NORMAN, Oklahoma (Ticker) -- Lee Roy Selmon returned to Oklahoma. He brought with him a surprisingly competitive team.
Now the athletic director at South Florida, Selmon watched his current school evenly battle his alma mater for more than a quarter before succumbing in a 31-14 loss to No. 3 Oklahoma, which did not look sharp at all.
"It's a win, that's about all the positive that we'll take out of it," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "Give South Florida a lot of credit. They played extremely well. I knew they were a good football team."
Selmon was an overpowering defensive lineman during his days at OU, being named an All-American in 1974 and 1975 and winning both the Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy in 1975. He became AD at South Florida is May 2001 and has overseen its entry into Conference USA.
Perhaps trying to impress their boss, the Bulls (2-2) played the Sooners to a scoreless first quarter. However, Antonio Perkins returned a punt 81 yards for a touchdown, opening the floodgates for a 21-point second quarter for Oklahoma (4-0).
Selmon was honored by OU in a halftime ceremony. With former coach Barry Switzer on hand, he was presented with a plaque.
Oklahoma appeared on its way to its third shutout of the season, but South Florida never quit and scored a pair of touchdowns in the final two minutes to make the final score respectable.
"A loss is a loss is a loss," South Florida coach Jim Leavitt said. "Our offense had better production this game and I thought our effort was good, but our punt team was horrible."
Nate Hybl completed 19-of-30 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns for the Sooners, who open their Big 12 Conference slate next week at Missouri before their annual showdown in Dallas with No. 2 Texas.
"We didn't play very well offensively," Hybl said. "I felt like we took a step backwards."
In its only game against a tough team, Oklahoma trailed late before rallying for a 37-27 victory over Alabama. Texas also is 4-0 and has Oklahoma State as a tune-up for the "Red River Rivalry."
"There's too much out there today that isn't good enough if we're going to be the kind of team that we hope to be this year," Stoops said.
Marques Blackwell was 19-of-37 for 167 yards for the Bulls. He was replaced in the fourth quarter and has failed to direct a touchdown drive in each of the last two games.
In his first season as punt returner, Perkins came in averaging 16.5 yards per return, including a 91-yard TD vs. Tulsa. The reserve defensive back fielded a punt on his 19, sped through a crease in the middle and broke it up the right for the game's first score.
"Antonio is excellent," Stoops said. "He's a special player and he showed that again tonight. he's incredible with his hands on the football."
It was the first punt return for a TD allowed by South Florida since its started its football program six years ago.
"We didn't do much to slow him down and I told our punter to punt away from him," Leavitt said. "Oklahoam did much better with the punt returns than we did."
After that, the points came easier for the Sooners. Hybl threw a three-yard TD pass to J.D. Runnels with 4:46 left in the first half, then directed an 82-yard march capped by his 23-yard scoring toss to Will Peoples that made it 21-0 with 1:06 to go.
It was the first career TD for both Runnels and Peoples.
In the third quarter, Kejuan Jones banged in from the 1 to make it 28-0. Jones was OU's leading rusher with just 34 yards on 13 carries.
"(We) just didn't get anything at all going in the second half," Stoops said. "I don't want to hear any excuses why. The bottom line is they stopped us."
Trey DiCarlo kicked a 39-yard field goal in the fourth quarter and both teams replaced their quarterbacks. South Florida's Ronnie Banks threw TD passes of two yards to Mark Feldman and 29 yards to Ryan Hearn.
The Bulls were outgained, 328-239, committed 15 penalties and converted just 6-of-20 third downs.