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. Tailbacks who had gained just 35 yards on 14 carries before halftime rambled for 158 yards on 30 carries after. A defense that gave up 164 total yards, eight first downs and a touchdown in the first half, allowed just 104 yards, two first downs and no points in the second half. "Pleasing to ... come back in the second half and play so well and so solid,” Stoops said. The second half was not spotless. OU grew addicted to Jimmy Stevens field goals, four in a 15-minute span in which the Sooners failed to score a touchdown despite penetrating the Baylor 20-yard line each time. "If you don’t finish drives, it’s a recipe for disaster,” offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said. But the recipe for Cotton Bowl glory most definitely resides in No. 14, who had an historic game on a day when some wondered if he had the strength to pitch all nine innings. Bradford, in his first game since suffering a shoulder separation Sept. 5, threw the ninth-most passes, 49, in OU history, for the eighth-most yards, 389. He showed rust only to the well-trained eye. Like Stoops’. "It’s uncanny how truly accurate he is,” Stoops said. "It’s unbelievable.” But Stoops said Bradford will be better as the recovery continues. "He’s almost as good as, ‘which number he’s going to hit,’” Stoops said. "In the end, he’ll refine that.” Of course, accurate throws are only half of a completion. But if the Sooners catch the ball and score from down close, they most certainly can beat Texas and salvage a season that had soured. Berry Tramel: 405-760-8080; Berry Tramel can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.