|Hall vs. Bradford in first Heisman showdown|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 02 September 2009 11:40|
BYU's Max Hall will get the first chance to try to crash that party.
In the first showdown of potential Heisman contenders this season, Hall's 20th-ranked Cougars will take on current trophy-holder Sam Bradford and No. 3 Oklahoma on Saturday in the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium. It's Hall's first and best chance to get his name into the discussion after his hopes fizzled with losses to Mountain West rivals TCU and Utah last season.
``I think it's awesome,'' BYU defensive end Jan Jorgensen said. ``These are two of the best quarterbacks in the country going up against each other. It's going to be fun to see.''
rm to launch a Heisman campaign.
``From what I've seen on film, this guy can do it all,'' Sooners defensive tackle Adrian Taylor said. ``He can run the ball, he can step up in the pocket and throw it, throw it on the run. I feel like he can make all the throws.
``Hopefully we get pressure on him and get to him, get him a little bit uncomfortable.''
In the biggest games last season, Hall looked anything but comfortable. He had more total turnovers - 13 - in BYU's three losses than he did in the Cougars' 10 wins combined. He was sacked six times and fumbled twice in a 32-7 loss to TCU and threw five interceptions in finishing the regular season with a 48-24 defeat against Utah.
Two more fumbles and another pick followed in a Las Vegas Bowl loss to Arizona that leaves the Cougars on a losing streak heading into the showdown with the Sooners.
``We've been thinking about it all summer and preparing for it,'' Hall said. ``In every rep, in every lift and every sprint we ran, we were thinking about it. Hopefully all that hard work will pay off and we'll play well on Saturday.''
The supporting casts for Hall and Bradford are similar, at least in terms of experience.
in the country and 1,000-yard rushers at their disposal.
Hall called it an honor and a privilege to play against Bradford, and said he's looking forward to meeting the Sooners star who threw for 4,720 yards and led the nation with 50 touchdown passes.
``You can't say enough good things about Sam Bradford and what he's done for his team and how valuable he is to the Oklahoma Sooners,'' Hall said. ``He's a stud.
``I'm counting on our defense to slow him down a little bit and give our offense a chance to do some things.''
Slowing Bradford proved all but impossible last season. The Sooners' no-huddle offense set an NCAA record with 716 points. Bradford threw for at least 250 yards in every game but the opener, when he sat out most of the second half after Oklahoma took a 50-0 lead. He had at least 300 yards passing in 11 of those games, threw only eight interceptions and was sacked 11 times.
After putting up those kind of numbers, Bradford made it his primary goal this offseason to become a more vocal leader who never loses his cool during a game. While Bradford thinks ``the first game will tell a lot'' about how far he's come, his coach thinks it's been only natural for the Sooners to fall in line behind their Heisman Trophy winner.
onsistently plays at a high level and competes at a high level and makes good decisions. They want to know how he thinks and what's on his mind for those reasons.''
Bradford had the chance to leave for the NFL after three seasons at Oklahoma and two as the Sooners' starter, but instead came back for another shot at the national championship - a goal that's on his mind much more than becoming only the second two-time Heisman winner.
``It's something that I've been looking forward to ever since the Orange Bowl last year,'' Bradford said. ``There were times this winter and this summer that I never thought this day was going to come. It seemed like it was five years away. But now we're finally here.''