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Sooners Overcome Slow Start To Beat Missouri

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Oklahoma running back Dominique Whaley (8) breaks two tackles during the Sooners' 38-28 win Saturday. (AP Image) Oklahoma running back Dominique Whaley (8) breaks two tackles during the Sooners' 38-28 win Saturday. (AP Image)

Corey DeMoss, News9.com

NORMAN, Oklahoma – The No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners withstood a furious start to the game and rattled off 28 consecutive points on the way to a 38-28 win over Missouri Saturday in their Big 12 opener.

Missouri shredded the Oklahoma defense early in the night, putting together two touchdown drives in the first quarter that accounted for a total of 152 yards on only 10 plays. That gave Missouri a 14-3 lead just nine minutes into the game.

The offense – playing without receivers Kenny Stills and Trey Franks – started slow as well. But Landry Jones re-established his connection with favorite receiver Ryan Broyles, leading the Sooners on an 80-yard drive in less than two minutes that ended with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Broyles.

The offense carried that momentum into the second quarter, and the defense followed suit. Jones fell into a rhythm and completed nine of his 12 passes in the frame, while the OU defense held Mizzou to just four first downs after allowing eight in the first quarter.

Jones threw for one touchdown and rushed for another in the quarter to give OU a 24-14 lead at halftime, when the two teams had combined for 637 yards.

The Sooners continued to apply pressure after halftime, and scored the only points of the third quarter on a 3-yard touchdown run by Dominique Whaley to give them 28 unanswered points.

Missouri finally broke that streak in the fourth, when running back Henry Josey broke a 48-yard run for a touchdown to give the Tigers their first points in more than 43 minutes. OU responded with a touchdown pass from Jones to Broyles – their third touchdown connection of the night – to all but seal the victory.

The Tigers managed to score one more time with 30 seconds left, but the Sooners ran out the clock after that to complete the victory.

Jones finished with 448 passing yards, 154 of which went to Broyles. The next two receivers on the depth chart missed the game; Franks due to a suspension, while Stills was a surprise last-minute scratch.

With those two receivers missing, Jaz Reynolds stepped into the void. Reynolds finished with five catches for 93 yards and had OU's longest play of the night, a 39-yard gain in the second quarter.

Walk-on running back Dominique Whaley continued to be one of the Sooners' best stories, leading the team in rushing for the third straight game with 68 yards and a touchdown. He added five catches for 82 yards, including an impressive 24-yarder in which he kept his balance and eluded several tacklers.

The Sooners now have won their first three games of the season, but struggled through long stretches of their last two. They will get a bit of a break in their competition against Ball State next Saturday before traveling to Dallas to face Texas in the annual Red River Rivalry the following week.

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