Sooners Rip No. 2 Texas Tech, 65-21

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 22, 2008
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Keenan Clayton

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NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Sam Bradford jumped around as he took a victory lap at Owen Field, handing out high-fives along the way to a line of adoring fans that had yet another reason to love him.

Bradford has the Oklahoma Sooners surging in the national championship race, raising his own Heisman stock as he goes. And, oh, what a mighty fall it was for Texas Tech.

Bradford threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns, and DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown combined to run for five more scores as the fifth-ranked Sooners brought an unceremonious end to No. 2 Texas Tech's run toward perfection in a 65-21 blowout Saturday night.

''I can't remember a game where I even had near as much fun,'' Bradford said.

The question now is this: Did the Sooners (10-1, 6-1 Big 12) do enough to make up for that loss to Texas?

The Longhorns have held a trump card since the annual Red River Rivalry game in October, having beaten Oklahoma 45-35 on a neutral field at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

But the Sooners came up with as resounding a statement as they could by stifling Graham Harrell , who came into Norman as the Heisman Trophy favorite but might have relinquished that title to Bradford.

''Obviously, now we're in the mix with everybody,'' Sooners coach Bob Stoops said. ''With the way we played, you would think ahead.

''The logic of whether to put us in front of Texas? If you can't do that because they beat us, then you've got to keep Texas Tech in front of Texas. What's logical for one is logical for the other.''

Harrell was 33-for-55 for 361 yards and three touchdowns, which looks good on paper, but most of those numbers didn't mean much. Michael Crabtree , who leads the nation with 18 touchdown catches but, was kept out of the end zone by the Sooners.

Neither one came out to talk to reporters afterward. Only running back Baron Batch and linebacker Brian Duncan joined coach Mike Leach in the interview room.

''We really wanted to do well, and we went out there and over-tried instead of doing routine things,'' Leach said.

The Red Raiders (10-1, 6-1) fell into a three-way tie atop the Big 12 South with Texas and Oklahoma, with only one week left in the regular season. If the three finished tied, the BCS standings would determine which team plays No. 12 Missouri in the Big 12 championship game in Kansas City, Mo., on Dec. 6.

So the Bowl Championship Series controversy could come early this season, a week before the pairings are even set.

The Big 12 South race isn't over yet, though. There's still the matter of the Bedlam rivalry, and this time it's Oklahoma's turn to go on the road to face No. 11 Oklahoma State. The Longhorns will face their in-state rival, too, and will need to break a two-game losing streak against Texas A&M on Thanksgiving Day.

Texas Tech finishes its regular season against Baylor, and could still sneak into the Big 12 title game with an Oklahoma State upset.

''I don't know why we would be the hunted. We didn't accomplish nothing,'' Murray said. ''We just won. We're not No. 1. We haven't won anything. We haven't won a national championship since 2000.

''We're still hunting to get to where we need to be and get to where we want to be. As far as that goes, we're still playing with a chip on our shoulder.''

Oklahoma will have to deal with that next week. This week was all about dominance.

The suddenly stingy Sooners held Tech scoreless on five straight possessions for the first time this season, and got to Harrell - who'd been sacked only five times all season - on back-to-back plays in the first quarter while the nation's highest-scoring offense kept on clicking.

Juaquin Iglesias put Oklahoma up 28-0 when he zipped across the middle to catch a pass from Bradford and then stopped in his tracks at the 15 to juke a pair of defenders and clear his way to the end zone for a 28-yard score.

Desperate to make something happen, Harrell made matters worse in the final minute before halftime. His pass across the middle was right at Travis Lewis , who intercepted it and ran it back to the doorstep. Murray punched it in with a 1-yard dive, and the Sooners' lead reached 42-7.

That sent the noisy fans - who'd been challenged by Stoops this week for not being raucous enough - into a frenzy. The Sooners joined the record-setting sellout crowd of 85,646 by hopping up and down on the sideline as House of Pain's ''Jump Around'' blared over the loudspeaker.

''It was the best feeling ever. The crowd was nuts,'' cornerback Dominique Franks said.

Leach tried a desperation onside kick to start the second half, but that failed, and the next drive ended with a Shannon Woods fumble that Keenan Clayton returned to the 3 to set up another Brown touchdown.

''It's no fun, but it's something you have to learn from,'' Batch said.

''Jump Around'' played again in the break after the third quarter and one last time after Texas Tech scored a meaningless touchdown with 21 seconds left.

Fans got one last chance to cheer as Bradford and the Sooners took a rare victory lap.

Bradford's four passes pushed him past the school record of 40 in a season, set by Jason White in his 2003 Heisman season. And maybe that kind of finish is in the cards for him, too.

''That's great, but I'd much rather have the wins,'' Bradford said. ''As long as we win, I'm happy.''

