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Oklahoma football report card: High marks abound after good showing in Lubbock

The Sooners weren't perfect, but they played a superb game in winning 40-21 in Lubbock for the first time since 2003, and the grades reflect it.
by Berry Tramel Published: October 6, 2012


The Sooner throng is usually good for 7,000 to 10,000 strong in Lubbock. But not this time. Only about 4,000 Sooner fans made the trip, after the disappointing loss to Kansas State.


I know it seems like the running game was more efficient, but it wasn't so. OU tailbacks combined for 91 yards on 21 carries, a 4.3 yards-per-carry average. That's half a yard less than against Kansas State. But the run game was effective enough and used enough to keep the Tech defense partially guessing.


In a place the Sooners had lost three straight, including two straight dismal performances, OU handled itself well. The Tech crowd was announced as a record 60,800, and the Red Raiders staged a blackout, urging everyone to wear black. Plus, the weather turned shrewdly, with a north wind and 50 degrees. Yet the Sooners played with poise. Any timeouts squandered were due to confusion caused by Tech alignments. OU committed just five penalties, none on offense. OU's penalties were an iffy pass interference, a defensive holding, a false start on a punt, a kicking-team illegal block and a defensive offsides in the final two minutes of the game.


The Sooners used an abundance of six-defensive back alignments and used athletic backup linebackers Frank Shannon and Aaron Franklin more than ever before, to chase Tech's multitude of receivers. The new guys shined. Safety Julian Wilson and Shannon matched Colvin and Corey Nelson for a team-high six tackles. Franklin had four tackles. Tackles on receivers don't always mean good defense. Better to create an incompletion. But a key to stopping Tech's offense is taking down a receiver soon after a catch, and OU did that well.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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