|Oklahoma, Texas trade roles in Big 12 South title chase|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 20 November 2007 14:15|
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -A Big 12 South powerhouse lost its starting quarterback to an injury in the next-to-last game of the season, dropped its last two decisions and found itself at home when it came time for the conference championship.|
It took that sort of unbelievable collapse by Texas last season to open the door for Oklahoma to win its fourth Big 12 championship. A year later, the No. 10 Sooners (9-2, 5-2 Big 12) find themselves in the exact same predicament, but with a chance to prevent history from repeating itself in a cruel role reversal.
``We've just got to win, that's all I can tell you. We have to win,'' Sooner running back Chris Brown said Tuesday. ``We've put ourselves in a situation where we're in a must-win situation, and we've got to get prepared for that.''
With a tiebreaker over the Longhorns after winning the Red River Rivalry game in October, the Sooners were in position to play for the national championship with wins in their last two regular-season games and the Big 12 title tilt. It would have taken back-to-back losses for Oklahoma to miss the conference championship.
M on Friday and Oklahoma loses to Oklahoma State on Saturday, the Longhorns would face the Missouri-Kansas winner on Dec. 1 in San Antonio.
Sooners coach Bob Stoops blamed the latest loss on a lack of discipline, breakdowns in fundamentals and some penalties he called ``foolish.''
``It's just poor football,'' Stoops said at his weekly news conference. ``We do have a lot of young players, but we've got more experience than that.''
It was one of those mistakes that resulted in quarterback Sam Bradford sustaining a concussion that knocked him out of the game.
Oklahoma led 7-0 on Lendy Holmes' interception return for a touchdown when a botched handoff between Bradford and tailback Allen Patrick got picked up by Tech linebacker Marlon Williams and Bradford was hurt making the tackle.
``We've got momentum, we've got a seven-point lead and we fumble a handoff. We drop the handoff and lose our quarterback for the rest of the game,'' Stoops said. ``To me, it's just fundamental, basic football and we didn't do a very good job.''
It's unclear whether Bradford or Big 12 sacks leader Auston English (right leg) will be able to play against Oklahoma State, while Stoops has ruled out leading rusher DeMarco Murray (knee), backup receiver Adron Tennell (knee) and defensive end Alan Davis (concussion).
Stoops said Bradford would take on an increasing role in practice if he could handle it, and he expected team doctors to know within the next couple of days whether the quarterback would be able to play Saturday. Stoops said he wouldn't hide the decision and would announce it ``if I know one way or the other.''
Backup Joey Halzle threw for 291 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in relief of Bradford against Texas Tech.
``We feel confident regardless of who's in there,'' Stoops said. ``We know that we're capable of moving the ball and doing the things we need to do to overcome those injuries.''
Even with the Big 12 title and the national championship becoming closer to their grasp at No. 4 in the BCS standings, Stoops said he didn't think the Sooners were caught looking ahead in their loss to Texas Tech.
``I just think we get in there and for whatever reason don't execute like we're capable of,'' Stoops said. ``This week, there isn't anybody hanging their head. We had a very spirited and good practice (Monday). We've got some huge goals out there for us that are major goals in where things begin in our program.
``With an in-state rival coming to our place and the South opportunity and the opportunity to for a possible Big 12 championship, those are major issues.''
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