Friday, January 9, 2009

Bradford comes up short in QB matchup


— Sam Bradford won the Heisman Trophy with some of the most impressive statistics ever put up by a college quarterback. But in the biggest game of his career, he and Oklahoma’s high-powered offense looked ordinary.

He wasn’t all that bad. He just wasn’t good enough.

Bradford continued a trend of subpar performances by Sooners quarterbacks in BCS bowl games. He threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns but had a pair of interceptions at critical times in No. 2 Oklahoma’s 24-14 loss to top-ranked Florida in the BCS championship game Thursday night.

“Obviously it’s very disappointing to end your season on a loss, especially in a game that we felt like we had a chance to win,” said Bradford, who completed 26 of 41 passes.

Bradford’s mediocre performance extended the Sooners’ BCS losing streak to five in a row, and added his name to the list of Heisman winners who have struggled with the national title on the line.

Bradford’s numbers were respectable for just about any other quarterback, but well short of expectations following a season in which he threw for 4,464 yards and 48 touchdowns with six interceptions.

The championship game was only the third time this season he was held to fewer than 300 yards passing, and his third game with multiple interceptions.

The result was an Oklahoma offense that hardly looked like it led the nation with a 54-point average and was the first in more than nine decades to score 60 points or more in five straight games. Before the championship game, the least the Sooners had scored was 35 points in a loss to Texas.

“We’re not going to place the blame on the offense,” safety Nic Harris said. “That’s something we’re not going to do.”

What’s next for Bradford is still uncertain. He has a week to decide whether he’ll leave for the NFL draft after his sophomore season, or come back and try to win a national title.

“I think he’s a great quarterback, either way he goes,” receiver Juaquin Iglesias said.

Bradford simply hadn’t faced a defense of Florida’s caliber all season long in the scoring-happy Big 12.

After getting sacked only 11 times in Oklahoma’s first 13 games, Bradford was harassed by the Gators’ speedy defense and forced to work on the move.


blackhawkjayhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

The real joke is the Big 12 South. 1-3. Pretty much says it all. Here's to the North!

yates33333 11 years, 7 months ago

I thought both Brown and Stoops were outcoached in their bowl games. These are the two best teams in the Big 12 but perhaps only because of recruiting opportunities. Mangino did a much better coaching job against Minnesota. For that matter Reesing looked more like a Heisman Trophy winner against Minnesota than either Tebow or Bradford at the Orange Bowl. Reesing has better touch on his passes. He doesn't try to knock his receivers down. I've never seen a quarterback throw a better lob pass. He is very accurate and often while on the move. I wish he were 6' 5" instead of 5' 6".Further observation. This also looked like a home game for Florida and the announcers sounded like the Gators employed them. Sort of reminds you of Curt Gowdy, RIP.

KUPROUD 11 years, 7 months ago

OU had control of the game, and Bradford did his part. Only poor decision making at the goal line kept a TD off the board just before halftime, when they had two downs to get one yard and tried to go outside. When OU went straight ahead they made at least two or three yards all night. Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Both of Bradford's interceptions were on the mark and in both hands of his receivers. At the goal line the receiver bobbled the ball upward and Florida alertly picked it off. In the 4th quarter the receiver again bobbled the ball and Florida alertly grabbed it. Bradford kept the team moving all night. Kerry Meier would have latched on to both of those passes.

nebraska_jayhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

No surprise this happened at all. I told everyone who asked me how I thought the game would go that OU would lose because they have not faced a defense like Florida all year. They just told me OU would run the score up. The thing I did not think was that the score would be so low. I thought it would be in the 30's or 40's, but the fact that UF doubled up OU was no surprise at all

jayhawkox 11 years, 7 months ago

I have to disagree that Bradford had a particularly bad game, he threw a couple of poorly timed picks, but the receivers had to be at least equally at fault for both of them. This game came down to the same thing that the last bunch of OU bowl games did: poor coaching strategy. If anything, Bradford certainly didn't get out-dueled by Tebow, who is seemingly (at least judging by the game commentary) the single greatest human being to have ever lived. Can't wait for him to go the way of Eric Crouch and I can stop hearing about him.

4jhawks4ku 11 years, 7 months ago

KUPROUD, Good comments, I agree with em all. Bradfords receivers arent tough and smart like ours. They never tried to get out of bounds. Some terrible playcalling. I think OU was badly outcoached.

Seth Peattie 11 years, 7 months ago

so freaking tired of OU. overrated joke. four things you can count on in life:1. sooners sucking2. death 3. taxes4. a SUCK IT from me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lance Hobson 11 years, 7 months ago

All of the Big 12 South was over-rated this year. The proof is in the pudding. The Big 12 needs to get back to its days of hard-nosed defenses and strong running games. The Hollywood run and shoot stuff doesn't work against good defenses. Nebraska proved that against UF in the 90s.

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