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Sam Bradford's Heisman candidacy picks up steam

BY JOHN HELSLEY Modified: November 23, 2008 at 12:47 pm •  Published: November 22, 2008
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NORMAN — Popular wisdom pegged Saturday night's showdown as a Heisman-elimination game.

Sam Bradford vs. Graham Harrell.

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 touchdowns.

For those keeping count, Heisman voters and crimson crazies, that's 42 touchdown tosses for Bradford this season.

And that's more than any Sooner — ever — in a season. Jason White, OU's Heisman winner in 2003, had 40 in that special year.

Bradford finished with 304 yards, marking his ninth 300-yard game in 11 starts this season, another Sooner record.

“Sam Bradford, again, is just absolutely incredible,” Sooners coach Bob Stoops said.

The Heisman chase now figures to feature three prominent quarterbacks: Bradford, Texas' Colt McCoy and Florida's Tim Tebow.

“Either McCoy or Bradford's No. 1, but I don't know which one,” ESPN.com's Pat Forde said after the game.

Saturday likely shook out two other would-be contenders: Harrell's Tech teammate Michael Crabtree and Michigan State running back Javon Ringer.

Bradford and Tebow will get the benefit of spotlight games.

The Sooners are headed for another prime time appearance in Stillwater against Oklahoma State, then perhaps the Big 12 title game.

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