The Oklahoma defense's grades were high, despite the competition in a 26-6 win over Iowa State. The OU offense? Not so much.
TOM WORT: A
The middle linebacker played one of his best games as a Sooner. He had a team-high 11 tackles, including six solo, and constantly bore down on ISU ballcarriers after short passes or misdirection runs. Plus, Wort had a tipped pass that teammate Travis Lewis intercepted.
The Sooners gave the Cowboys plenty to think about for Bedlam. The double reverse, with Brennan Clay or Kenny Stills flipping the ball to Trey Franks, worked famously twice, for gains of 45 and 43 yards. OU also tinkered with its defensive lineup, moving Aaron Colvin to free safety, Sam Proctor to strong safety and leaving Tony Jefferson at rover, even though Jefferson seems a ready solution at free safety. Also, Josh Heupel showed new wrinkles in the BellBone, including an option play and another pass, even though Blake Bell threw into coverage and ISU's Jake Knott intercepted.
RED-ZONE OFFENSE: D
The Sooners penetrated Iowa State's 20-yard line seven times and came away with two touchdowns. That will get OU run out of Boone Pickens Stadium next week. And it wasn't just the failure of the Belldozer. The conventional offense wasn't any better.
The Sooners entered the game ranked sixth in Big 12 touchback percentage, but both Patrick O'Hara and Michael Hunnicut failed to get the ball into the end zone when kicking with the 35 mph wind.
DON KEY AWARD: C
Excellent move, honoring Corey Wilson, who signed with OU in 2007 but was paralyzed in a 2009 car crash. But the award loses its luster when spread out among four guys – Wilson, Travis Lewis, James Hanna and Ryan Broyles. Make a decision.
DEFENSIVE STINGINESS: A
Iowa State is not Baylor or OSU, but the Cyclones had shown some offensive acumen in recent weeks. Yet ISU's only touchdown came on a 10-yard drive and was scored on a fluke – OU's Frank Alexander tipped Jared Barnett's pass, but the call caromed to Cyclone flanker Albert Gary in the end zone.
OFFENSIVE LINE: A
Iowa State held Oklahoma State tailbacks to 60 yards on 18 carries. Saturday, OU tailbacks combined for 179 yards on 31 carries, a 5.8 yards-per-carry average. Plus, Landry Jones was not sacked and rarely was pressured.
MICROPHONE RELAY: C
The wireless microphone for the national anthem went in and out throughout “The Star-Spangled Banner,” probably because of the fierce wind. The soloist continued on bravely and finally was handed a replacement mic in time to hit the final note of “brave.”
LANDRY JONES: B
The wild wind wreaked havoc on the passing game. Jones mostly handled it well. He completed just 22 of 43 passes, but the Sooners had a few drops. Jones threw two interceptions; one was a horrible decision, but the other bounced off the hands of receiver Kameel Jackson.