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Bradford powers Oklahoma past Missouri in Big 12 showdown

Oct 14, 2007 - 4:36 AM NORMAN, Oklahoma (Ticker) -- Sam Bradford and Oklahoma made another loud statement in the Big 12 Conference.

Bradford passed for 266 yards and two touchdowns Saturday to lead the sixth-ranked Sooners to a 41-31 triumph over No. 11 Missouri in a Big 12 battle.

It was a far cry from the last time Oklahoma (6-1, 2-1 Big 12 South) faced an opponent from the Big 12 North Division. Two weeks ago, the Sooners suffered a stunning 27-24 upset at the hands of Colorado in Boulder.

But thanks to Bradford, Oklahoma has bounced back with consecutive victories over Texas and Missouri - two of the top teams in the conference.

"We went against a good team, and it was a good win," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "All wins are good, and I appreciate that part of it."

Bradford passed for three TDs - including the go-ahead score - last week to lead the Sooners to a 28-21 triumph over the rival Longhorns in the "Red River Rivalry."

Seven days later, Bradford was sharp once again, completing 24-of-34 passes with no interceptions. The redshirt freshman completed passes to eight different receivers, but his favorite target was Juaquin Iglesias, who hauled in seven catches for 77 yards and a TD.

"I think eventually we may have wore them down a little bit just getting after them," Bradford said. "It just got going in the fourth quarter."

Chris Brown rushed for 67 yards and three TDs for the Sooners, who have won 17 of their last 18 meetings with the Tigers.

"We know we've got to win every week," Brown said. "We can't worry about what someone else is doing. We've got to worry about winning."

A sophomore, the 190-pound Brown entered as the third string running back behind senior Allen Patrick and redshirt freshman DeMarco Murray.

Patrick finished with 44 yards on 11 carries while Murray played sparingly, rushing for just two yards on four attempts.

"I thought Chris Brown was excellent in the fourth quarter," Stoops said. "Everyone has their opinions on who they think needs to be playing, and I think Chris Brown proved tonight why he deserves his snaps as well."

Oklahoma built a 23-10 lead on Brown's four-yard TD run early in the third quarter. But the Tigers rallied to take a 24-23 advantage on Jimmy Jackson's four-yard TD with 1:30 remaining in the third quarter.

However, the fourth quarter belonged to the Sooners, who scored the game's next 18 points to pull away.

"I really like the fourth quarter," Stoops said. "I just thought that our guys played great in that fourth quarter. Our defense came up with a lot of big plays and our offense moved the ball well."

Oklahoma went ahead for good on Brown's one-yard TD with 12:26 remaining, capping a 12-play drive. The Sooners failed to convert the ensuing two-point play, holding their lead at 29-24.

Missouri star quarterback Chase Daniel fumbled during a run just three plays later and the ball was recovered at the Tigers 12-yard line by linebacker Curtis Lofton, who carried a pair of tacklers into the end zone for a TD.

"It was just a mix-up," Daniel said. "We can't make those costly turnovers. We have to work hard and get better at it.

"We played well for the first three quarters of the game. We didn't play as well in the fourth quarter as we would have liked, so we have to get better."

Oklahoma once again missed the point after, but the defensive score already had pushed the lead to 35-24 with 11:40 remaining.

Defensive back Nic Harris intercepted Daniel with 4:15 left in the contest, and Brown raced for a 17-yard score less than two minutes later to make it 41-24.

Daniel completed 38-of-48 passes for 368 yards, one TD and two interceptions for Missouri (5-1, 1-1 North), which has not won in Norman since 1966.

"Chase is a great player," Tigers coach Gary Pinkel said. "He certainly made some great plays when we needed him. He's just like a lot of players out there. He twisted his ankle, and we're going to have to find where he is in terms of that."