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September 1, 2007
NORMAN, Okla. - Freshman DeMarco Murray became the first Oklahoma player to score five touchdowns in his debut, and redshirt freshman Sam Bradford threw for 363 yards and three touchdowns in his first start as the No. 8 Sooners beat North Texas 79-10 Saturday night.
There was certainly no hangover following a stunning overtime loss to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl, nor from the loss of star tailback Adrian Peterson to the NFL.
Bradford needed only 32 seconds to notch his first career touchdown pass, a 15-yarder to tight end Jermaine Gresham as he slinged the ball along the line of scrimmage for three straight plays and allowed his receivers to run for big gains.
Murray added four touchdown runs by the end of the first half, and coach Bob Stoops called timeout with under 2 minutes remaining to preserve time for one last score. Bradford's 24-yard lob to Malcolm Kelly made it 49-0 as the Sooners received a standing ovation for hanging Barry Switzer's proverbial ``half a hundred'' on the Mean Green before halftime.
Oklahoma ended up with its most lopsided win in a season opener since it beat New Mexico State 73-3 to start the 1989 season and its second-highest point total since 1919.
It was a rough welcome to big-time college football for New North Texas coach Todd Dodge, who is making the transition from high school to Division I this season.
Dodge, who led Texas high-school powerhouse Southlake Carroll to three straight state titles, lost for the first time since the 2003 state championship game. He'd been 79-1 in his last five seasons at Carroll.
Bradford broke Josh Heupel's record for passing yardage in a half that was set against Baylor in 2000, going 20-for-22 for 350 yards in the first half. He completed his only pass in the second half to tie 2003 Heisman Trophy winner Jason White's school record of 18 straight completions, then yielded to backup Joey Halzle.
Murray made Peterson, the 2004 Heisman runner-up, seem forgettable. He lined up as a wide receiver and scored his first career touchdown on a 44-yard end around, then finished off four more drives with short runs in goal line situations.
The school record is Quentin Griffin's six touchdowns in Oklahoma's 63-14 win against Texas in 2000. Murray, who became the primary ball carrier after Allen Patrick sprained his ankle and Chris Brown was suspended, totaled 87 yards on 17 carries.
Juaquin Iglesias caught seven passes for 128 yards, and Kelly had four catches for 118 yards. Kelly also had a 65-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter, when he beat Evyn Roman down the right sideline and caught Bradford's pass in stride.
Giovanni Vizza, who lost a quarterback competition for North Texas against Daniel Meagerl, entered in the third quarter and set up Thomas Moreland's 29-yard field goal to break up the shutout. He added a 69-yard touchdown pass to Casey Fitzgerald.
The Mean Green are 0-14 against top 10 teams. Five of those losses came in season openers against Oklahoma and Texas within the past six years.
For more coverage of the Oklahoma Sooners, check out SoonerScoop.com.