Sooners Pull Away From Aggies
Courtesy: Associated Press
          Release: 11/05/2011
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NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - No. 7 Oklahoma lost a lot in a victory over Texas A&M.

All-American Ryan Broyles, the NCAA's career leader in receptions, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and will miss the remainder of the season.

He got hurt while cutting to make his second catch of the game, a 30-yarder that set up one of four third-quarter touchdowns in the Sooners' 41-25 victory Saturday.

``It's just a bad deal,'' quarterback Landry Jones said. ``You hate for something like that to happen to such a good guy.''

Broyles left the field in tears. He entered the game averaging 13.2 yards on 81 catches. His two catches went for 57 and 30 yards.

``He's such a special, special player,'' coach Bob Stoops said. ``It's deflating for him and for all of us. ... Your heart drops when you first hear it.''

The Sooners (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) scored on four straight possessions after leading 13-10 at halftime. Texas A&M (5-4, 3-3) had its second-half troubles continue - the Aggies gave up big second-half leads in its previous three losses.

The Aggies, headed for the Southeastern Conference, won't miss coming to Norman. They're now 0-7 on Owen Field during the Bob Stoops era; the previous six losses had come by an average of 41 points.

``We knew we were facing a very good defense, but the bottom line is you just can't turn the ball over like we did today and expect to win a football game,'' coach Mike Sherman said. ``Take no credit away from Oklahoma, but we gave them 14 points there in the third quarter and then we had a short punt, and you can't play football that way.''

Jones threw third-quarter touchdown passes of 31 yards to Jaz Reynolds, who made a nifty one-handed grab, and 39 yards to Kenny Stills. Tailback Roy Finch and backup quarterback Blake Bell added short touchdown runs in the third.

Texas A&M's seven third-quarter possessions produced four punts, two turnovers and a missed field goal. One punt, into the 30-mph wind, netted just 14 yards and set Oklahoma up at the Aggies' 31-yard line. On the first play, Jones hit Reynolds down the right side.

A&M's next drive ended with an interception by defensive end Ronnell Lewis, who caught a tipped ball and returned it 11 yards to the Aggies' 28. Finch scored five plays later. The Sooners needed one play to score after an interception by Jamell Fleming - Jones' long pass to Stills down the left sideline to make it 41-10.

Reynolds had six catches for 75 yards, Stills two for 44. They and others will be expected to fill the void left by Broyles.

``We have to step up and show everyone what we're made of, that we're not a sideshow,'' Reynolds said. ``You have to just keep playing and roll with the punches. But when you lose one of your captains, it's pretty hard on everybody.''

Oklahoma was playing at home for the first time since its 39-game home winning streak ended with a loss to Texas Tech two weeks ago. The Sooners' potent offense struggled throughout the first half whether moving into or with the strong wind.

Going downwind in the second quarter, the Sooners needed 18 plays to cover only 58 yards on one drive. After three incompletions from the 21-yard line, they settled for a field goal and a 13-3 lead.

Texas A&M countered less than a minute later with the biggest gainer of the afternoon, a 79-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to Ryan Swope. Tannehill drifted left out of the pocket and bought time until finding Swope behind the defense about 35 yards downfield. Swope easily outran two defenders to the end zone.

In the first quarter, facing third-and-19 at the A&M 29 and moving into the wind, Oklahoma chose to punt. The ball was downed at the 1, and four plays later the Sooners forced a fumble at the 18. But they didn't fully capitalize on their good luck and had to settle for a field goal.

Oklahoma's only first-half TD came on a 2-yard keeper by the 6-foot-6, 245-pound Bell, who ended the day with a dozen carries, most in short-yardage situations, and two touchdowns.


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