(Saturday, September 27th)
Final Score: (2) Oklahoma 35, (24) TCU 10
Norman, OK (Sports Network) - Sam Bradford threw for a career-high 411 yards and four touchdowns, leading second-ranked Oklahoma to a 35-10 rout of No. 24 TCU.
Bradford completed 19-of-34 passes, three of which went to Manuel Johnson for touchdowns of 76, 55 and 63 yards. Johnson finished with five catches for an Oklahoma record 206 yards.
The Sooners (4-0), whose last loss at Owen Field came against TCU in the 2005 season-opener, are in line to take over the No. 1 ranking in the country following Southern California's stunning loss to Oregon State on Thursday.
"The number one thing is to not concentrate on rankings and go into every game playing hard to win," said Oklahoma defensive back Brian Jackson, who had an interception in the game. "Number one is just a number. Coach Stoops never discusses rankings, so it is never on our mind going into a game. Our main focus is one team each week."
TCU (4-1) and its stout defense had yielded a total of 31 points in four games entering the contest, but the Sooners piled up 28 in the first half. Oklahoma also racked up 222 yards in the first quarter, more than any TCU opponent had produced in an entire game.
Joseph Turner scored the only touchdown for the Horned Frogs, while Andy Dalton completed 16-of-39 passes for 212 yards with an interception in defeat.
"Bottom line is that they played at a high level and we didn't," stated TCU head coach Gary Patterson. "We can't give up big plays and expect to win ball games."
Oklahoma took immediate control with a 74-yard scoring drive to start the game. Bradford keyed the six-play series with a 38-yard pass to Jermaine Gresham and capped it with a 24-yard touchdown strike to Juaquin Iglesias just over two minutes into the contest.
Aaron Brown returned the ensuing kickoff 75 yards to Oklahoma 11-yard line, but the Sooner defense stiffened and forced a 32-yard field goal from Ross Evans.
It was all Oklahoma from there.
Bradford directed a 13-play, 80-yard drive for another score, as Chris Brown finished it with a one-yard touchdown run to make it 14-3. Late in the quarter, a quick strike increased the lead to 18 points, as Bradford and Johnson hooked up for a 76-yard touchdown.
The Sooners were unable to take advantage of two TCU fumbles, then thwarted a Horned Frog drive midway through the second quarter when Jackson picked off a Dalton pass at the Oklahoma five-yard line. TCU got the ball back near midfield after forcing a quick punt, but a 4th-and-2 play at the OU 44-yard line went for a 14-yard loss.
Oklahoma tacked on another score with just 62 seconds to play before the break when Johnson hauled in a Bradford pass for a 55-yard touchdown to make it 28-3 heading to the intermission.
"They [TCU] had a lot of people in the box, so we took advantage of their defense and went outside," said Johnson. "I enjoyed getting into the open space and being able to show off my speed a little bit."
TCU had a chance to cut into its deficit midway through the third quarter, marching from its own 45 to the Oklahoma 13, but a fourth-down pass fell incomplete.
The Sooners answered just six plays later, as Bradford and Johnson connected on a 63-yard touchdown pass for a 35-3 cushion.
"Our pass game was great, and we knew they were going to load the box and try to stop the run," noted Bradford. "As many good receivers as we have, we like our chances when teams want to play us man-on-man across the board."
TCU finally found the end zone with 12:49 remaining, as Turner scored on a one-yard run.
The previous Oklahoma record for receiving yards in a game was 190 by Mark Clayton against Texas in 2003...Oklahoma piled up 436 total yards, but only 25 on the ground...TCU finished with 314 total yards...The Sooners will open Big 12 play next Saturday at Baylor before taking on Texas in the traditional Red River Rivalry matchup in Dallas...TCU hosts San Diego State next Saturday...TCU won the last meeting between the teams, a 17-10 triumph in Norman three years ago.
09/28 00:55:35 ET