(Saturday, September 4th)
Final Score: (7) Oklahoma 31, Utah State 24
Norman, OK (Sports Network) - Ryan Broyles posted 142 yards and two touchdowns on nine receptions as seventh-ranked Oklahoma nearly wasted a 21-point lead but topped Utah State, 31-24, in the season-opener for both schools at Memorial Stadium.
Landry Jones finished 17-of-36 for 217 yards, two TDs and two interceptions for the Sooners (1-0), who went 8-5 a season ago including a win over Stanford in the Sun Bowl.
Demarco Murray led the way with 218 yards rushing and a pair of scores on 35 carries for Oklahoma, which was saved by a late-game pick from Jamell Fleming and was able to secure the program's 800th victory.
"The 800th win here at Oklahoma is pretty special because, if you look back through the years, and our championships span decades. Starting way back with Benny Owen and after the war with Bud Wilkinson and the dynasty really that he started with all the national championships, and of course Coach Switzer kept it going for a good number of years as well," noted Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops. "Since 2000, we have had a pretty good run of wins. So we are just proud of the whole tradition and history here because of all decades that it encompases and all different players and coaches that it encompasses."
Diondre Borel threw for 341 yards and two touchdowns on 17-of-36 passes but was intercepted three times for the Aggies (0-1), who finished 4-8 in 2009.
Dontel Watkins added 91 yards and a TD reception on three catches, Xavier Martin hauled in four balls for 60 yards with one score while Michael Smith rushed for 48 yards and reached the end zone once.
"At the beginning of the game we felt like we should have put points up on the board. I got sacked on one play that probably took away three points," Borel said of Utah State's early struggles. "The defense played good and when they stopped Oklahoma, offensively, we needed to put points on the board. We had the opportunity because we had a lot of opportunities and we just have to execute."
Down by 31-24 with 4:49 remaining, Utah State got the ball on its own 20-yard line. Borel hit Martin for a 10-yard gain, then threw incomplete twice. His third-down pass appeared to be picked off by Fleming but not before he fell out of bounds. A conference by the officials confirmed the steal and Oklahoma took over on the Aggies' 41.
The Sooners were helped by a facemask penalty on the second play from scrimmage, then picked up a first down when Murray gained six yards on 3rd- and-3 from the USU 19 en route to running out the remainder of the clock.
Oklahoma started strong, posting a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter after Jones hit Broyles on a 12-yard strike and Murray added a one-yard scoring run. The latter score was set up by a Demontre Hurst pick at the OU 35 that was returned to Utah State's 29.
Broyles and James hooked up in the second quarter for a 21-yard TD marker and a 21-0 game, before a 40-yard field goal from Peter Caldwell got the Aggies on the board.
Utah State climbed within 21-10 just before halftime when Smith capped a 61- yard drive with a four-yard TD run, then used its second drive of the third quarter to get within four as Borel hit Watkins for 42 yards.
The Sooners got untracked on the ensuing possession, keeping it on the ground for five of six plays including Murray's 63-yard touchdown scamper. Patrick O'Hara then gave Oklahoma a two-score edge with a 32-yard make nine plays after Quinton Carter picked off Borel.
The Aggies countered with 2 1/2 minutes to play in the period, when Borel connected with Martin for a 31-yard touchdown.
We didn't play as good as we wanted to play but we still got a win, so that's a positive," Jones said. "We could have learned all these things and lost a game. You're never as good as you think you are and you're never as bad as you think you are."
Oklahoma has won all five meetings...The Sooners were largely matched by the Aggies offense, as the hosts claimed a one-yard advantage (422-421) in total offense...Utah State was held to 80 yards rushing...Both schools are in action next Saturday as OU hosts Florida State and USU hosts Idaho State.
09/05 00:13:42 ET