 yards and a TD in the victory, which will likely mean a rise in the rankings for Miami.
Oklahoma (2-2), on the other hand, will likely see a drop after suffering its second loss of the season, as the Sooners' national title hopes took a big hit. Redshirt freshman Landry Jones, who again filled in for the injured Sam Bradford, completed 18-of-30 passes for 188 yards and a score, with no interceptions.
DeMarco Murray ran 23 times for 80 yards and a score for the Sooners, who fell to 0-2 this season in games played outside of Norman. Cameron Kenney had six catches for 72 yards and a TD in the setback.
Miami trailed by three at halftime, but used a strong third quarter to pull ahead for good.
Oklahoma had the ball first to begin the second half, but on the second play from scrimmage, Brandon Harris sacked Jones, who fumbled the ball away. The Hurricanes took over at the Sooners' 11-yard line, and on the first play Harris threw into traffic over the middle to Dedrick Epps for the TD catch. The score came just 39 seconds into the half to give Miami a 14-10 edge.
Following an Oklahoma punt, Miami took over at its own 27 and marched to another touchdown. After the 'Canes moved the chains with smaller gains, Harris found Epps for a 19-yard gain to get the ball across midfield.
The drive seemed to stall there, as Miami faced a 3rd-and-7 at the Oklahoma 38. But after a timeout, Benjamin became open deep down the middle after an apparent breakdown in coverage, and Harris hit him for the 38-yard scoring strike. The touchdown, coming with 6:54 left in the quarter, boosted Miami's lead to 21-10.
Oklahoma, though, responded with a touchdown of its own. The Sooners were actually set to punt on a 4th-and-10 from the Miami 38, but a roughing-the- kicker call on the 'Canes kept the drive alive. The flag put the ball at the 23, and Jones connected with Murray on a 21-yard pass play before Murray ran the remaining two yards into the end zone with 3:43 to go.
After a series of punts, Oklahoma got the ball back with eight minutes left at the Miami 48 -- thanks to a 51-yard punt return by Dominique Franks -- but only managed a field goal. The run-heavy drive ended in a 39-yarder from Jimmy Stevens to get Oklahoma within a point.
However, that score came with 4:18 left, and Miami ran out the clock to seal the win, getting four first downs to prevent the Sooners from getting another touch.
"Great, huge win for us tonight against Oklahoma," Miami head coach Randy Shannon said. "Huge for the University of Miami, South Florida and the ACC conference going against a tough opponent in Oklahoma. You got to give credit to coach Bob Stoops' guys. They kept coming back and kept fighting."
Miami struggled in the first quarter, as its first two drives ended in a Harris interception. The first was a deep heave from Harris that Franks leapt to catch at the four-yard line before returning it to the 16.
The Sooners then went 84 yards in eight plays, capping the drive on a 16-yard pass from Jones to Kenney. Jones placed the throw over a Miami defender into the right side of the end zone, where Kenney made the catch.
Oklahoma began a drive later in the first that bridged into the second quarter, resulting in a 21-yard field goal from Stevens for a 10-0 lead.
But Miami got back in the game on its next drive, despite starting at its own nine-yard line. Harris helped get the 'Canes out of the poor field position with back-to-back throws of 10 and 12 yards to Aldarius Johnson, and on the next play, James ripped off a 50-yard run after finding a seam up the middle and cutting to the left sideline.
That brought the ball to the Oklahoma 13, though on the next play Harris had the ball knocked out of his hands. He recovered, and on 2nd-and-15 threw a dart to tight end Jimmy Graham, who caught it and plowed into the end zone. The 18-yard score cut Oklahoma's lead to 10-7 with 8:20 left, and the score remained that way until halftime.
Miami had 342 total yards, while Oklahoma finished with 341...Chris Brown finished with 71 yards on 11 carries for Oklahoma...Johnson had four catches for 45 yards for Miami...Miami leads the all-time series, 4-3. The last time these teams had played was September 8, 2007, when OU won a 51-13 contest in Norman.
10/04 02:33:30 ET