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Don't Blame OU'S Loss to BYU On Bradford's Injury

Ryan TeeplesCorrespondent ISeptember 6, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 05:  Quarterback Sam Bradford #14 of the Oklahoma Sooners drops back to pass against the Brigham Young Cougars at Cowboys Stadium on September 5, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

All the headlines are wrong. BYU scored a gritty, hard-fought and historic victory over third-ranked Oklahoma University Saturday. Yet nearly every headline about the is game focused on the fact Sooner quarterback and 2008 Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford went down with an injury just before halftime.

Sure, it impacted the game. But know these three key facts before you put the OU loss on Bradford's second-half absence.

1. BYU's star running back was also out -- all game. Harvey Unga is an integral part of the Cougars' offensive strategy and losing him completely changed BYU's approach to the game.

2. BYU's defense was giving Sam Bradford trouble when he was in. Bradford only threw for 96 yards in the first half while OU's running backs (arguably the best in the country) couldn't muster more than 120 yards all game.

3. BYU's offense still beat OU's D. In the end, the OU defense was fully intact, yet the batch of All-American candidates couldn't stop the BYU passing attack when it mattered late in the fourth quarter.

Sure, OU's losing Bradford hurt. But so did BYU's loss of Unga. And in the end, neither necessarily changed the outcome.

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