BCS National Championship: Notebook - OU's Chris Brown shines — except in red zone

Oklahoman Modified: January 9, 2009 at 12:42 am •  Published: January 9, 2009
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Brown shines — except in red zone

Carrying the rushing load in the wake of DeMarco Murray's injury, OU tailback Chris Brown had 110 yards on 22 carries.


But Brown's night was epitomized by a wild second quarter. On four consecutive runs, spread over two possessions, Brown rushed for 16, 14, 16 and 17 yards.

The latter run put OU on the Florida 9-yard line. But Brown carried four straight plays after that, gaining 5, 3, 0 and minus-2 yards, tripped up on fourth down by defensive tackle Davis Torrey.

“They bit down,” Brown said. “They stopped us.”

ROBINSON STRUGGLES

OU All-American Duke Robinson had a rough series in the first quarter. On the end of Brown's 4-yard run for a first down, Robinson was called for a late-hit personal foul that sent the Sooners back to the OU 42-yard line. Then a long Sam Bradford pass to Jermaine Gresham was nullified by holding on Robinson, which effectively ended the drive.

“We had an some opportunities to make a difference in the first half,” Stoops said. “Came up short.”

INTERCEPTION CENTRAL

Bradford entered the game with six interceptions thrown in 13 games. Florida quarterback Tim Tebow entered with just two thrown in 13 games. But both Heisman Trophy winners threw two each.

“When you're playing against good teams, it's going to happen,” OU coach Bob Stoops said.

Stoops talked about Major Wright's interception at the end of the first half; Wright was the fourth Gator to touch the ball on the play, which included tips and bobbles.

“Just one of those things,” Stoops said. “The ball shoots up in the air. If the ball shoots down, we're good. That's just the way it goes.”

HARRIS, TEBOW SQUABBLE

Late in the game, with Florida's victory assured barring calamity, OU safety Nic Harris rode quarterback Tim Tebow down after a 13-yard gain.

Tebow got up celebrating, walking deeper into OU territory. Harris took exception and got in Tebow's face. Tebow responded with the Gator chomp, the exaggerated vertical clapping hands. Harris did the Gator chomp, too, but officials flagged Tebow for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Earlier in the fourth quarter, Harris drew the ire of Florida fans when he tackled gimpy-legged Percy Harvin at the end of a 12-yard run and twisted Harvin's ankle as Harris stood up.

After the game, Harris complimented Tebow: “He's one of those guys that you give him your best shot, he's going to get back up,” Harris said.

LOW-SCORING AFFAIR

The Sooners and Gators combined for the first scoreless BCS championship game first quarter since Tennessee-Florida State in 1999 and the lowest-scoring first half (7-7) since OU led Florida State 6-0 at halftime in the 2001 Orange Bowl.

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