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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sooners lower boom on Missouri, 62-21

Bradford solidifies Heisman cred; Oklahoma proves it belongs in BCS championship game with rout

Members of the Oklahoma football team celebrate winning the Big 12 Championship football game. OU routed Missouri, 62-21, Saturday in Kansas CIty, Mo.

Members of the Oklahoma football team celebrate winning the Big 12 Championship football game. OU routed Missouri, 62-21, Saturday in Kansas CIty, Mo.

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By the time Mossis Madu sprinted into the end zone in a half-empty stadium, Oklahoma was done making its point.

Here’s what Sam Bradford and the high-scoring Sooners wanted to drive home: They belong in the BCS championship game.

The No. 4 Sooners did that with a 62-21 blowout of No. 19 Missouri for the Big 12 title Saturday night.

Taking advantage of an opportunity many felt it didn’t deserve, the highest-scoring team in major-college football history romped to a third straight conference crown and became the first to reach 60 points in five consecutive games in 89 years.

“We were tired about hearing everyone talking about how we didn’t deserve to be in the game,” said Bradford, who passed for 384 yards and two touchdowns. “It was a big motivator for us.

“I don’t see how we could not be No. 1 (today).”

No need to worry, two is just as good. And if all goes accordingly today, Oklahoma (12-1) will be in the top two of the Bowl Championship Series standings, looking at a title game matchup against No. 2 Florida on Jan. 8 in Miami.

Touted as the best two conferences in college football this season, it seems appropriate their champions will play for the national title.

For Oklahoma and coach Bob Stoops, it’ll be their fourth appearance in a BCS national championship game. The Sooners won their first try in 2001 against Florida State, but have lost their last two — to LSU after the 2003 season and to Southern California after the 2004 campaign.

The Sooners’ losing streak in BCS games overall is four, taking some of the luster off a coach who earned the nickname “Big Game Bob” early in his tenure.

No one would argue with Big 12 Bob, though. Stoops improved to 6-1 in the conference title game. No other Big 12 team has won more than two in the 13-year history of the league.

This one was over by halftime. By then Bradford had already put up Heisman-worthy numbers, with 240 yards and two TD passes, and the Sooners led 38-7. Along the way they zoomed past Hawaii’s NCAA record 656 points set in 2006.

The Sooners kept trying to put up more points until the end. Soon after Bradford threw an long incompletion into the end zone, Madu dashed 37 yards for the final points with 3:33 left.

Chase Daniel and Missouri (9-4) never really had a chance and for the second season in a row, they lost the Big 12 title game to Oklahoma.

“This one hurts the worst,” said Daniel, who threw two interceptions and lost a fumble while throwing for 255 yards and three TDs. “My senior year, we can’t get it done, and too many turnovers on my part. You can’t win a game against a team like that turning the football over.”

Oklahoma became the first team to score at least 60 in five straight games since Tulsa in 1919, according to STATS LLC.

“Sam Bradford again is just sensational,” Stoops said. “The defense really stepped up. We had a huge lead before they gave up anything in the second half.”

Even Boomer and Sooner, the white ponies who pull the Boomer Schooner around after OU scores, cut out early. They took a short trot after Jimmy Stevens kicked a 30-yard field goal that made it 41-7 with 9:00 left in the third quarter and called it a night.

Bradford, injured non-throwing hand and all, didn’t have it that easy. He was still playing in the fourth quarter and finished with a Big 12 championship game record for yards passing and completions (34).

“We were in a championship game and we were going to play to the end,” Stoops said.

Expect the sophomore Bradford to be in New York next Saturday when the Heisman Trophy is handed out, along with fellow Big 12 quarterbacks Colt McCoy of Texas and Graham Harrell of Texas Tech.

Maybe, Texas can beat Oklahoma in that competition. Surely it won’t make it any easier for the Longhorns to watch the Sooners, a team they beat in October 45-35, play for the national title.

Oklahoma and Texas finished in a three-way tie for the Big 12 South title with Texas Tech, but the Sooners’ victory over Texas Tech, combined with Tech’s win against Texas, made head-to-head moot. According to Big 12 rules, the poll voters and computer ratings used by the BCS were left to break the deadlock, and the Sooners got the nod.