Murray finished with 125 yards and two touchdowns, and Brown added 108 yards and three scores as the Sooners ran roughshod over a defense that had improved enough this year to turn the Red Raiders from just an outstanding offense to the complete package.

That was all torn apart on Owen Field, where the Sooners have won 24 straight games - the longest home winning streak in the country and one away from the school record.

''I don't know what else, what other style points you're looking for,'' Stoops said. ''That's about as solid and complete as anybody's played those guys.''
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Boomer Bytes | View Main
Updated each weekday morning and following games, Boomer Bytes is your quick guide to Sooners in the news:
If you weren't lucky enough to be at Owen Field Saturday night, view video for more perspective on Oklahoma's win:

Free VideoSoonerVision Highlights | ESPN SportsCenter Highlights
Free VideoSooner Fans in a Frenzy | Stoops: Game Ball to the Fans
Free VideoABC Post-Game | Herbstreit & Musberger | ESPN Roadtrip
Free VideoSam Bradford | Chris Brown | DeMarco Murray | Austin Box
Free VideoGerald McCoy | Travis Lewis | OU Football Video Library 
• From ESPN: "In the wake of Oklahoma's crushing 65-21 defeat of Texas Tech, the Sooners must refocus on playing at No. 12 Oklahoma State. The rivalry is called the Bedlam Series, which is mostly wishful thinking. The results have been downright orderly. Oklahoma, winner of five straight over Oklahoma State, leads..."
• From the Associated Press: "I don't think this week was good news for Texas," Palm said of Sunday's standings. "Oklahoma can only get better in all three parts of the formula and Texas can't. I would expect if Oklahoma wins next week they'd finish ahead of Texas." That's important because the Big 12 South division title..."
• From NBC Sports: "Bradford saved some of his best stuff for his biggest stage to date, and for that reason he ascends to the top of the Heisman race. In a must-win game against Texas Tech, Bradford completed 14-of-19 for 304 yards and four touchdowns with nary a pick. Coming up big in big games is what Heisman..."
• From Rivals: "OU figures to get a bump this week if it can win Saturday at Oklahoma State (9-2), which is 12th in the BCS standings. Texas plays host to Texas A&M (4-7), and even a victory over the Aggies may not be enough for Texas to stay ahead of the Sooners in the computers. Texas' computer..."
• Gil Lebreton of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "The empire struck back Saturday night. And struck. And struck. And struck. The Oklahoma Sooners, winners of more Big 12 Conference championships than anyone, are no strangers to well-hyped, late-season football contests with BCS implications. Head..."
• Brad Edwards of ESPN: "It seems that the only chance Texas has of holding off this charge by the Sooners, other than an Oklahoma loss, is for several voters who may have spontaneously reacted to OU's impressive victory over Texas Tech to decide this week that head-to-head should be a deciding factor between..."
• Matthew Zemek of FOX Sports: "In a nasty and evidently angry performance that unleashed a lot of pent-up frustration on the college football world, the Oklahoma Sooners -- owners of five conference titles this decade -- made a very loud statement to their doubters, while making the BCS race a whole lot more..."
• Guerin Emig of the Tulsa World: "Sam Bradford enhanced his Heisman chances. The defense put its usual Owen Field stranglehold on Mike Leach's offense. But if you're an Oklahoma fan giving thanks for the Sooners' 65-21 slaughter of Texas Tech Saturday night, you'd better save some for DeMarco Murray..."
• Mike Lopresti of USA Today: "Plenty of style points when you crush the No. 2 team in the nation, 65-21. Plenty of real ones on the scoreboard, too. As statement games go, this mashing of Texas Tech was as subtle as a tidal wave. From Sam Bradford needing only 19 passes to throw for 304 yards and four..."
• Thayer Evans of the New York Times: "Oklahoma's dominance of Texas Tech was evident from the outset. On the Sooners' opening possession, they scored in less than four minutes, taking a 7-0 lead on tailback DeMarco Murray's 1-yard run. After punts by both teams, Texas Tech drove all the way to the Sooners..."
• From TV by the Numbers: "Not much to say about Saturday night. ABC won easily as Oklahoma put a major beat-down on Texas Tech. I was expecting a close game between the then #2 Red Raiders and the #5 Sooners that would hopefully come down to which team had the ball last. Not even close! The Sooners..."
• Dennis Dodd of CBS: "The lobbying already has begun. Texas sports information was text messaging national writers at the Oklahoma-Texas Tech game reminding them that the 'Horns beat Oklahoma and Big 12 North champ Missouri. While Leach was weighing in, Stoops probably wished he could. OU's coach..."
• Tim Griffin of ESPN: "The Sooners' final margin Saturday night over Texas Tech was 65-21 and, truthfully, could have been worse. So much for any kind of style points. These Sooners just prefer to mash opponents into oblivion after scoring the most points that Tech has ever allowed in its 84-season football..."
