NORMAN, Okla. (AP) – Adrian Peterson ran for 220 yards and three touchdowns and made Oklahoma’s passing game unnecessary as the 18th-ranked Sooners avoided a second stunning loss by beating Tulsa 31-15 Saturday.

With new starter Rhett Bomar struggling at quarterback, Oklahoma (1-1) didn’t even attempt a pass in the second half. The Sooners’ recipe for success was to give the ball to Peterson.

After Tulsa (0-2) pulled ahead 9-7 in the third quarter on Brad DeVault’s third field goal, Peterson took over. He ate up all 58 yards as the Sooners marched downfield to regain the lead.

Peterson broke off a 42-yard run down the left sideline, discarding a Tulsa defender at midfield before finally being forced out at the 16. Three plays later, he worked his way to the left end of the offensive line and fell into the end zone while being tackled for his second 1-yard scoring run of the game.

Peterson started Oklahoma’s next drive with a 23-yard run that included a spin move from a near stop that left a Tulsa defender empty-handed. He even rescued Bomar by diving on his fumble to keep the Sooners in position for a 29-yard field goal by Garrett Hartley.

Tulsa pulled within 17-15 on quarterback Paul Smith’s 1-yard sneak with 9:10 left, but Peterson had an answer for that, too.

On a fourth-and 1, he took a handoff, rammed thru one defender, kept going as another tried to strip the ball from behind, then stiff-armed one last Golden Hurricane player before high-stepping into the end zone for a 41-yard score.

Tulsa’s ensuing drive ended when Smith fumbled and Oklahoma defensive end C.J. Ah You recovered.

Clint Ingram intercepted Smith’s pass and returned it for a touchdown with 3 seconds left to clinch the win for Bomar in his debut.

The Sooners rebounded from their 17-10 season-opening loss to TCU last week.

Bomar arrived as the top-rated quarterback in the country last year and was given a shot after junior Paul Thompson was ineffective against TCU. What’s unclear is whether his performance – 42 yards on 5-for-13 passing with two interceptions – was enough to keep the job.

The Sooners gave the passing game a brief try to start the second half, but never actually got a throw away. Bomar was sacked twice in a span of three plays to start the half, and the passing game was essentially scrapped after that. On third-and-9 in the fourth quarter, Bomar scrambled for 16 yards while Peterson was on the sideline putting his shoe on after losing it on the previous play.

Oklahoma started the game by giving the ball to Peterson five straight times and on nine of 10 plays before he rammed his way into the end zone from 1 yard to give Oklahoma a 7-0 lead.

But Peterson, who finished second in Heisman Trophy voting last season, got the ball only four more times for 9 yards before halftime, and Bomar struggled to keep the offense moving.

Tulsa had success moving the ball largely due to tight end Garrett Mills’ career-high 13 catches for 152 yards, but two Golden Hurricanes drives stalled inside the Oklahoma 5. Tulsa had to settle for field goals by DeVault from 22 and 19 yards. He also converted a career-long 52-yard kick in the second quarter.

Smith was 24-for-36 for 246 yards with one interception.

AP-ES-09-10-05 1623EDT


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