Oklahoma's defense looked like it's ready for another run at the national title. The offense is another matter.
Linebacker Rocky Calmus and the defense took the load off new quarterback Nate Hybl by coming up with five first-half turnovers Saturday night as the defending national champions defeated North Carolina, 41-27, at Norman, Okla.
Hybl was 20 of 29 for 152 yards in his debut as the successor to Heisman Trophy runner-up Josh Heupel, but he led only two scoring drives and threw an interception that was returned for a score.
"They may have heard too much good throughout the summer," Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops said. "Playing so average in the second half gives us a lot to shoot for."
Oklahoma, ranked No. 3 and the winner of 14 in a row, built a 41-7 lead early in the second quarter. The Sooners gave up a punt return for a touchdown a few minutes later, then saw North Carolina drive for two scores in the fourth quarter.
Calmus, an All-American last season, recovered a fumble on the game's second play to set up the first of two field goals by Tim Duncan.
Later in the quarter, safety Brandon Everage jarred the ball from harried quarterback Ronald Curry, and Calmus picked it up and returned it 14 yards for a touchdown that made it 24-0.
"That was the longest first quarter I've ever been associated with," North Carolina Coach John Bunting said. "I thought maybe they were adding time to the clock."
Defensive end Julius Peppers provided one of the few Tar Heel highlights when he stepped in front of a swing pass by Hybl and returned it 29 yards for a score that made it 24-7.
The momentum didn't last long. Antwone Savage took the kickoff and returned it 88 yards for a touchdown.
No. 22 Wisconsin 26, Virginia 17--The Badgers ditched their spread offense and went back to a running game and defeated the Cavaliers in the Eddie Robinson Classic at Madison, Wis.
"That's what we do. That's our offense," Wisconsin Coach Barry Alvarez said of the running game. "And the spread is a complement to that."
It looked more like a detriment in the first half as the Badgers struggled.
Brooks Bollinger was ineffective in the four-receiver sets. He then suffered a contusion of the liver in the second quarter and was taken to a hospital, where he was to stay overnight for observation.
Jim Sorgi came in and wasn't much better until Wisconsin went to a two tight end formation.
Sorgi finished five of 11 for 150 yards with touchdown passes of 78 and 38 yards. The Badgers also rushed for 228 yards--only 82 yards coming in the first half from the spread formation. Anthony Davis led the Badgers with 147 yards in 24 carries.
The game was delayed 31 minutes because of thunderstorms that moved through the area.
Brigham Young 70, Tulane 35--Brandon Doman was 25 of 31 for 286 yards and three touchdowns in Gary Crowton's debut as Cougar coach in the Black Coaches Assn. Classic at Provo, Utah.
BYU's rushing attack, which produced 437 of 734 yards, set the tempo and wore down the Green Wave. Luke Staley ran for 142 yards and Brian McDonald had 103, each scoring three touchdowns.
"Probably midway through the second quarter I started licking my chops because I could see those guys were getting worn down," Doman said. "They weren't enjoying our game plan very much."
The Cougars seized control with Doman's three second-quarter scoring passes, two of them to Spencer Nead. On the second, two defenders tipped the ball before it bounced to Nead and he ran in for a 27-yard play.
The teams combined for 1,242 total yards.