for this game

Bradford, Oklahoma pulverize Texas Tech

Nov 23, 2008 - 7:18 AM NORMAN, Oklahoma (Ticker) -- Oklahoma made a mess of Texas Tech and created one for the Big 12 Conference's South Division.

Sam Bradford threw four touchdown passes and Oklahoma's defense stymied Graham Harrell and Texas Tech's high-powered offense as the fifth-ranked Sooners humbled the second-ranked Red Raiders, 65-21, on Saturday.

The victory created a three-way tie between Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Texas in the Big 12 South, which can only send one representative to the conference championship against Missouri. Each school has one Big 12 game remaining.

And therein lies the quagmire - Texas defeated Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry game; Texas Tech rallied for a last-second win over the Longhorns; and Oklahoma pulverized the Red Raiders in this mismatch, so the tiebreaker would come down to BCS standings to determine the Big 12 South representative.

This all became relevant because the Sooners devastated the Red Raiders, erupting for 42 points and 402 yards in the first half. They finished with 625 yards of offense.

"We have played these guys a lot," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "It wasn't easy. They are a great team. We did play well. We were in the right position. Things are starting to jell."

The subplot of the quarterback battle between Heisman Trophy candidates went to Bradford by knockout over Harrell.

Bradford left the game with almost 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter. He finished 14-of-19 for 304 yards and four touchdowns. Harrell was 33-of-55 for 361 yards and three touchdowns.

"Sam Bradford, again, was just out of this world," Stoops said.

The Sooners also limited Texas Tech sensational wide receiver Michael Crabtree to six catches for 62 yards. But despite the one-sided victory, Stoops praised the Red Raiders.

"I have tremendous respect for (Texas Tech coach Mike Leach) and what they do," Stoops said.

The Sooners (10-1, 6-1 Big 12 South) scored on their opening drive. After forcing a punt, Bradford led a 10-play, 73-yard drive that ended with DeMarco Murray's 1-yard TD run.

The Sooners doubled their advantage less than a minute into the second quarter when Chris Brown punched it in from 3 yards to cap a six-play, 76-yard march.

Oklahoma extended the lead to 21-0 with just under 11 minutes left before the half when Bradford hit tight end Jermaine Gresham for a 19-yard score.

Bradford then hit Juaquin Iglesias from 28 yards out to make it 28-0.

Texas Tech (10-1, 6-1) finally found the end zone when Harrell hit Tramain Swindall with a 25-yard touchdown strike with 6:28 left before the break.

But the Sooners were not deterred, coming right back and driving 80 yards in 12 plays, devouring 5:24 before Brown scored from 4 yards to make it 35-7.

The capper on a near-perfect first 30 minutes came when Travis Lewis picked off Harrell and returned it 46 yards deep into Texas Tech territory. On the next play, Murray finished the first-half scoring the way he started it, with a 1-yard run to make it 42-7.

Oklahoma had a 402-170 advantage in total offense at halftime. The Sooners out-rushed the Red Raiders, 226-16, in the first half.

"It's a great job by our O-line," Murray said. "A lot of plays we weren't getting touched until we were five or six yards downfield."

Leach felt the Red Raiders started off-balance and it worsened.

"We never got settled. We saw things out there we hadn't seen all year,'' the coach said. "I think we really wanted to do well and then we went out and overtried. We sat there and watched Oklahoma make one routine play after another."