Sooners have enough magic, offense to win

November, 30, 2008
11/30/08
2:02
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

 
 Jackson Laizure/US Presswire
 Sam Bradford's pass in the third quarter of Oklahoma's 61-41 victory over Oklahoma State bounced off Manny Johnson's hands to tight end Jermaine Gresham, above, for a 73-yard touchdown reception.

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Barry Switzer had a term for the luck that seemingly graced his team throughout his career.

The "Bootlegger's Boy" is long gone from the Sooners' sideline but "Sooner Magic" was alive and well for Oklahoma Saturday night at Boone Pickens Stadium.

Two key plays that provided touchdowns probably had Switzer smiling Saturday as his old team claimed a wild 61-41 victory over rival Oklahoma State.

The Sooners watched a tipped pass slip through Manny Johnson's hands and between three Oklahoma State defenders to a sprinting Jermaine Gresham for a 73-yard touchdown reception. The score helped the Sooners reclaim momentum after Oklahoma State pulled within four points early in the third quarter.

"I guess I've been living right because I've been going to church a lot recently," Gresham said. "I'm blessed it happened in this game."

Later, quarterback Sam Bradford botched a exchange from center Jon Cooper on fourth down. The Oklahoma State defense froze for a millisecond -- long enough for Bradford to pick up the ball and still scoot into the end zone.

"You definitely need a little luck to win," Bradford said. "There were a couple of plays like that, but we played well overall tonight."

The tipped pass was the wildest. Johnson said he thought the ball was going to be intercepted because the Oklahoma State defenders were so closely bunched around him.

"I saw it go through my hands and then all those other guys were around it," Johnson said. "I was relieved when it bounced through them and landed in Jermaine's hands. And then when he was running at full stride to the goal line, it was a big play for us."

Even Bob Stoops was thankful for the good fortune -- or luck -- that graced his team at key moments.

"You always feel fortunate when you get a play like that," Stoops said. "And I feel fortunate tonight."

Bradford's dad played for Switzer in the 1970s and sometimes heard about the Sooners' propensity for big plays in clutch situations. But "Sooner Magic" has been with him since he arrived at college.

"I've heard more about it since I've been at OU since I grew up," Bradford said. "I guess you could say we had a little bit tonight."

The Sooners need any kind of bounce they can get considering the BCS ramifications of the victory. And they were happiest when the good fortune came when they really needed it.

Both came during a wild spurt of eight-straight scoring possessions that began in the second quarter and lasted until the end of the game. The Sooners erupted for 54 points during that 45-minute period.

"If you want it call it 'Sooner Magic' you can," Oklahoma tailback Chris Brown said. "It's being in the right spot at the right times. Some of those players could have been disasters. But we got two touchdowns on them. It was like 'Sooner Magic' was with us."

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