• From USA Today: "Whether coaches like to admit it, there are style points in college football. Oklahoma used them to their advantage, and the Sooners might now be in a position to play for the Bowl Championship Series title. As usual in college football, there could also be controversy. On the strength of Oklahoma's..."
• Tim Griffin of ESPN: "But it shows what will be as big a battle off the field as on it as two monolithic football programs with the public-relations machines to match. It should be interesting to see how everything unfolds. Texas failed in its biggest road test this season and so did Texas Tech. Now, it will be Oklahoma's..."
• Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman: "The Sooners started jumping early. Jumping, jumping, jumping, like the sidelines were spring loaded. Jumping like kids turned loose in a mattress factory. Truth is, they'd been jumping for days. "Last week," said defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. "It started last week. We came to..." 
• From the Los Angeles Times: "In Norman, the Bowl Championship Series national title race got messier and more clearly defined. Oklahoma handed Texas Tech a first loss so ugly it may require plastic surgery. The Sooners' 65-21 Lubbock-kicking was so thorough it probably knocked Texas Tech completely out of the national title picture..."
• Pat Forde of ESPN: "There was one other noise audible on the plains Saturday night -- audible all the way south of the Red River, deep in the heart of Texas. The Longhorns are hearing hoofbeats behind them from the onrushing Sooner Schooner. Don't look back, Texas. Oklahoma is gaining on you..."
• From the Austin American-Statesman: "Oklahoma's big jump is a rather remarkable leap for a team so late in the season, and it certainly doesn't portend well for Texas' chances at remaining ahead of Oklahoma in the BCS standings. Oklahoma finishes next week with Oklahoma State, and a Sooner victory in Stillwater would carry..."
• Spencer Hall of the Sporting News: "With a three-way tie in the Big 12 South, the tiebreaker goes to the team with the best BCS rating. Two-thirds of that begins with the polls, which begins with the voters, which explains why Mack Brown was on ESPN's Gameday launching his charm-offensive schmoozing with..."
• Clay Horning of the Norman Transcript: "The Sooners don't have to say anything. Not anymore. They need not point at a scoreboard nor break out the pie charts and graphs. A demonstration is not in order. Because everybody was watching Saturday night. Everybody was watching the Sooners..."
• Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated: "And on a chilly November night, nearly the entire stadium stayed until the final gun to salute their conquering heroes even though they'd put away 10-0 Texas Tech by halftime of an eventual 65-21 laugher. For all that celebrating, you'd never know the 10-1 Sooners are not yet..."
• Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle: "There was a mythical character born in those first years as he was re-establishing the greatness of football at Oklahoma. Remember Big Game Bob? Maybe that's what Saturday night was all about. This was Oklahoma's statement. The Sooners had lost three of..."
• Matt Hayes of the Sporting News: "Texas Tech had given up five sacks all season. Oklahoma was without its starting defensive ends. Guess who won that battle? Tech's struggles on offense -- scoring nearly 30 points below its season average -- can be traced, as much as anything, to a lack of protection. The Sooners had four sacks..."
• From the Los Angeles Times: "In the other game, Oklahoma annihilated Texas Tech, 65-21. The Sooners piled up five touchdowns in just the second quarter and were leading 42-7 at halftime. Now that's how you score style points. So we put those results into our calculators ... crunchcrunchcrunch ... and with six games to go, there are..."
• John Heuser of the Ann Arbor News: "Texas Tech's brief run atop my Associated Press top 25 ballot came to a crashing end, courtesy of a Big 12 beatdown at the hands of Oklahoma. The 65-21 Sooners' victory made me wonder whether to elevate them to the No. 1 position this week. In the end, I decided to push..."
• John Hoover of the Tulsa World: "They call Oklahoma-Oklahoma State "Bedlam." But that can wait until next week. This? This was "Pandemonium." OU defensive tackle Gerald McCoy sprinted to the stands and hugged anyone within six feet of the front row. Sooner assistant coach Chris Wilson stood his..."
• Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News: "If Leach's price drops, it's because he faced vintage Stoops. Then, with time to prepare, Stoops went back to his defensive roots. He said afterward there was nothing fancy about it. "We tackled in space, got good pressure, covered well," he said. Fundamental stuff..."
• John Shinn of the Norman Transcript: "Owen Field was overfilled Saturday night. Most expected to see a game they'd never seen before. No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 2 Texas Tech were two of the highest-scoring teams in college football. Some thought 100 points might be possible. Might have been if the Sooners..."
• Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star: "It looked like a "Dancing with the Stars" audition for players, coaches and the 85,000 not wearing black. "That's the most fun I ever had playing a football game," Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford said. The party was on. The fifth-ranked Sooners were well on their way..."
