A long December ended, though, on the uptick.
It's the third consecutive bowl victory for the Sooners, going back to the BCS title game against Florida. OU finishes the season, one with national championship aspirations, 10-3.
With Iowa at full strength, and the Sooners depleted, this might have been a mismatch. But the Hawkeyes were hurt greatly by the recent suspension of leading rusher Marcus Coker.
Without his 1,384 yards, Iowa was left looking for a runner. Freshman Jordan Canzeri rushed 22 times for 68 yards — only 2.6 yards a carry.
“The guys were where they needed to be,” Stoops said.
The Sooners defense, punished for 278 rushing yards and 44 points against Oklahoma State, held Iowa relatively quiet. The Hawkeyes did manage 292 total yards, but they didn't score until there were 14 minutes, 46 seconds left in the game.
And an early interception by cornerback Jamell Fleming, the defensive MVP, set up OU's first score — a Bell 4-yard run.