Late score pushes No.1 Oklahoma past No.5 Florida State
Tallahassee, FL – Landry Jones' 37-yard, fourth-quarter fought, 23-13, victory from No. 5 Florida State at hostile Doak Campbell Stadium.
The Seminoles (2-1) had tied the game, 13-13, on the previous possession when redshirt freshman quarterback Clint Trickett connected with Rashad Greene for a 56-yard touchdown strike.
Jones responded. Facing a 3rd-and-12, he threw a 22-yard strike to Ryan Broyles, then hit Stills in the end zone for the go-ahead score.
Jimmy Stevens tacked on a 31-yard field goal to seal the victory for the Sooners (2-0), who play Missouri next Saturday.
Florida State starting quarterback E.J. Manuel left the game in the second half with a bruised left shoulder. He completed 13-of-19 passes, ran for 49 yards and threw two interceptions for the Seminoles, who were denied a measure of revenge after last year's 47-17 loss to the Sooners in Norman.
They play Clemson next Saturday.
Doak Campbell Stadium was rocking from the opening kick, but Jones & Co. did their best to silence the frenzied crowd, executing a 15-play, 80-yard touchdown drive on the game's opening possession.
The signal caller's one-yard touchdown plunge gave the Sooners a 7-0 lead.
"What an environment," said Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops. "That's what you want. It was awesome."
Manuel responded with poise, reeling off a lengthy run as part of a 40-yard drive which resulted in a 53-yard field goal from Dustin Hopkins, making it a 7-3 game.
The explosive start belied the game's true nature, as both offenses grinded to a halt through the remainder of the taxing battle.
Jones was intercepted by Nigel Bradham at midfield on the Sooners' next drive and Manuel took the Seminoles deep into Oklahoma territory.
Facing a 2nd-and-8 at the 23-yard line, Manuel lofted a pass to Kenny Shaw, who was sandwiched between two Sooners defenders as he attempted to haul the ball in near the goal line. After remaining prone for an extended period, Shaw was carted off on a stretcher.
"Kenny Shaw is fine now," said Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher. "We are glad he is ok."
Two plays later, Tom Wort swung momentum, batting a Manuel pass into the air and snaring it himself for an interception.
The Sooners couldn't immediately capitalize, but drove to the Florida State six-yard line midway through the second quarter. The Seminoles stuffed Dominique Whaley three consecutive times, however, before Stevens hit a 21- yard field goal to give Oklahoma a 10-3 lead.
On the Seminoles' ensuing drive, Manuel was again intercepted, this time by Javon Harris, who rumbled 69 yards to the Florida State three-yard line.
Again the Seminoles held and the Sooners settled for a 29-yard field goal and a 13-3 lead at the half.
After intermission, both teams battled for leverage until Jones was intercepted by Lamarcus Joyner with 4:21 remaining in the third quarter.
With Manuel in the locker room, Trickett led the Seminoles on an eight-play, 50-yard drive, which resulted in a 46-yard field goal by Hopkins.
Both teams were forced to punt on their ensuing possessions and Shawn Powell pinned the Sooners at their own two-yard line with a 69-yard boot.
After a three-and-out, Tress Way punted out of his own end zone, giving the Seminoles the ball at the Oklahoma 38-yard line.
Manuel reappeared on the sideline but Trickett remained in the game. Facing a 2nd-and-22, he connected with a leaping Greene, who escaped behind the defense and sprinted over the goal line for the tying score.
"I thought Clint Trickett was playing well and they said [Manuel] could have gone back in the game but I didn't want to risk further injury," said Fisher.
The play sent the Florida State faithful into a frenzy, but also awoke Jones, who responded with the go-ahead strike to Stills. The sophomore wide receiver had missed the Sooners 47-14 season-opening victory over Tulsa due to suspension.
Trickett was intercepted by Harris on the Seminoles' next possession and Whaley carried the ball six times during an eight-play, 32-yard drive that resulted in Stevens' 31-yard field goal with 2:01 remaining.
Florida State failed to convert on a 4th-and-17 with under two minutes remaining, sealing the Sooners victory.
Oklahoma has defeated Florida State six straight times since the Seminoles won the first meeting in 1964...Shaw returned to the sideline in street clothes in the fourth quarter...Jones passed Sam Bradford and moved into first place all- time at Oklahoma with 8,417 career passing yards.