OSU REPORT CARD
No bad grades to be had on this night of revelry in Stillwater. The defense stood tall. The offense clicked along. And the slew of top-notch grades reflects a top-notch performance for the Pokes.
Magnificent. Simply magnificent. Much maligned this season, the OSU defense had a game for the ages. On OU's first seven possessions, the Cowboys forced the Sooners to punt five times, intercepted a pass and forced a fumble. That helped the Cowboys open a 24-3 halftime lead and cruise to victory. OU managed only 108 yards rushing. That's some crazy good defense.
JOSEPH RANDLE: A
Wasn't this guy supposed to be damaged goods? After a couple of rough games, the Cowboy tailback was splendid. He rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns, and even better, he showed no signs of those fumbling problems that plagued him against Texas Tech and Iowa State.
JEREMY SMITH: A
When Randle wasn't running wild, Smith was. He provided a great one-two punch for the OSU running game, rushing for 119 yards and two touchdowns.
The Cowboys went black helmets, orange jerseys and black pants, and it was a good look. But what about all black? It is sure to be a stellar combination, but it wasn't used at all during the regular season. Bedlam would've been the perfect time to break it out. The Sooners in their road whites and the Cowboys in head-to-toe black? That would've been an A-plus.
BRANDON WEEDEN: B
Not one of the Cowboy quarterback's better nights — and OSU still won by 34 points. Weeden wasn't his normally smooth self, going 24 of 36 for 217 yards. He had no touchdown passes, but he also had no interceptions, which plagued him in that loss to Iowa State. A solid but not spectacular performance.
DEFENSIVE FRONT: A
This was a big-time performance from Jamie Blatnick, Richetti Jones and Co. The Cowboy defensive front seven pressured Sooner quarterback Landry Jones, forced turnovers and set the tone all night. The Blatnick fumble return to the OU 1-yard line and the Richetti Jones fumble return for a touchdown were fitting cherries on top of a great night.
DEFENSIVE SECONDARY: A
The Cowboy secondary was as good as it's ever been this season, particularly Brodrick Brown and Justin Gilbert. Both Cowboy defensive backs had interceptions, but more than that, they played consistently great coverage on the Sooner receivers. Even though OU had 250 yards passing, that number could've been even bigger considering that the Sooners almost entirely abandoned the run game. The Cowboy secondary held the pass game in check.
COOPER INVOLVEMENT: C
Josh Cooper had only four catches for six yards, not nearly his normal productive night. Of the balls thrown his way, most were screens or swing passes and there was little room to run after. Getting the senior wide receiver more involved might've made the blowout even bigger.
HALFTIME TRIBUTE: A
The OSU and OU marching bands combined to play “Amazing Grace” in tribute to Kurt Budke, Miranda Serna, and Olin and Paula Branstetter. The plane crash that killed the OSU women's basketball coaches and boosters brought together Cowboys and Sooners in the days after, so the show of camaraderie was refreshing.
No reports of ugliness among Cowboy and Sooner faithful at Boone Pickens Stadium, a grand development considering the late kickoff. But the OSU game ops folks had a bit of unnecessary roughness at OU's expense late in the game, playing the “Jaws” theme and poking fun at the Sooners' self-proclaimed “Sharks” defense. The Cowboys were up 44-3 at that point. Unnecessary — but still kind of funny.
By Jenni Carlson