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Oklahoma football report card: Sooners' offensive line, tackling get high marks

by Berry Tramel Published: December 1, 2012

No offensive fireworks this time. After three straight high-scoring games, the last two decided by whoever had the ball last, the Sooners played a more conventional game. Some good marks, some not so good.


With no Big 12 Championship game, the Sooners deemed this their title tilt. The win secured at least a tie for the Big 12, and the Sooners celebrated with T-shirts and caps proclaiming the title, along with the customary photograph of the scoreboard in the background. Only trouble is, Bob Stoops was pointed in his comments a year ago, when OSU had clinched a tie for the title even before the Bedlam game, that in a tie, the champion should be the team that won the head-to-head meeting. Now that the roles are reversed, Stoops has reversed his stance. But for a team that was 0-1 in league play on Sept. 23, finishing 8-1 was worthy of celebration.


More injury problems — guard Adam Shead was hobbled by an ankle injury and played only about half the game. Center Gabe Ikard shifted to guard, with true freshman Ty Darlington inserted at center. But against the Big 12's top statistical defense, the OU line stayed firm. Landry Jones was not sacked or even really hurried, and the Sooner running backs averaged 5.7 yards per carry. Damien Williams was untouched on his 66-yard TD run.


The Frogs did little damage in the open field. Or even in a crowd. TCU had 350 total yards, but 162 of those yards came on three plays in which no tackles were broken — Trevone Boykin pass completions of 80 yards to Brandon Carter and 46 yards to Cam White, and a 36-yard Boykin keeper.


The Sooners broke few tackles. When scatbacks Jalen Saunders and Sterling Shepard caught the ball, they mostly went down immediately. Most of Damien Williams' 115 rushing yards came before contact.

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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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