The Norman Transcript

Sports

November 25, 2007

Back in the swing of things

Circumstances beyond Oklahoma’s control forced it to turn to its run game as it prepared to face Oklahoma State.

Quarterback Sam Bradford was coming off a concussion and temperatures plunged into the 30s Saturday.

The extenuating factors were a blessing to the Sooners.

The Sooners looked like a juggernaut once again in Saturday’s 49-17 romp over the Cowboys.

Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson both played into the decision to try to rev up the running game early.

“I wanted to get him (Bradford) settled in and I thought the best way to do that was to see if we could get our run game going,” Wilson said Sunday. “We challenged our guys to be a lot better with that part of our football team. It was a way to see if we were going to be able to execute that.”

Rushing for 307 yards and getting running back Allen Patrick out of a six-game funk with 202 of that total met the challenge. It was the most rushing yards OU has rolled up against a Big 12 opponent this season by more than 100 yards.

“Their offensive line mashed us,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “They just knocked us back and pummeled our guys.”

Few doubted OU’s offensive line had a performance like that in it. In the preseason, the Sooners’ group was being compared to some of the best in the program’s rich history.

It had five starters back from the previous year with Branndon Braxton, Trent Williams, Duke Robinson, Brandon Walker and Jon Cooper. Junior college transfer Phil Loadholt was added to the mix as well.

The unit has been solid. Bradford’s only been sacked eight times this season and it’s doubtful he’d be having a breakout season without the wall that is typically around him.

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