Sam's Big Boost

NORMAN, Okla. -- The return of Sam Bradford has supplied a much needed boost for the Oklahoma Sooners heading in to this week's match-up with the Texas Longhorns. Especially in a season that has been ripe with disappointment.

There's nothing like the return of a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback to the starting lineup.

That's exactly what the Sooners had last weekend when OU quarterback Sam Bradford came back as OU dominated Baylor 33-7 coming off a loss the week before to Miami.

And it looked like he hadn't missed a beat.

"He played really well," said OU head coach Bob Stoops. "I thought it was just [great]. To have been off as much as he has and go out there and his first go at it and play as well as he did, I thought he played great."

How good did he play?

Well, the scoring stats don't look quite as good as the blistering numbers he put up a year ago, but he still had an impressive contest, going 27-for-49 for 389 yards and a late touchdown pass.

He was efficient throughout the game and didn't make any real bad decisions that would lead to an interception or put the Sooners in bad situations.

"Again, he stays away from the poor, negative plays or the bad plays," Stoops said. "He had a great night. Then you add in seven, eight [or] nine drops, and you could cut that and say ‘All right, coach, there's five legitimate [drops] that are dead right in their hands. He has an incredible night."

It was very important for the Sooners to get Bradford back in business, especially with this weekend's contest against No. 3 Texas looming in the future.

"Playing last week was important, you know, I think for our offense as a whole," Bradford said. "It was important for me to get back out there. I think for the guys to get used to me being back out there was important, and we saw some things on film yesterday that we can correct and hopefully we will correct this week going into Saturday."

That's one of the reasons it's so critical to have him back in the starting lineup.

No slight against redshirt freshman quarterback Landry Jones, but Bradford is virtually unprecedented when it comes to analyzing formations and correcting mistakes in the offense.

And that's something the Sooners will do in order to improve their red zone woes from last week.

"I thought we played with a great tempo [Saturday]," Bradford said. "You know, we had a lot of yards. I think the most frustrating thing was the way we played in the red zone. Obviously we can't kick field goals the way we did, but overall I thought we played well."

One thing's for sure.

As he progresses in his recovery, Bradford and the Sooner offense alike can only go up from here.

"He's a great player, [and] he's a great competitor," Stoops said. "In another week, I would think he'd be stronger, you know, with his throws, so he'll continue to get better."

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