DALLAS – Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson took a step back in the Heisman Trophy race on Saturday, even though he was the first to gain 100 yards against Texas this season.
Peterson, who rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown against the Longhorns, has been considered a Heisman front-runner along with Troy Smith. In comparing stats, Smith passed for two touchdowns in a 24-7 victory over the Longhorns on Sept. 9.
Peterson had a 25-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, but only managed 38 yards in the second half when Texas took control of the game.
He was also charged with a fumble in the first half, and did not handle a backward pass from quarterback Paul Thompson that Texas' Aaron Ross picked up and ran in for Texas' final touchdown.
"It's frustrating how we lost," Peterson said. "We played hard, but could not execute."
Peterson accumulated 213 all-purpose yards with 10 coming via receiving and 94 on kickoff returns. He has exceeded 100 yards rushing in every game this season.
He has 21 100-yard rushing games in his career, which is just two short of Oklahoma's career record - set by Steve Owens.
"I thought he played excellent – tough hard running, made some big plays," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "He played really well."
Texas defensive end Tim Crowder agreed, and said Peterson should remain in the Heisman race.
"I'd vote for him," Crowder said.
Sooners rue mistakes
Turnovers and penalties are always crucial, and both proved costly for Oklahoma.
The Sooners lost five turnovers – three interceptions and two fumbles – and were penalized 11 times for 72 yards. Some of those miscues wiped out significant gains.
"We need to do some things better to win," Stoops said. "You can't turn the ball over five times and have 11 penalties. Penalties killed some drives when we had some things going. Those were the biggest factors to me – turnovers and penalties."
Texas was penalized three times for 30 yards and committed no turnovers.
Late call angers Sooners
Texas' final score occurred with 10½ minutes left in the game when Thompson's sideways pass to Peterson was ruled a lateral.
Peterson did not handle the pass at the OU 12-yard line and Aaron Ross picked it up at the 3-yard and took it into the end zone.
The Sooners argued that the play should have been ruled an incomplete pass.
"We were throwing a swing screen and it just went incomplete," Stoops said. "They end up picking it up and they (officials) said (Thompson) threw it at the 12 and it landed at the 12. They didn't say where Adrian touched it."
Peterson thought it was an incompletion and never tried to recover the ball.
"The ball went right over my head in front of me," he said.
Third quarter was key
Texas allowed a touchdown just before halftime in a 24-7 loss to Ohio State, and coach Mack Brown was concerned when Oklahoma closed the first half with a 35-yard field goal by Garrett Hartley for a 10-0 lead.
"In some years – and in the Ohio State game – when momentum changed we didn't change it back," Brown said. "Really good football teams answer."
Texas answered by getting two Colt McCoy touchdown passes in the third quarter and holding Oklahoma scoreless in the second half.
"Oklahoma answered our first quarter (when Texas led 7-0) with their second quarter and played better than we did. We told our team we can either do the same thing we did against Ohio State and get beat by a really good football team, or we can answer and have more fun and have more excitement and better body language and have more confidence."
They got all the above.
Ross is boss
Nobody had a better game than Texas senior cornerback Aaron Ross, who had four tackles, two interceptions and returned a fumble for a touchdown.
"He put himself in the All-American category," Brown said.
Ross scored his touchdown on the disputed pass that was ruled a lateral.
"The coaches teach us not to give up on a play," Ross said. "I wasn't sure if it was behind or not, but I thought I'd let the refs make a call."
Texas senior defensive end Brian Robison missed last week's game against Sam Houston with a sore knee after getting leg whipped the previous week against Iowa State.
But he was in the starting lineup against the Sooners, and on Oklahoma's second play from scrimmage he batted down a pass.
Later in the first quarter, Robison sacked Thompson for a 13-yard loss that forced the Sooners out of field goal range.
Robison finished the game with four tackles, including two for losses.
Texas' Griffin twins were the key figures on Oklahoma's first turnover.
As OU's Adrian Peterson ran off left tackle, Marcus Griffin came up from his free safety spot and jarred the ball loose. The football rolled forward and Michael Griffin made the recovery to stop that Oklahoma series at the Texas 37-yard line.
Texas guard Cedric Dockery hurt his right knee with 9:19 left in the first quarter. He came back but left again on first play of the second quarter . … Oklahoma defensive end C.J. Ah You set a career high with eight tackles. … Steven Coleman recorded his first career sack when he dropped Colt McCoy for a 15-yard loss. It was the second sack by an OU defensive lineman this season . … Oklahoma outgained Texas 141 yards to one in the second quarter. … McCoy completed all five of his third-quarter passes for 66 yards. McCoy has thrown at least one touchdown pass in all six of his games.