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Bradford's Heisman Lunge puts award within his reach

by Jenni Carlson Modified: November 30, 2008 at 8:42 pm •  Published: November 30, 2008
STILLWATER — Nothing rattled Sam Bradford for nearly four hours Saturday evening.

Blitzing defenders?

No problem.

National championship pressures? Big 12 title game questions? Ever-changing defenses?

No worries.

Teeth-rattling, somersault-inducing hits?

Little league stuff, he says.

No doubt you’ve already marveled about it, discussed it, maybe even YouTubed it. It is Bradford’s Heisman highlight. It is The Play.

His team leading by only four points and his offense facing a long third-and-goal Saturday night, the Oklahoma quarterback scrambled right and headed down the sideline. Nearing the goal line, he dove.

A couple of Oklahoma State defenders did the same.

The collision sent Bradford heels over head. He cartwheeled through the air and landed on his belly just short of the goal line.

That dive will be part of Bradford lore for years to come. Less than 24 hours after the game, footage of the flip had already been posted on YouTube and viewed thousands of times. One even dubbed Bradford with a new nickname — “Superman Sam.”

“It was interesting,” he said sheepishly of the dive. “It reminds me of a play I had in little league.”

No biggie, huh?

Truth is, this was bigger than big. It was the moment in the game that likely won Bradford the Heisman Trophy.

“To be honest, I really don’t even care,” he said of winning the little bronze statue. “All I know is that I gave our team a chance to play in Kansas City next week.”

Did he ever.

Bradford orchestrated the Sooners’ 61-41 victory over the Cowboys, catapulting OU over Texas in the BCS standings, breaking the Big 12 South’s three-way tie and punching the Sooners’ ticket for the conference championship game.

Bradford threw for 370 yards and four touchdowns while rewriting the Sooner record books yet again. He broke Josh Heupel’s single-season record with 4,082 passing yards and Jason White’s career record with 82 touchdown passes.

And so the legend grows.

““He will be in New York come picking day,” Sooner tailback Chris Brown said.

Bradford’s invitation to the Heisman ceremony has yet to be extended, but it’s only a formality.

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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