Strange game. OU's defense dominated, its run game was superb and yet the Sooners didn't put away West Virginia until late. The grades reflect the tightness of OU's 16-7 victory.
FULLHOUSE BACKFIELD: A
The Sooners used the three-running back set seven times, not counting short-yardage situations. Here are the results of those snaps: Damien Williams 16-yard run, Williams 12-yard run, Brennan Clay 32-yard run, Williams 3-yard run, Williams 1-yard run, Williams 17-yard run, Clay 14-yard run, Clay 3-yard run, Clay minus-1 yard. Nine runs, 97 yards.
Playing against a Dana Holgorsen offense, even a bad Dana Holgorsen offense, open-field tackling is vital. The Sooners mostly did a good job, though Dreamius Smith's 75-yard run six minutes into the game was concerning. Smith broke tackles from linebacker Corey Nelson and safety Gabe Lynn to get off to the races.
STRIPEOUT : C
Most sections did a solid job of wearing the correct color, red or white, to create the alternate pattern. But the five sections of student seating went all red. And you can't blame them. Their seats are general admission. You don't know which section you'll sit in. A plan designed to fail.
TREVOR KNIGHT: D
Knight made some plays with his legs – runs of 9, 9, 14 and 14. And his passing actually was a little better than last week; Knight completed 10 of 20. But in the third quarter, Knight didn't carry the ball once and threw two interceptions. His one completion was an inside screen. By the fourth quarter, Blake Bell was in the game.
PASS RUSH: A
Mike Stoops estimated that OU blitzed 30-40 percent of the time, which probably is necessary in a three-man front, and the Sooners didn't pay for it on the back end. Bob Stoops said OU's defensive line “had to have played well.” WVU quarterback Paul Millard was sacked just once but was flushed from the pocket on a regular basis.
KICKING GAME: A
Hard to find fault with anything about the OU special teams, other than Michael Hunnicut's missed 35-yard field goal with a minute left. On Nick Hodgson's five kickoffs, two were touchbacks and two pinned WVU inside its 15-yard line. On Jed Barnett's five punts, three were downed or fair caught inside the 15, another was downed at the 20 and the other was fumbled away. Barnett also drew a roughing the kicker penalty. OU's kickoff returns were nothing special, but Jalen Saunders had a 17-yard punt return.
BAND SHOW: B
The Pride started a little slow but found its groove with some cool formations, condensing into a tight ball, then blossoming out. Finally, a song dear to the state's heart as the band formed the state's outline, which isn't easy to do with a border like West Virginia. Oh, you thought we meant the Pride of Oklahoma? Nope. The Mountaineers', playing “Country Roads.” OU's band played some swing music. Nothing too memorable, though its pregame routine appeared to be non-offensive for the second straight week. The Pride of West Virginia clearly won the music derby, even though it bused in from Morgantown.
OFFENSIVE LINE: A
Sooner tailbacks combined for 271 yards on 47 carries. That's 5.8 yards per carry. And Knight generally had plenty of time to throw. He was sacked twice, but once was on a fumble he lost after taking too much time, and the other was on a snap that bounced off his hand and he was called for intentional grounding.