DALLAS — In the old days, this Cotton Bowl mosh pit, this war between the states, was where legends were made. In the new age, it's where championships are won.
In this Sunset Boulevard stadium that Saturday sported new seats and new scoreboard and best of all new plumbing, everything new turned old again. The Sooners didn't secure the Big 12 South Division, but the makings of a legend were planted. Maybe even two.
OU beat Texas 28-21 in a football game just as good as the score sounds. Big plays galore. Hairy moments. And heroes whose names just might live forever in Oklahoma lore.
Sudden Sam Bradford played like a veteran of these fistfights, not a yearling locked in a quarterback derby a mere seven weeks ago. And freshman tailback DeMarco Murray unleashed a 65-yard touchdown run that jumps to near the top of the list of most spectacular Sooner feats on this patch of Dallas turf.
How will green players fare when put on this gas grill gridiron? "Until you come in this arena, how do you know?” asked OU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson.
Murray and particularly Bradford answered all queries and in the process cleared a couple of clouds from Week 1 of the Big 12 race:
•The Sooners, despite trailing by a game, are back in the shotgun seat for the South title.
•Texas is finished as a championship contender this season, with its fourth straight Big 12 loss despite playing its best game in almost a year.
The Sooners won this 102nd Red River holy war the best kind of way. Fourth quarter. Tie game. Critical third downs. Doesn't get any more tense than that.
And Bradford delivered. A 94-yard touchdown drive. Seven completions in eight attempts, with the only miss a wide-open drop by Quentin Chaney; 83 yards passing on the drive. A nice bookend to the day for Bradford, who in an 84-yard, first-quarter TD drive completed five of five passes for 95 yards.
That's the stuff of legend.
In the most pressurized situation a college quarterback can face, Bradford was flawless as a freshman. The Sooners threw often (32 times) and threw deep.
"We told 'em all week, told 'em last night, we were going to be aggressive,” said offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. "We couldn't come in and play Texas and play it close to the vest.