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Sooners stuff OSU at the 1

Second-quarter goal-line stand 'defining point' for defense

12:20 AM CST on Sunday, November 25, 2007

By BRANDON GEORGE / The Dallas Morning News

NORMAN, Okla. – Oklahoma State had a chance to get back into the game midway through the second quarter Saturday, but Oklahoma's defense had other ideas.

With Oklahoma ahead, 21-7, OSU had first-and-goal from inside the Sooners' 1-yard line and came away with no points.

OSU senior Julius Crosslin was stuffed on back-to-back running plays up the middle on the first two plays. On third-and-goal, OSU quarterback Zac Robinson faked a handoff and was stopped up the middle for no gain.

Oklahoma State tried something different on fourth-and-goal. Robinson kept the ball on a bootleg to the left, but OU senior linebacker Lewis Baker (Hebron) was waiting for him.

Robinson tried to cut up field, but Baker and defensive tackle DeMarcus Granger (Kimball) stood Robinson up near the goal line. As Robinson extended his arm to try to get the football over the goal line, linebacker Curtis Lofton hit him. The ball popped loose, and safety D.J. Wolfe recovered the fumble.

"Lewis was just champing at the bit waiting for that to happen," OU defensive coordinator Brent Venables said. "That was a defining point on why it's so important to play your responsibility and trust your defense. What a fun series that was to be a part of. That kind of balls it all up into one what you want to be as a defense right there."

Murray will miss Big 12 title game: After the game, OU coach Bob Stoops said leading rusher DeMarco Murray wouldn't play in Saturday's Big 12 championship game in San Antonio.

Murray suffered a dislocated kneecap while trying to recover an onside kick in the final minute of last week's 34-27 loss at Texas Tech.

"DeMarco will not play. In fact, we're anticipating him to have surgery sometime next week just to tighten it up," Stoops said.

DE gets first start for Sooners: Redshirt freshman defensive end Jeremy Beal of Carrollton Creekview received his first start against Oklahoma State because of the Sooners' injury problems at that position.

Beal struggled early against Oklahoma State's zone read option running game but improved throughout the contest. He finished with five tackles, one for loss.

"I felt like I could have played better," Beal said, "but for my first start, it was pretty good."

English out for OU: Defensive end Auston English missed his third consecutive game because of a right ankle injury. English, is the Big 12 leader in sacks (9 ½) and tackles for loss (13).

English suffered a hairline fracture in a nonweight-bearing bone three weeks ago against Texas A&M, and the Sooners' pass rush hasn't been the same since.

English had minor surgery four days after the A&M game to have a thin rod inserted to help support the broken bone. Since the surgery, he's been limited in practice to rehab and conditioning work. His status for Saturday's Big 12 championship game is uncertain.

Briefly: Before the game, OU senior linebacker Lewis Baker of Hebron was awarded this year's Don Key award, given to an OU player each year to recognize great dedication and leadership to the team. ... OU junior LB Curtis Lofton finished with nine tackles to give him 133 for the season, the highest season total for a Sooner in Stoops' nine years at OU. Rocky Calmus was the previous leader with 128 twice (2000, 2001). ... OU senior tight end Joe Jon Finley of Arlington recorded his first career multi-touchdown game with scoring catches of 2 and 12 yards.

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