• Guerin Emig of the Tulsa World: "The most demonstrative display of the night came after the Sooners took a 42-7 lead right before halftime. DeMarco Murray plunged into the end zone, the stadium speakers blared the song "Jump Around" by House of Pain, and nearly every OU fan started bouncing up and down..."
• Mike Jones of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "The Sooners sacked Tech quarterback Graham Harrell four times, this against an offensive line that had allowed only five through 10 games. That included two in a row by Adrian Taylor and Gerald McCoy to break a string of 80 passes since the last TT sack. Three times OU..."
• From the Kansas City Star: "On a day when Texas did not play, Oklahoma scored its most resounding victory of the season, and in the three games of the Oklahoma/Tech/Texas round-robin, the Sooners' triumph on Saturday was easily the most impressive. That could lift Oklahoma over Texas in today's BCS standings. Entering the..."
• From the San Antonio Express-News: "If it seemed like No. 5 Oklahoma spent the bulk of Saturday night toying withNo. 2 Tech -- employing every bit of playful cruelty short of bringing Lucy off the bench to hold for Charlie Brown -- that wasn't the worst part for the Red Raiders. After a 65-21 drubbing that extinguished their hopes..."
• Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News: "Oklahoma, playing a truly amazing game on offense and defense that no team in the Big 12 can match, scored four touchdowns before Texas Tech could get on the board. By halftime, the Red Raiders trailed by 35 points, and their vaunted offense had been held to seve..."
• From the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: "Every element that the Raiders had deployed on the way to a 10-0 start - pass protection, the run game, Graham Harrell-to-Mike Crabtree and timely defense - fell flat on senior night at Owen Field/Memorial Stadium. "It sours today. It wrecks today. It's disappointing today,'' Leach said..."
• Bruce Campbell of the Enid News: "On ABC, Oklahoma showed it knew its BCSs.The Sooners delivered a message in beating No. 2-ranked Texas Tech 65-21 Saturday. Oklahoma has an argument to be in the national championship game. Now the question will be if the Sooners won impressively enough to..."
• Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman: "I would put Oklahoma ahead (of Texas)," Leach said. "They beat us and they deserve it." If Saturday's game happened in a vacuum, this column would unequivocably state that OU is the best team in college football. And it may well be. The Sooners look much stronger than they did in..."
• John Helsley of the Oklahoman: "Sam stands tall. The Oklahoma offense rolled on, with Bradford pulling all the right strings. He didn't throw often, yet was surgically efficient when he did. With the ground game gouging Texas Tech's defense, Bradford was only needed for 19 throws. He connected on 14. And four went for..."
• John Hoover of the Tulsa World: "The offensive line punished the Red Raiders for not crowding the line with an extra defensive back. OU averaged 5.4 yards per rushing play and gained 299 yards on the ground. DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown had 233 yards and five TDs. Sam Bradford went 14-of-19 for 304..."
• Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman: "The game was billed as a high-tech showdown of 21st-century offenses. But OU's 65-21 rout of Texas Tech was won mostly in the trenches. The Sooners rushed for 299 yards, including 226 yards in the first half and a wishbone-like 149 yards in the second quarter alone. Meanwhile, OU's..."
• From the Dallas Morning News: "A crowd of 85,646 made its presence known from the opening kickoff. Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell had trouble changing plays at the line of scrimmage in the no-huddle offense. And consecutive penalties - for delay of game and a false start - derailed Tech's second possession. It all was..."
• Jake Trotter of the Oklahoman: "Statement delivered. Oklahoma's defense silenced its critics Saturday night, dismantling the nation's third-best scoring offense in a 65-21 rout. "We wanted to pound them," McCoy said. "We wanted to come out and set the tone early. "I think we sent a message to whoever was watching. We're for real..."
• Bill Haisten of the Tulsa World: "OU was given an allotment of 5,000 tickets, priced at $100 apiece. Fans of both the Cowboys and Sooners have expressed contempt for the policy. Holder admits that he has been a magnet for criticism. "We knew that if our team was successful, and if Oklahoma had their normal good season, and..."
• Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News: "For new Heisman frontrunner Sam Bradford, for quicksilver running back DeMarco Murray, for every player who left Lubbock beaten and bruised last season, the 65-21 demolition Saturday of the No. 2 Red Raiders represented a measure of redemption. The Sooners might get the chance..."
• Jake Trotter of the Oklahoman: "Oklahoma senior wide receivers Juaquin Iglesias and Manny Johnson went out on senior night with two spectacular touchdown receptions. In the second quarter, Iglesias caught a pass across the middle, then faked like he was cutting right to freeze Texas Tech safeties Anthony Hines and Darcel McBath..."




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