Sports Sportsin partnership with NESN your connection to The Boston Globe
College football roundup

Brown makes strides for Sooners

Oklahoma's Chris Brown is off and running on one of his three second-half touchdown jaunts, which propelled the Sooners in a Big 12 battle. Oklahoma's Chris Brown is off and running on one of his three second-half touchdown jaunts, which propelled the Sooners in a Big 12 battle. (SUE OGROCKI/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

A matchup between two of the nation's top passers came down to who could run the ball down the stretch. Chris Brown proved to be the man for Oklahoma.

Brown ran for three second-half touchdowns, Curtis Lofton returned a fumble for a score, and the No. 6 Sooners knocked No. 11 Missouri from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 41-31 victory last night in Norman, Okla.

"The fourth quarter, that's all we preach around here," said Brown, Oklahoma's third-leading rusher behind DeMarco Murray and Allen Patrick. "The difference from this year and last year, we're more of a fourth-quarter team. We can go the distance and get the job done."

Brown put the Sooners (6-1, 2-1 Big 12) ahead to stay with his 1-yard touchdown run with 12:26 remaining, and Lofton scooped up a botched handoff and returned it 15 yards for a score 46 seconds later as Oklahoma kept the Tigers from entering the national title picture.

Brown, who finished with 67 yards on 13 carries, sealed the win with a 23-yard TD run with 2:39 remaining.

"Everybody has their opinions on who should be playing," said Sooners coach Bob Stoops. "I think Chris showed tonight why he deserves his snaps as well."

Missouri (5-1, 1-1) had lost 16 straight games in Norman dating to 1966, but put up a fight in this one.

Quarterback Chase Daniel, who ranks third in the nation in total offense with a 380-yard average, was equally good as a setup man for the Tigers. He delivered key blocks on both TD runs by NCAA all-purpose yardage leader Jeremy Maclin, and then pitched the ball to Jimmy Jackson on a 4-yard option run that put Missouri ahead, 24-23, late in the third quarter.

After that, Brown and Oklahoma's running game - which had totaled only 40 yards in the first three quarters - took over. Brown finished the ensuing drive with three rushes for 23 yards and the go-ahead score.

Daniel still threw for more than 300 yards for the eighth time in his last nine games. He finished with 361 yards on 37-of-47 passing, with his only touchdown coming on a 5-yard toss to Martin Rucker with 12 seconds remaining.

Sam Bradford completed 24 of 34 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns for Oklahoma, which won its 15th straight home game.

Ohio St. 48, Kent St. 3 - Brian Hartline returned a punt a school-record 90 yards, Donald Washington brought back an interception 70 yards, and the No. 3 Buckeyes (7-0) dominated the Golden Flashes in every aspect in Columbus, Ohio.

South Florida 64, Central Florida 12 - Playing at home for the first time since climbing into the top 10, the fifth-ranked Bulls (6-0) extended the best start in school history and rolled to their school-record-tying eighth straight victory behind four TDs from Matt Grothe (two passing, two rushing).

Oregon 53, Washington St. 7 - Dennis Dixon threw for 287 yards and three touchdowns and added a rushing score, guiding the No. 9 Ducks (5-1, 2-1 Pac-10) to 551 yards of total offense against the overmatched Cougars (2-5, 0-4) in Eugene, Ore.

Southern Cal 20, Arizona 13 - Mark Sanchez threw his first career touchdown pass in his first start for the No. 10 Trojans (5-1, 3-1 Pac-10), a 25-yarder to Fred Davis with 10:47 remaining on the first play after heralded freshman Joe McKnight electrified the Coliseum crowd of 84,671 with a 45-yard punt return.

Louisville 28, Cincinnati 24 - The visiting Cardinals (4-3, 1-1 Big East) rallied past the 15th-ranked Bearcats (6-1, 1-1) behind Brian Brohm, who fired three touchdown passes.

Iowa 10, Illinois 6 - Brett Greenwood intercepted an Eddie McGee pass at the goal line with 1:12 left, and the Hawkeyes (3-4, 1-3 Big Ten) upset the No. 18 Illini (5-2, 3-1) to snap the visitors' five-game winning streak.

Penn St. 38, Wisconsin 7 - Rodney Kinlaw rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown, Anthony Morelli threw for 216 yards and another score, and the host Nittany Lions (5-2, 2-2 Big Ten) capitalized on a sloppy effort by the No. 19 Badgers (5-2, 2-2), who dropped their second in a row.

Kansas 58, Baylor 10 - Todd Reesing passed for two scores and the No. 20 Jayhawks (6-0, 2-0 Big 12) waited out a two-hour-plus delay caused by lightning and heavy rain to finish their home romp.

Auburn 9, Arkansas 7 - Wes Byrum's 20-yard field goal with 21 seconds remaining picked up the No. 22 Tigers (5-2, 3-1) in Fayetteville, Ark., and Auburn held Darren McFadden to just 43 yards rushing.

Texas 56, Iowa St. 3 - The 23d-ranked Longhorns (5-2, 1-2 Big 12) broke their two-game conference losing streak (their longest in 51 years) as Colt McCoy threw for four scores and ran for another in Ames, Iowa.

Georgia 20, Vanderbilt 17 - As Nashville, Brandon Coutu kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired, capping a second-half rally for the No. 24 Bulldogs (5-2, 3-2 SEC).

Tennessee 33, Mississippi St. 21 - Erik Ainge passed for 259 yards, 186 of which went to Lucas Taylor, who had 11 catches and a touchdown in a road victory for the No. 25 Volunteers (4-2, 2-1 SEC).

More from