SEATTLE, WA —Armed with Sam Bradford’s nearly perfect passing, No. 3 Oklahoma made sure Pac-10 officials had no say in this one.
Bradford completed 18 of 21 passes for 304 yards, matched his career high with five touchdowns and ran for a sixth score to help the Sooners beat Washington 55-14 on Saturday night.
Ryan Broyles caught two of Bradford’s touchdown throws for Oklahoma (3-0), which went home for a bye feeling much better than it did on its last trip to the West Coast two years ago.
Washington (0-3) was handed its largest margin of defeat at home since 1929, when it lost 48-0 to Southern California.
Sooners coach Bob Stoops threatened to never again bring his team to Pac-10 country after losing by one point at Oregon in 2005, with the help of blown calls at the end. The Pac-10 apologized for errors by its officiating crew after that game, but the conference’s system of having its officials work non-conference games at its stadiums still exists.
Washington was also victim of a Pac-10 crew, at home last week. An excessive celebration penalty on quarterback Jake Locker after his touchdown at the end of regulation led to a 35-yard try for an extra point, which was blocked. The Huskies lost 28-27 to BYU.
Washington students officiating this one wouldn’t have helped the Huskies. They are winless through three games for the first time since the 2004 team finished 1-10, prompting the hiring of now-embattled coach Tyrone Willingham.
Oklahoma, the highest-ranked nonconference team to visit Husky Stadium since 1969, was 12-10 in its last 22 games away from Norman entering Saturday. But fueled by Washington’s mistakes, Oklahoma scored its most points on the road since a 56-25 win at Texas Tech on Nov. 22, 2003.
Bradford, completing 79 percent of his passes with 12 touchdowns and two interceptions this season after setting the NCAA freshman record with 36 TD throws in 2007, threw for three scores by halftime when Oklahoma led 34-0.
Washington lost three fumbles, missed two field goals and punted three times in its dreadful opening half.
Then on the third play after halftime, Broyles caught a short pass at the 27 and spun out of arm tackle tries by Johri Fogerson and Nate Williams. The redshirt freshman then raced for a 77-yard touchdown that put the Sooners up 41-0.
A coach renowned for stoicism, Willingham was almost desperately animated. He threw his arms skyward, angrily slapped his hand with his play card and stomped as his record at Washington fell to 11-28.
The game essentially ended when Locker, who left the game after a 15-yard scramble for a score in the third quarter, ran 19 yards late in the first period but was stripped of the ball by Brian Jackson. Jackson recovered at the Washington 47. Two plays later Bradford found tight end Jermaine Gresham for an easy 22-yard touchdown pass. Oklahoma led 14-0.
After Washington missed a 47-yard field goal, Bradford completed four of five passes to get Oklahoma to the 1. Washington then recovered a botched snap— only freshman defensive tackle Alameda Ta’amu was offsides. Bradford converted the reprieve on a 1-yard sneak for a 20-0 lead.
The Huskies kept on giving. D’Andre Goodwin broke loose on a 23-yard catch and run to the Sooners 21, but lost the ball on a hit by Lendy Holmes. Jackson recovered that fumble, too. On the sidelines, Willingham twice raised both arms in the air, palms facing to the sky as if to ask “Why?”
Bradford finished a 10-play drive with his third touchdown pass of the half, perfectly lofted into the arms of Broyles to make it 27-0.