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Sam Bradford's return gives Oklahoma new hope vs. Texas

by Berry Tramel Modified: October 11, 2009 at 3:27 pm •  Published: October 11, 2009
NORMAN — Only two questions mattered Saturday at Owen Field. Neither was how badly would the Sooners beat Baylor.

That answer, 33-7, tied into the paramount issues. How healthy is Sam Bradford, and did the Sooners refine themselves enough to beat Texas a week hence?

Those answers? Slingin’ Sam’s shoulder is fine, thank you, which gives us the answer to the Texas query. Maybe, just maybe.

The first-half Sooners, who couldn’t run or catch, would have little chance against the Longhorns.

The second-half Sooners, who grew fangs on both sides of the ball and rubbed super glue on their fingers, most definitely could spear the Steers.

"If we come out and play the way we did in the second half, we have a great chance to put ourselves in position to win,” said OU defensive end Jeremy Beal. "We can’t beat Texas the way we played in the first half.”

Of course, Texas can’t beat OU if the ’Horns repeat their first-half performance from Saturday, when Colorado led 14-10 at halftime.

The whole analysis seemed squishy to Bob Stoops. "I don’t get the question,” Stoops said. "That’s not Texas we played out there today.”

Darned good thing, too, in the first half. Even with Bradford reminding everyone what the Sooners had missed for a month — immaculate passes and wise decisions — OU was sluggish.

True story. The Sooners reached first-and-goal at the Baylor 2-yard line in the second quarter and eventually scored a touchdown, but eight snaps later, not even counting a Baylor penalty.

Both OU first-half touchdowns came after dubious roughing-the-passer penalties on third-down incompletions.

When a third-and-goal pass bounced off the hands (one of which was in a cast) of fullback Matt Clapp, boos cascaded, and a Dallas disaster seemed likely imminent.

But in the second half, OU asserted itself.