WACO, Texas —The Oklahoma Sooners avoided the same trap that helped them get back to No. 1.
“All of the conditions were right for us to come down here and not play well, not get excited, not bring any energy and for Baylor to play great and beat us,” Sooners quarterback Sam Bradford said. “We knew we had to come out and had to play well.”
With No. 5 Texas looming next on the schedule, the Sooners still never gave Baylor a chance for an upset.
Bradford threw for 372 yards with two touchdowns, DeMarco Murray ran for two scores and four other Sooners got into the end zone in another lopsided victory over the Bears, 49-17 Saturday in the Big 12 opener for both teams.
Oklahoma (5-0) this week moved into the No. 1 spot of the AP poll for a record 96th time, but first since 2003, after an upset-filled weekend when the Sooners were the only one of the top four teams to win. They seemed intent on making it 97 after their quick start against Baylor.
Manuel Johnson caught a 53-yard touchdown only 70 seconds into the game for the Sooners’ quickest opening score this season. They built a 28-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.
“I loved the way we started off,” coach Bob Stoops said. “We executed and have good momentum going in (against Texas). I’d rather go in this way than any other.”
Next week, the Sooners have their traditional second-Saturday-in-October meeting against the Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl—in the middle of the State Fair of Texas. But they made this trip across the Red River seem more like a glorified practice session.
Oklahoma has never lost to Baylor (2-3) in 18 games. The last five in Waco have been decided by an average margin of 36 points.
The Sooners didn’t make it to the Texas game undefeated last year, getting upset in their conference opener at Colorado. There was no overlooking a lowly opponent this time.
“Last year, that’s what we were doing, kind of looking ahead,” receiver Juaquin Iglesias said.
Johnson, coming off a school-record 206 yards receiving in last week’s 35-10 victory over TCU, got open behind the secondary on the third play of the game— after Baylor went three-and-out in only 31 seconds.
Bradford was 23-of-31 with an interception, his only one in the last three games to go with 11 TDs. He was coming off a career-best 411-yard passing game at TCU.
After sneaking in for a 1-yard touchdown, Bradford added a 42-yard scoring strike to Iglesias to make it 35-7. Iglesias had six catches for 133 yards.
“We took the momentum and just kind of ran with it,” Bradford said.
Murray, who ran 26 times for 96 yards, had TD runs of 2 and 1 yards. Mossis Madu (1 yard) and Chris Brown (3 yards) also had scoring runs.
While Bradford got plenty of help, true freshman quarterback Robert Griffin scored both of Baylor’s touchdowns on short runs and accounted for 177 of the Bears’ 269 total yards, running 21 times for 102 yards and going 11-of-26 for 75 yards.
Oklahoma scored on its first four possessions, and the first-half drive that didn’t result in a touchdown ended with a strange interception.
Bradford threw a deep pass to Iglesias, who had to come back to get the ball and bobbled it as he fell onto his back. The ball was on his chest, but never hit the ground and was pulled away by Baylor’s Jordan Lake at the Bears 10.
The Bears went three-and-out, and Bradford hit Iglesias for a touchdown on the next drive.
Another pass intended for Iglesias, on the Sooners’ second drive in the first quarter, was intercepted by Joe Pawelek near the goal line. The turnover was nullified by a pass interference penalty against the defender trying to cover Iglesias in the end zone, setting the ball at the 2 for Murray’s TD and a 14-0 lead.
“You talk about an emotional letdown and that was a big shift in the momentum,” said Griffin, at 18 the youngest starting quarterback among the 119 FBS schools. “We have to forget about it. It’s over. You can’t go back and play the game again.”
Ben Parks kicked a 32-yard field goal for the Bears, whose losses have all come against Top 25 teams, the others were Wake Forest and Connecticut.
“We’ve got to regroup,” first-year Baylor coach Art Briles said. “If we start getting wide-eyed over people, we are going to have a hard time blinking because they are going to be wide a bunch.”