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Bradford's record passing day lifts Oklahoma over Kansas

October 19, 2008|From the Associated Press

NORMAN, Okla. -- By the time he's done, Sam Bradford might erase Josh Heupel's name from the Oklahoma record books entirely.

Bradford passed for an Oklahoma-record 468 yards and had three touchdown passes to help the No. 4 Sooners bounce back from their first loss by beating No. 16 Kansas, 45-31, on Saturday.

Despite losing top receiver Manuel Johnson to a first-quarter arm injury, Bradford cleared the Oklahoma record of 429 yards set by Heupel in 1999 against Louisville. Bradford has already matched a record held by Heupel and Jason White with five touchdowns in a game, and he passed Heupel's career touchdown total this season.

"I knew that he was a great player here and a very smart football player, so I knew that I was going to have an opportunity to learn a lot from him," Bradford said.

Bradford turned the knowledge from Heupel into big numbers again, benefiting from the time to pick apart the Kansas secondary while the Jayhawks' Todd Reesing spent his day running from tacklers until he couldn't get away.

It made all the difference in a meeting of two of the nation's top quarterbacks.

"I'm really impressed with Sam Bradford. He's everything they said he would be and more," Kansas Coach Mark Mangino said. "Just pinpoint accuracy, good poise. He scrambled for a couple big plays and then you look at some of the guys he's throwing the ball to. . . . They've just got a lot, a lot of depth on offense. They're shuttling guys around and doing a good job with it. We just weren't able to keep up with it. We just weren't."

Reesing was able to keep Kansas (5-2, 2-1) in the game into the third quarter by dodging pressure, but Oklahoma (6-1, 2-1) prevented a repeat of last week, when Texas' Colt McCoy used a series of successful scramble drills in a Red River Rivalry win that vaulted the Longhorns into the Sooners' old No. 1 spot

The win was Oklahoma's 21st straight at home, matching the second-longest streak in school history -- a run that occurred during Barry Switzer's consecutive national-championship seasons in 1974 and 1975. The only longer streak was a 25-game span that was part of Oklahoma's NCAA-record 47-game win streak under Bud Wilkinson in the 1950s.

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