“All their film from the past is pretty much all run. So we switched a few things up on defense to stop that, and we did pretty well.”
McAlester made it 21-0 on Noble's next offensive drive. Buffs defensive back Mason Bumphus undercut a slant route by one of Noble's receivers, intercepting a pass from Cory Jennings and returning it 42 yards for a touchdown with 18.3 seconds left in the first quarter.
“We were supposed to be covering that route all week,” Bumphus said. “When he scrambled out, I just had a feeling he was going to throw it. So I just stayed with my receiver, and when he threw it I was just in the right position to make the right play.”
The defensive score forced the Buffs’ defense to play 13 consecutive downs, leading to a nine-play drive by the Bears. But again the defense held and forced a punt, and though Noble's defense finally forced McAlester to punt, Wood pinned the Bears at their own 1-yard line.
Three plays later, Jarome Smith and Keaton Slater tackled Jennings in the end zone for a safety and a 23-0 lead. And back on offense after the safety, Wood added a 62-yard touchdown run with 3:48 left in the half to make it 30-0.
“’Rome got there first, definitely,” Slater said of the safety. “We were knew that they were trying to let the quarterback keep it, so Coach (Kevin) Harmon called an outside blitz.”
Though McAlester’s offense ran 26 fewer plays than Noble’s, it managed more than 200 more offensive yards, as the Buffs’ defense held the Bears to just 190 total yards. Noble didn’t get on the board until 3:28 remained in the third quarter, with Austin Echols capping a 60-yard drive with an 8-yard touchdown run to make it 44-7 Buffs.