Bruins Fall To No. 1 Oklahoma
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Antonio Perkins brought back three punts for touchdownsand finished with 277 yards on seven returns to break two NCAA records as No. 1Oklahoma routed UCLA 59-24 on Saturday.
Perkins, who came into the game with only 80 yards on 13 punt returns,scored on returns of 74, 84 and 65 yards to become the first Division I-Aplayer to score on three returns in a game.
Perkins also broke the record of 219 yards on punt returns set by BYU'sGolden Richards against North Texas in 1971.
Jason White threw two touchdown passes, and Renaldo Works ran for two morescores as Oklahoma (4-0) completed a sweep of its nonconference schedule forthe fourth straight season, the first time that's happened in school history.The Sooners have won 18 straight nonconference games.
Late in the first quarter, UCLA (1-2) silenced the school-record crowd of83,317 when linebacker Spencer Havner intercepted White's pass. Havner ran theball 72 yards to the Oklahoma 6, and Manuel White scored on an 11-yard run onthe next play following a penalty.
The Bruins led 10-7 - the first time Oklahoma has trailed all season.
But the momentum shifted on Perkins' electrifying 74-yard return for atouchdown early in the second quarter.
Perkins caught the ball at the 26, spun away from the first defender, cut upthe middle, then outran the punter to the left sideline and sprinted to the endzone.
His second touchdown came after punter Chris Kluwe kicked the ball wellahead of the coverage. Perkins slipped a few tackles and had nothing but openfield ahead the last 40 yards.
Perkins did it again late in the fourth quarter, sprinting 65 yards down theright sideline and into the NCAA record book.
Kluwe tried kicking away from Perkins after his second touchdown, elicitinga chorus of boos from the crowd. The Bruins also tried other tactics: Mil'VonJames hit Perkins as he fielded a punt late in the third quarter, drawing a15-yard penalty.
The Bruins couldn't make much of a dent in an Oklahoma defense that wasmissing starters Lance Mitchell and Derrick Strait. Mitchell is out for theseason with a knee injury, while Strait had his streak of 43 consecutive startssnapped because of a pulled left thigh muscle.
Sophomore quarterback Drew Olson, making only his third career start forUCLA, stuck mostly to dumpoffs and screens to slow down the Sooners' pass rush.Olson finished 18-of-34 for 144 yards with two interceptions.
UCLA was still within striking distance after halftime, down only 28-10.
But on UCLA's first play of the second half, Olson fumbled the ball on athunderous hit by Oklahoma cornerback Eric Bassey. The ball popped up into thehands of Sooners defensive tackle Tommie Harris, who rumbled 14 yards with theball to the 30-yard line.
Three plays later, White hit reserve tight end Lance Donley for a 22-yardtouchdown pass that all but sealed the win.
Later in the third quarter, UCLA freshman Maurice Drew scored on 1-yardtouchdown run and a 91-yard kickoff return.
Karl Dorrell's return to Norman as a Bruin went about as well as his lasttrip in 1986. As a senior receiver at UCLA, Dorrell and the Bruins were held to155 yards of offense in a 38-3 loss to a No. 1 Oklahoma team coached by BarrySwitzer and led by Brian Bosworth.
UCLA still hasn't beaten a top-ranked team since 1976, when the Bruins beatOhio State in the Rose Bowl. The Bruins are 4-8 overall against No. 1 teams.
Oklahoma ran its home record to 31-0 when ranked No. 1. The Sooners don'tplay in Norman again until Oct. 18 against Missouri.
By JOEL ANDERSON
Associated Press Writer