OU's Bradford Ready for Tech

Big 12 matchup has big BCS implications

Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford doesn't remember much about last year's loss to Texas Tech that knocked the Sooners out of the national title hunt, and he's not just playing coy.

Bradford was also knocked out -- taking a hit to the head in the first quarter that put him on the sideline with a concussion. What he does know about Oklahoma's 34-27 loss comes only from video.

"I've watched it, so I know pretty much everything that happened now. It's a little frustrating to turn on the tape and see that I played the first couple plays and then wasn't out there to finish the game with my teammates," Bradford said Tuesday.

"So, there's probably a little bit of extra motivation to go out there and play well this year."

Bradford was shaken up on Oklahoma's first play from scrimmage in last year's game, when he had to make a tackle following a fumble by tailback Allen Patrick. He came back in for the next offensive series before the team realized what had happened to the nation's top-rated passer.

Bradford has followed his fabulous debut season, in which he set an NCAA freshman record with 36 touchdown passes, by putting up even bigger numbers this season. He leads the nation with 38 touchdown passes, two away from Jason White's school record of 40 during his 2003 Heisman Trophy season. Bradford is ranked second in the country in passing efficiency (188.9) and third in yards passing yards per game (340.6).

His counterpart this week, Texas Tech's Graham Harrell, is the odds-on favorite for this year's Heisman Trophy -- at least for now. If the Red Raiders can end Oklahoma's 23-game home winning streak -- the longest in the nation -- he'll likely keep that title.

Harrell leads the country with 407.7 yards passing per game and ranks third in touchdown passes (36) and seventh in quarterback rating (169.2).

"From what I've seen from him, he's very patient," Bradford said. "I think he does a great job of buying time in the pocket, sliding around and moving to buy and extra second to find an open receiver. I think once he finds and open receiver, he's very good at getting the ball there."

But Bradford said he's more caught up in the enormity of the game than the meeting of two Heisman-caliber quarterbacks. Tech can clinch the Big 12 South with a win, but Oklahoma (9-1, 5-1) can keep its hopes for a third straight conference title alive if it comes out victorious.

"It's exciting to be in a game with two top-five teams getting to play in Norman at home. I don't think we've played a top-five team at home since I've been here," Bradford said.

"I think this game is the most important thing that we've done as a team so far this year."

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