Insight Bowl: OU's offense is its best defense

The Sooners' offense ate 4:21 off the game clock and capped a nine-play, 44-yard drive with a 35-yard field goal from Michael Hunnicutt.
BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, gmizell@opubco.com Published: December 31, 2011

TEMPE, Ariz. — In reality, the Oklahoma offense turned into its best defense late in its Insight Bowl contest against Iowa.

A nine-play, 44-yard drive by the Sooners, which ate up 4:21 of game clock and ended with a 35-yard field goal by Michael Hunnicutt at the 2:28 mark, kept an OU defense that had given up two straight Iowa touchdowns off the field and preserved a 31-14 Sooner victory at Sun Devil Stadium.

But the Sooner defense had done enough through three quarters to give itself the room to allow two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

“Our defense was outstanding,” OU coach Bob Stoops said immediately after the game.

OU shut out Iowa until the second play of the fourth quarter, when Hawkeye quarterback James Vandenberg scrambled to his right and found tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz in the end zone for a 5-yard score.

Iowa scored again when Vandenberg dumped off a pass to Jordan Canzeri, who scampered into the end zone from 9 yards with 6:56 to play. But the Hawkeyes never threatened again.

The Sooners (10-3) held the Hawkeyes to 292 offensive yards and forced two turnovers, one which set up OU's first touchdown.

On Iowa's second drive of the game, Jamell Fleming picked off Vandenberg and returned it 21 yards. An Iowa personal foul gave OU a first-and-goal at the 5, and two plays later, backup quarterback Blake Bell scored his first of three rushing touchdowns from 4 yards.

Fleming finished with seven tackles and three pass breakups to earn the game's Defensive MVP award.

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