Scores

Final

Utah State 24

(0-1, 0-1 away)

(7) Oklahoma 31

(1-0, 1-0 home)

7:00 PM ET, September 4, 2010

Memorial Stadium (Norman, OK), Norman, OK

1 2 3 4 T
USU 0 10 14 024
#7OKLA 14 7 10 031

Top Performers

Passing: D. Borel (USU) - 341 YDS, 2 TD, 3 INT

Rushing: D. Murray (OKLA) - 35 CAR, 208 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: R. Broyles (OKLA) - 9 REC, 142 YDS, 2 TD

DeMarco Murray runs for 207 yards, 2 TDs as No. 7 Oklahoma holds on

Associated Press

NORMAN, Okla. -- Given a few extra moments to think about it, Bob Stoops made a pivotal decision about how best to stave off a surprising charge from Utah State.

Needing less than a yard to move the chains, he put the ball in DeMarco Murray's hands and went for it on a fourth down in his own territory.

Murray needed to dive and stretch the ball out in front of him as he headed toward the sideline, picking up the most crucial of his career-best 218 yards rushing and sending No. 7 Oklahoma to a 31-24 victory against the Aggies on Saturday night.

"I thought we could make a half a yard," Stoops said. "And I was almost wrong."

Two plays later, Murray went zooming down the left sideline for a 63-yard touchdown run -- his second of the night -- to extend the Sooners' lead to 28-17 midway through the third quarter. That was just enough to hold off Utah State and Diondre Borel, who shredded Oklahoma's inexperienced secondary for 341 yards and two touchdowns.

"No disrespect to Utah State, but they should have never been that close to us," said Murray, who also had a 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. "We didn't help the defense out, going three-and-outs a couple times in a row, and offensively we should have put a lot more points out there.

"We're still young, we're still learning."

Oklahoma's Jamell Fleming secured the 800th win in the program's history by intercepting Borel's pass in the final 5 minutes, dragging his feet to stay inbounds near the sideline. The Sooners are only the seventh Division I school to reach that mark, joining a handful of powerhouses including Michigan, Texas and Notre Dame.

It certainly didn't come easy.

"As players, we thought we were at the top of the world, ranked seventh, all that," linebacker Travis Lewis said. "A Utah State team comes in here and they almost beat us. So, it's a great humbling experience as a team, as a defense and as players."

Utah State had lost 54-3 in Norman three years earlier and was paid $500,000 to come to Owen Field. The Aggies nearly got the biggest win in the history of the program to go along with that big payday. They have only one victory against a Top-25 team and they have never beaten a top-10 team.

"We came in and played our hearts out," said Aggies receiver Dontel Watkins, who had 91 yards receiving and a touchdown. "All summer long, coach told us, 'Don't put Oklahoma on a pedestal.'"

It was the second straight rough opener against a Utah-based team for Oklahoma, which started last season with a 14-13 loss to BYU in which 2008 Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford was injured.

At least this one ended with a victory.

"Both sides of the ball, I thought we were inconsistent and I'm really not at all pleased with it in any way," Stoops said.

Oklahoma certainly can't feel comfortable with Christian Ponder and No. 20 Florida State coming to town next weekend. Ponder had four touchdown passes in a 59-6 rout of Samford, and he didn't even play in the second half.

The Sooners were still working hard after intermission.

After falling behind 21-0, the Aggies could have come back to tie it had receiver Eric Moats' touchdown pass on a fake field goal not been called back because of a penalty. Instead, they settled for Peter Caldwell's 40-yard field goal before Michael Smith's 4-yard TD run and Borel's 42-yard score to Watkins.

Murray, no longer sharing carries as he did in his first three seasons, rushed a career-high 35 times and was still out chewing up the clock after Fleming's pick with 4:12 to play.

"For the game to end the way it did, I'm kind of shocked, to be honest," Murray said.

Landry Jones, thrust into a relief role when Bradford was hurt in last year's opener, was regularly off-target and finished with 217 yards on 17-for-36 passing with two interceptions and two first-half touchdown passes to Ryan Broyles.

Jones said he rushed himself and didn't trust his protection enough -- maybe

"I was a little off tonight. I didn't play very good," he said. "It's frustrating not playing the way you know you're capable of playing. I'll get better."

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Team Stat Comparison

 
USU
OKLA
1st Downs2123
Total Yards421422
Passing341217
Rushing80205
Penalties6-487-70
3rd Down Conversions7-195-17
4th Down Conversions0-02-2
Turnovers42
Possession28:4431:16

Passing Leaders

Utah StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Borel17/363419.523
OklahomaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Jones17/362176.022

Rushing Leaders

Utah StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Smith8486.0122
Speight17462.7013
OklahomaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Murray352186.2263
Millard3165.3010

Receiving Leaders

Utah StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Watkins39130.3142
Martin46015.0131
OklahomaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Broyles914215.8235
Stills33411.3015

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERUSUOKLA
TD13:23Ryan Broyles 12 Yd Pass From Landry Jones (Patrick O'Hara Kick) 07
TD00:51DeMarco Murray 1 Yd Run (Patrick O'Hara Kick) 014
SECOND QUARTERUSUOKLA
TD06:21Ryan Broyles 21 Yd Pass From Landry Jones (Patrick O'Hara Kick) 021
FG03:33Peter Caldwell 40 Yd 321
TD00:47Michael Smith 4 Yd Run (Peter Caldwell Kick) 1021
THIRD QUARTERUSUOKLA
TD10:16Dontel Watkins 42 Yd Pass From Diondre Borel (Peter Caldwell Kick) 1721
TD07:56DeMarco Murray 63 Yd Run (Patrick O'Hara Kick) 1728
FG04:15Patrick O'Hara 32 Yd 1731
TD02:31Xavier Martin 31 Yd Pass From Diondre Borel (Peter Caldwell Kick) 2431