Sooners top Longhorns, 28-21
DALLAS (AP) -- A couple bad quarters wasn't about to rattle Oklahoma freshman Sam Bradford -- and neither were the Texas Longhorns.
Facing a tough foe in a hostile setting, Bradford looked as at ease as he did in his record-setting first few games against overmatched opponents, throwing for three touchdowns and hardly making a mistake to steer No. 10 Oklahoma past No. 19 Texas 28-21 in their annual grudge match Saturday.
Bradford was 21-of-32 for 244 yards with plenty of poise and patience, helping the Sooners (5-1, 1-1 Big 12) rebound from a second-half meltdown against Colorado and end a two-game losing streak against the Longhorns (4-2, 0-2).
Because both teams were coming off losses, the stakes of this 102nd meeting were a little different than usual. National title hopes were secondary to survival in the conference race. Oklahoma left with both a leg up in the Big 12 South and the satisfaction of dropping Texas to 0-2 in conference play for the first time since 1956, the year before Darrell Royal arrived.
The Longhorns -- who were ranked seventh before a 20-point loss to Kansas State last weekend -- could be in jeopardy of ending a 114-week stint in the AP poll, the longest in the country.
The Sooners have to be thinking they're in for a long stay in the poll considering Bradford is only six games into what may be a special career.
His first 4 games were so close to flawless that he came in as the nation's most efficient quarterback even after going 1-of-8 in the second half against Colorado, when OU saw a 24-7 lead turn into a 27-24 loss.
Questions about whether he'd be shaken by that outing or this atmosphere were answered midway through the first quarter, when he called an audible on third-and-14 from his own 12, on the end of the field where Texas fans are loudest, and threw a 14-yard completion.
Bradford added throws of 40 and 41 yards that drive and capped it with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Gresham for an early lead. His other two TD throws came on drives that followed tying touchdowns by the Longhorns, including a 94-yard drive capped by a 35-yarder to Malcolm Kelly on a third down -- again, right into a sea of burnt orange.
That score, which turned out to be the game-winner, came with 10:42 left. It also came shortly after his first incompletion since the second quarter, a string of 12 straight.
DeMarco Murray took over for injured starter Allen Patrick and had a 65-yard touchdown run, which he got to celebrate on the sideline with former OU star Adrian Peterson, visiting during the Minnesota Vikings' bye week. Murray finished with 128 yards.
Kelly caught five passes for 105 yards and Juaquin Iglesias had 99 yards on six catches. Gresham caught two TD passes.
Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, the redshirt freshman who won last year's game, continued his sophomore slump.
McCoy, who showed signs of a concussion while getting battered last week, played this game with his throwing arm bandaged from mid-forearm to biceps. While his body held up, this just wasn't his day. He couldn't even get officials to throw a flag when he was thrown down from his blind side on a play that had been whistled dead.
McCoy was 19-of-26 for 324 yards, but four of his incompletions -- and his lone interception -- came in the fourth quarter. The pickoff on what might've been a tying drive went through the hands of running back Jamaal Charles, who also lost a fumble inside the Oklahoma 5 in the third quarter.
Jermichael Finley caught four passes for 149 yards, with gains of 55 and 58 yards that set up Texas' first two touchdowns. Jordan Shipley had the first and Finley got the second, which put the Longhorns ahead 14-7.
Charles ran for 79 yards and Vondrell McGee went 1 yard for the Longhorns' final score.