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Oklahoma football report card: Sooners' trick plays, pass defense earn high marks

by Jenni Carlson Published: October 19, 2013
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THIRD DOWN OFFENSE: B

The Sooners got off to a rocky start, only converting 2 of 6 in the first half, but in the second half, they were nearly automatic. They were 5 of 8 on third down after halftime. And even though it was against a less-than-stellar Kansas defense, that 7 of 14 mark was a big-time improvement over last week. OU was a woeful 2 of 13 against Texas.

THIRD DOWN DEFENSE: A

A week after the Sooner defense got abused on third down — the Longhorns even scored their first offensive touchdown on a third-and-long — OU stood tall on third down. It only allowed Kansas to covert 2 of 11 third-down attempts, and the Jayhawks had no third-down conversions after the first quarter. Stout, stout play by the Sooners to get off the field when they had the chance.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C

This one is tough to figure. The Sooners were decent both covering and returning kickoffs, but after that, it's a mixed bag. They blocked a punt that led to a safety, then an immediate touchdown, but they also got a punt blocked that led to a quick Kansas touchdown. Michael Hunnicutt missed an extra point on what looked like a bad snap, but then the Sooners blocked a Kansas extra point that Aaron Colvin returned for a safety. We'll call it a wash and give special teams a C.

ATMOSPHERE: B

Things looked dreary before kickoff with Memorial Stadium barely half empty, but as the day wore on, the crowd filled in a bit. It made for a much better scene on what turned out to be a beautiful day, sunny and 70 degrees. A pregame flyover by eight small planes with pink smoke trails — pink is the color of breast cancer awareness month — was a cool and unexpected treat.

UNIFORMS: C

One of the best looks in all of football — the Sooners' road uniforms of crimson helmets and white jerseys and pants — did battle with one of the uglier ones. The Jayhawks had blue helmets and pants, but their gray jerseys were hideous. I'm all for gray uniforms — heck, I'm all for changing it up a bunch if you don't have a traditional look — but these jerseys looked like practice gear. Worst, they were impossible to read in the stadium.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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