"They played an excellent football game and really made the plays there at the end when they had to have them to win," OU coach Bob Stoops said about BYU. "I thought our guys played hard, but I didn't think we played very smart. The penalties continuously took us out of drives."
In the first half, both teams looked like they were playing in their first game of the season. BYU had three turnovers and OU coughed up the ball twice. The Cougars and Sooners combined for 15 penalties.
Overall, though, BYU outplayed the No. 3 team in the country through the first 30 minutes. For the Cougars, there was an agonizing series of mistakes that prevented them from having the lead.
First, there was a delay of game penalty that wiped out a 41-yard field goal by Mitch Payne on BYU's first possession. Then there was a fumble by Jacobson on a punt that was recovered by Oklahoma at the Cougar 35 — which the Sooners turned into their first score of the game on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Bradford to Ryan Broyles.
In the second quarter, wide receiver O'Neill Chambers caught a screen pass and found a hole but fumbled into the end zone. The ball was recovered by OU's Quentin Carter.
The Cougars finally scored with 1:25 remaining in the first half on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Hall to Andrew George to tie the game at 7-7. That TD was set up by a 49-yard catch-and-run by Bryan Kariya.
At that point, it appeared the game would be deadlocked at halftime. But in the final minute, Bradford injured his shoulder when BYU linebacker Coleby Clawson drilled him and drove his shoulder into the turf. Bradford remained on the turf for several minutes as trainer attended to him. OU's Jimmy Stevens nailed a 35-yard field goal with two seconds remaining to lift the Sooners to a 10-7 edge.
When the Sooner offense returned in the second half, redshirt freshman Landry Jones was taking snaps in place of the ailing Bradford.
In the second half, the Cougars gained momentum and confidence.
"We know we have a good football team," said tight end Dennis Pitta. "We're confident in the things we could do. That was a very good football team we played. We made a lot of mistakes but fortunately the defense kept us in it and we were able to put it down there at the end of the game and get a score. It was a great win for us but it's a long season. We've got a lot more games to go and this is just the first. We have to refocus and prepare ourselves Monday for Tulane."
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