Thursday, December 31, 2009
Instant analysis: Oklahoma 31, Stanford 27
By ESPN.com staff ESPN.com
Not-so-instant analysis because I was flying to LA for the Rose Bowl.
Stanford quarterback Tavita Pritchard struggled while playing in place of an injured Andrew Luck.
Oklahoma's 31-27 win over Stanford drops the Pac-10 to 2-4 in the bowl season and guarantees a losing bowl record with only the Rose Bowl left to play.
How the game was won: Oklahoma dominated the second half to overcome a seven-point halftime deficit. While Stanford had almost no passing game with Tavita Pritchard stepping in for the injured Andrew Luck, the Sooners got 418 yards and three touchdowns from quarterback Landry Jones.
Turning point: The third quarter. Oklahoma scored two touchdowns in the third to go ahead for good while Stanford managed to gain just 32 total yards.
Stat of the game: Oklahoma owned third down. Stanford was 1 for 12 on third down, while the Sooners were 10 for 20.
What it means: Probably not a whole lot in the big picture for Stanford, which is clearly on the rise under coach Jim Harbaugh. There's also, of course, a ready-made excuse due to the absense of Luck, though Sooners fans probably can talk a bit about injuries to quarterbacks and other stars. As far as the bigger picture for the conference, it hurts the image that another ranked Pac-10 team was decisively controlled in a bowl game -- see a 477 to 262 Oklahoma advantage in total yardage. Stanford's first order of business going forward is improving its defense, which struggled all season.