LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops knew he wanted his team to exploit Texas Tech’s rush defense.
And after a difficult first half that included three interceptions, that tactic worked, despite the Sooners trailing 21-7 early in the third quarter.
”We wanted to run it from the start,” Stoops said. ”When you get behind, the game plan changes.”
The Sooners finished with 384 yards rushing after getting just 68 yards in the first half of Oklahoma’s 42-30 win over Texas Tech on Saturday
Samaje Perine scored three touchdowns, and Cody Thomas threw for one score and ran for another.
A lot of Perine’s yards came after he was hit.
”Our O-line did a fantastic job, along with our fullbacks and tight ends,” Perine said. ”They did a great job of opening up the hole and, you know, I went through untouched and, you know, it’s my job from there to get into the end zone.”
Thomas finished with 103 yards on eight carries.
The win kept Stoops from consecutive losses for the first time since 1999.
Perine scored touchdowns from 2, 64 and 11 yards. It was the true freshman’s second 200-yard performance. He finished with 213 yards on 25 carries.
Thomas, who was in for injured starter Trevor Knight, threw a 3-yard pass to Neal Durron. Thomas recovered after halftime following three interceptions in the first half.
Aaron Ripkowski scored on a 1-yard run to seal the win for the Sooners (7-3, 4-3 Big 12).
Texas Tech has given up 11 individual 100-yard rushers this season, including two each against Arkansas, West Virginia, TCU and Oklahoma.
”You just got to keep pushing through the rest of the season,” Red Raiders linebacker Sam Eguavoen said. ”We can’t make it get any uglier. We just got to keep fighting.”
Backup quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for four touchdowns to lead Texas Tech (3-7, 1-6).
”Thought he was really good; I thought he played well,” Stoops said of the true freshman.
The Sooners scored touchdowns on each of their five second-half drives.
”I don’t know why they were able to score every drive,” Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. ”They just got it done. We haven’t played very well all year in the second half, for whatever reason,” ”And they had a good plan. I felt like they got back to pounding the ball. Didn’t turn it over.”
Perine now has 1,001 yards for the season and is the first Sooner since DeMarco Murray in 2010 to get 1,000 yards in a season. It was the first time a freshman has rushed for more than 1,000 yards since Adrian Peterson in 2004. Perine is only the fifth rusher in school history to cross the 1,000-yard mark.
As they have all season, penalties hurt Texas Tech. They finished with nine penalties for 85 yards, including a touchdown that was called back because of a holding penalty midway through the third quarter.
The teams traded touchdowns after halftime. Mahomes got his third touchdown when he rolled to his left and found Devin Lauderdale along the near sideline for a 75-yard score. The Sooners didn’t take long to answer. Perine went around end and outraced Red Raiders defenders for a 64-yard touchdown to pull within 21-14.
It was the first time in 18 games that Texas Tech won the turnover battle. The Red Raiders didn’t turn the ball over.
Texas Tech, who led 14-7 at halftime, failed to get any points off three interceptions from Cody Thomas. They punted on the first, missed a 48-yard field goal and the third ended the half when Keenon Ward was shoved out of bounds as the half ended.
The last time the Sooners had three picks in a half was in 2010 when Landry Jones threw three against Oklahoma State.
Texas Tech scored first when Mahomes found Jakeem Grant for a 6-yard score. It was the Red Raiders’ longest drive of the season at 7:05.
The first quarter ended without a score by the Sooners, their fourth straight scoreless quarter.