The Aggies are finished in Norman
NORMAN, Okla. - From my seat, the story is defense. Not that it jumps right out at you.
What jumps out is Sam Bradford's day behind center. The redshirt freshman completed 21 of 30 passes for 284 yards. Five of them were touchdowns and four of those were to tight end Jermaine Gresham, who tied Trent Smith's mark for touchdown catches in a game by a Sooner tight end and broke Smith's single-season record of six with Nos. 7,8,9 and 10.
What jumps out is the score, 42-13. It's a far cry from 17-7 at Iowa State, even 31-21 over Missouri and 28-21 over Texas. OU won big. The Sooners beat the 21-point spread even with two late Aggie touchdowns that made it a little prettier in College Station, but that had very little to do with anything that happened on this night at Owen Field.
When it was over, A&M had picked up 283 yards, or 278 more than it picked up in the first quarter. And still, that first-quarter number was more emblematic of what happened. Because if the pregame storyline was whether or not OU might explode in a way unseen since drubbing Tulsa 64-21, the postgame storyline might be that it just doesn't matter as long as the defense keeps playing like this.
The Sooners never really did explode.
Two of their touchdowns came after turnovers.
OU punted five times, just once less than A&M's six.
But the points were rolled up because defensive coordinator Brent Venables' unit just kept sending the offense back on the field.
Here's another telling stat. The punts explain how OU never got the track meet rolling, but the time of possession, in OU's favor by almost six minutes after the third quarter, is proof the Sooner defense kept giving the offense back the ball.
Indeed, the offensive explosion — hey, it wasn't bad at all; OU picked up 470 yards of total offense — was the only thing missing on this day in Norman.
Alabama came up short against LSU, but Oregon gave the Sooners some help beating Arizona State and Florida State might just take care of Boston College.
All in all, a good night for the Sooner Nation.
Dennis Franchione's farewell tour continues.