“Everybody has their opinion, some are different than others,” said Stoops, who has done his best to avoid getting drawn into campaigning for his team the way Texas coach Mack Brown has. “That’s a pretty convincing win. If that doesn’t make a statement ... then you’ll find a reason why it wasn’t good enough.”

Texas fans have done all they could to remind anyone paying attention about their team’s victory in Dallas, setting up Web sites, handing out signs and flying banners from planes — including one over Arrowhead Stadium before the Big 12 title game that read “Enjoy the BeatByTexas.com Bowl.”

Yes, the Longhorns also beat Missouri in the regular season, 56-31.

But it wasn’t enough to combat the Sooners’ dominance. Since losing to Texas, Oklahoma has won seven straight games by a combined score of 419-205.

The numbers were staggering again Saturday night. The Sooners put up 627 yards, Chris Brown and Madu, the third-stringer playing because DeMarco Murray injured his knee on the opening kickoff, each ran for more than 100 yards and three scores. The defense, led by linebacker Travis Lewis, held Missouri 24 points below its average and forced three turnovers.

“Hopefully, the people who watched this game tonight, we made an impression on them,” said Lewis, who had 13 tackles.

What’s working for the Sooners these days?

“Everything,” Stoops said.

No way to argue about that.

Comments

Taylor Mermis 10 years, 11 months ago

nj - Who you calling hicks? KC in only 40 miles from Lawrence and has the most KU alumni than any other city. Arrowhead is currently being renovated and is the best option to have the championship game in the North territory. Where do you want it, in St. Louise or just have it in the South? Keep your east coast crap to yourself. Why don’t you worry about the Meadowlands dump in your own backyard? This is the problem when KU recruits students nationally, no regional understanding of what is going on. Isn’t this just “fly-over” country anyway?Don’t change the whole structure of the league just because the wrong North team was selected this year. We did beat the North champs head-to-head. OU did not score 60 on us and only beat us by 2 touchdowns. Maybe 70% of the nation would have kept the game on if it would have been an OU and KU rematch. If we would have played Baylor like MU and NU, then we would have made it. If anything, shake up the scheduling.

TwistedFish31 10 years, 11 months ago

Don't worry about njjayhawk. She is obviously and imposter and most likely a sad Texas fan. The weak sister comment tells you all you need to know considering the Big XII North is the home of the 2008 National Champions in basketball.Anyway, it was a lot of fun to watch OU beat the snot out of Chase (no pun intended) and the rest of the overrated mizzou squad. I'm Big XII all the way but could never cheer for mizzou in any sport at any time. I'm assuming that the tigers will still get an invitation to the Holiday Bowl to play Oregon? Doesn't matter…they are hurting from their 2 defeats at Arrowhead and will likely get spanked by a bunch of Ducks.Meanwhile, I'm hoping that Wisconsin winds up going to the Insight Bowl instead of Minnesota but nevertheless, I hope to see a lot of KU fans in Phoenix!Rock Chalk!

Jim Pendleton 10 years, 11 months ago

Being a KC area resident, and a long time ticket holder at Arrowhead, it would have been nice to have the Hawks in that game last night. I have been hoping we will someday make that game for many years now.That being said, I don't think it would have mattered who OU played last night, as they are on some kind of roll right now. I do think it is possible the score could have been in the same neighborhood. Let's remember OU wasn't playing their best when they played us the first time. They had just come off the Texas loss, and we did score 31 on them and were at least competitive. Since then it has been another story. While their defense has been so-so, their offense has been unstoppable against just about everyone, proven by scoring 60+ five weeks in a row. Their defense while maybe not as great as some past OU teams, has been good recently in big games, exception perhaps with OSU.What would have concerned me if we had played last night and the course of the game was similar, how would KU fans have reacted? Would it have been like the Tech game where many left at halftime to go to the Wheel (or in this case a bar in the Power & Light District), left because it was getting colder, or would we have stayed since we were playing in our first title game near our own backyard?We must continue building our own program in hopes we can compete regularly with the big boys. This includes supporting our team at this year's bowl game, minor or not, and continuing to build the season ticket base next year and beyond. Come on Jayhawk Nation, we need everyone to be on board.

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