By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com – @anthonyVslater
Using an explosive offense and stingy defense, OU rolled to a relatively easy 35-20 win over Iowa State in Ames on Saturday. Here’s some rapid reaction:
With little more than a minute left in the first half, OU seemed frustrated but content going into the break with a 7-6 lead. Josh Heupel called two run plays, avoiding Landry Jones’ risky arm (which threw picks on the previous two drives) and taking the clock down to 40 seconds. But then Heupel took a chance. And Landry delivered, drilling Justin Brown on a beautiful 40-yard fade before nailing Kenny Stills on a nice touchdown. It provided the needed second-half spark for an offense struggling to finish drives.
It was over when…
OU’s offense marched 75 yards in 14 plays, opening the second-half with a methodical touchdown drive that ended with a Justin Brown touchdown and extended the Sooner lead to 21-6. Steele Jantz and his stone-hand receivers were never coming back from a 15-point deficit.
Star of the game – Landry Jones
His second-quarter interception binge initially looked like the start of another Saturday disaster for the fifth-year senior. But it only mounted to a brief roadblock in his best 2012 performance. Jones had season-highs in yards (405) and touchdowns (four), spreading it around to nine different receivers and shredding a defense that was supposed to be one of the best in the Big 12 (whatever that’s worth).
Trending upward – Brennan Clay
Entering the game, Clay’s career-high for a game was 64 rushing yards. Filling in for the hobbled Damien Williams, OU’s junior back nearly tripled that on Saturday. Running with a quick burst and constant power, he went for 157 yards on 24 carries (6.5 per), including a big third-quarter 18-yard TD sprint. No other Sooner back had more than five carries or 13 rushing yards.
Trending downward – Dom Whaley
Earlier this week, Bob Stoops said Dom Whaley would start at running back if Damien Williams couldn’t. He lied. Whether it’s injury, ineffectiveness or both, Whaley isn’t the same back who burst onto the scene early last season. From Sports Illustrated cover boy to benchwarmer, Whaley had one carry for two yards on Saturday, accounting for more stats than he got in the past two games combined.
Brown’s big day
For the first time as a Sooner, and second time in his career, Justin Brown eclipsed the 100-yard receiving plateau. He led OU with seven catches and 107 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown. The only other time he hit the century mark was Nov. 27, 2010 (six catches for 106 yards) when Penn State lost to Michigan State.
Stat of the game
Iowa State’s 20 points were the most scored it has scored against Oklahoma in the Bob Stoops’s era. Congratulations, I guess?
Tweet of the game
Seriously though, how bad is Baylor’s defense? Steele Jantz put up THOSE numbers last week. Was Art Briles playing safety?
Remember Geno Smith’s 656 yards and eight touchdowns earlier in the season? That’s what Landry Jones may be going for next weekend in Norman, when he finally gets his shot to toss deep balls to unguarded receivers against Baylor’s flimsy secondary.