Bradford, Sooners bounce back
QB has record day against Jayhawks
NORMAN, Okla. - By the time he's done, Sam Bradford may erase Josh Heupel's name from the Oklahoma record books entirely.
Bradford passed for an Oklahoma-record 468 yards and had three touchdown passes to help the No. 4 Sooners bounce back from their first loss by beating No. 16 Kansas, 45-31, yesterday.
Despite losing top receiver Manuel Johnson to a first-quarter arm injury, Bradford cleared the Oklahoma record of 429 yards set by Heupel in 1999 against Louisville. Bradford has already matched a record held by Heupel and Jason White with five touchdowns in a game, and he passed Heupel's career touchdown total earlier this season.
"I knew that he was a great player here and a very smart football player, so I knew that I was going to have an opportunity to learn a lot from him," Bradford said of Heupel. "And him having the experience at this program, it just added to what I could learn from him."
Bradford turned the knowledge from Heupel into big numbers again, benefiting from the time to pick apart the Kansas secondary while the Jayhawks' Todd Reesing spent his day running from tacklers until he just couldn't get away anymore.
It made all the difference in a meeting of two of the nation's top quarterbacks.
Reesing was able to keep the Jayhawks (5-2, 2-1 Big 12) in the game into the third quarter by dodging pressure but Oklahoma (6-1, 2-1) prevented a repeat of last week, when Texas's Colt McCoy used a series of successful scramble drills in a Red River Rivalry win that vaulted the Longhorns into the Sooners' old No. 1 spot.
Once Kansas got within 31-24, Oklahoma sacked Reesing on three of the next four drives in forcing four straight punts.
With the defense starting to click, Bradford and the offense were able to create some breathing room.
DeMarco Murray scored his second touchdown of the game on an 8-yard run in the third quarter, and Bradford found reserve tight end Kolby Smith for a 2-yard TD pass as Oklahoma stretched its lead to 45-24 with 12:02 left.
Bradford ended up completing 36 of his career-high 53 attempts.
The teams combined for more than 1,000 yards through three quarters as Oklahoma got its ground game back going against the nation's 11th-best run defense but couldn't slow down the Jayhawks as Reesing and Dezmon Briscoe hooked up nine times for 193 yards in the first half.
Briscoe finished with 12 catches for a school-record 269 yards.