OU's defense dominates spring game

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

It was a good sign for Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops when Heisman Trophy quarterback Sam Bradford spent much more time signing autographs at the spring game than he did seeing actual game action.

Bradford was limited to only about three minutes of game action in Saturday's Red-White spring game, but didn't disappoint as he completed 11 of 13 passes for 97 yards in his short spring stint. Included was a 23-yard TD strike to Adron Tennell.

His work was one of the few bright spots for Oklahoma's offense, which clearly struggled without key players like running backs DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown, fullback Matt Clapp and tight ends Jermaine Gresham and Brody Eldridge. The Oklahoma offensive line was down to only seven players who played Saturday thanks to a collection of minor ailments.

All of those missing weapons helped explain struggling performances by Bradford's two backups. Landry Jones completed 5-of-12 passes for 73 yards and Drew Allen was 4-for-14 for 58 yards.

Cornerback Dominique Franks starred for the Sooner defense with a pair of interceptions, including a 42-yard return for a touchdown.

The Sooners defense notched six "touch" sacks -- including three by defensive end Frank Alexander and two by defensive end Jeremy Beal -- and limited the Oklahoma running game to 27 yards on 52 carries.

Those struggles were the main reason the defense notched a 63-36 victory over the offense in the convoluted scoring method favored by Stoops.

Stoops told reporters after the game he understood why his defense looked so strong in Saturday's scrimmage.

"It was really hard to judge the offense with so many guys out," Stoops said. "Overall, I thought we saw a lot of good things and good effort. The good news is that the guys who did play got a ton of snaps."

The scrimmage was played before a crowd of 28,592 -- second most for a Big 12 team this spring behind only the announced crowd of 44,000 that attended Texas' spring game last week.