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Back to the future: No wishbone but Sooners pile up the yards

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

NORMAN, Okla. -- It wasn't exactly how Barry Switzer would have called the offense.

There were no wishbone elements in Oklahoma's offensive attack. But other elements of the Sooners' offensive onslaught were eerily reminiscent of how "The King" would have done it -- mainly in its sheer domination.

Oklahoma erupted for 674 yards of total offense -- its best performance in more than 20 years -- as the Sooners cruised to a 45-31 record over Kansas.
But unlike some of Switzer's run-heavy efforts back in the day, this one was a bow to modern-day offensive philosophy. Sam Bradford threw for a school-record 468 passing yards and the much-maligned Sooner offensive line paved the way for 206 rushing yards as the Sooners cruised to a convincing victory.

"We always want more," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said of his team's 97-snap offensive binge. "I would have liked to have had three more snaps and just kept moving and gotten to 100. I would have liked to have had a couple of plays back. But I guess that's being a little greedy."

Bradford broke the previous school record of 429 yards set by his quarterback coach Josh Heupel. But he was happier about his team bouncing back from its late struggles last week against Texas than any individual accomplishment.

"Obviously, getting the numbers are nice, but the most important thing is come out here and get a win," Bradford said. "Our offensive line did a great job, we got the running game going and I had all the time in the world back there to pass."

Oklahoma's huge offensive game came after the loss of leading receiver Manny Johnson, who suffered an injury to his left elbow on the game's fifth play and did not return.

Juaquin Iglesias took advantage of his absence by producing a school-record 12 catches for 191 yards. It was the second-biggest receiving performance in school history, topped only by Johnson's 206-yard effort earlier this season against TCU.

"Today, I felt like I was in the zone," said Iglesias, who said he would beat himself up for two drops. "I didn't feel like I had to do something I wasn't. I just tried to make the plays that were there."

The Sooners' offensive line had become a punchline over the last week after producing less than 50 rushing yards in two of its last three games. But Chris Brown and DeMarco Murray combined to rush for 175 yards as the Sooners' massive offensive line was intent on proving a point early in the game.

"There was a lot of weight bearing down on our shoulders about not getting the running game going," Oklahoma guard Duke Robinson said. "We came out on edge. We just wanted to show something."

Nobody emerged more than Murray, who had been struggling with a slump that many attributed to the lasting effects of a dislocated kneecap sustained late last season.

"I just decided not to listen what the media has been saying," said Murray, who had averaged only 2.7 yards per carry in his last three games. "I know people have been talking about my knee. It was just in my mind and I wanted to forget about it."

Murray and Brown both appeared to be running with passion, answering the challenge of Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. During struggles against TCU and Texas, Wilson had hinted that the Oklahoma backs hadn't been running as hard as he would have liked.

Murray had not had a carry longer than 14 yards since the opening game of the season. But he spurted through a huge hole for a 17-yard gain late in the first quarter to show he was approaching his previous form and later added another spinning 16-yarder shortly before halftime.

"We knew we hadn't been running hard enough," Murray said. "We took it as a challenge and wanted to be more physical. And we answered a little of the challenge today."

He credited some of his performance to running with a new, lighter pair of shoes that made him feel like he was faster.

"I always had confidence, but I had just missed some holes," Murray said. "I just tried to run hard and the offensive line made some good blocks for me. It was there for me."

This fact, if true, should be a scary proposition for the rest of the Big 12. Even after the 10th best offensive performance in terms of total offense in school history, Murray said the Sooners can do more.

And he was right. The Sooners missed two makeable field goals from kicker Jimmy Stevens, including a shanked 30-yarder that ended Oklahoma's streak of 28 scores on 28 red-zone possessions on the opening possession.

"It's not about being greedy," Murray said. "We expect more of ourselves, knowing we had some opportunities and didn't do as well as we could have done. We've still have got a lot of room for improvement."