Halftime: Longhorns close to within a point, 21-20

October, 11, 2008
10/11/08
2:09
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

DALLAS -- The happiest man at the Cotton Bowl might be Texas coach Mack Brown. After producing only one big defensive play and being blistered for 227 yards on defense, the Longhorns left the field at the half trailing by just one point.

Texas' offense started asserting itself at the end of the half, getting a 33-yard field goal by Hunter Lawrence on the last play of the half to trim Oklahoma's lead to 21-20.

The Longhorns struggled to get pressure on Sam Bradford for most of the half until a blindside blitz by Sergio Kindle led to a diving interception by Earl Thomas on Oklahoma's final offensive play. It was one of only three times that Bradford was hit in the pocket in the first half.

If Will Muschamp can keep cooking up that kind of pressure, the Longhorns will have a great chance to win the game.

It was one of the few mistakes by Bradford, who completed 15 of 18 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns. His second touchdown pass enabled him to break a record for most touchdowns in a freshman and sophomore season set by Rex Grossman.

Neither team has been able to run the ball effectively. I get the idea that neither quarterback can keep up his torrid pace and whichever team can start running the ball enough to keep the opponent honest will win the game.

The Sooners' struggles covering kickoffs bit them again when Jordan Shipley ran back a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown. It was the second kick return brought back for a score against the Sooners this season and the third time an opponent has gashed them for a kickoff return of at least 75 yards this season.

And three penalties boosted the Longhorns' final two scoring drives. Back-to-back offsides penalties extended one drive. And a 15-yard late hit by Oklahoma linebacker Travis Lewis helped extend Texas' final drive.

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