You'd think the biggest difference in these teams would be quarterback, where OU has a guy threatening Sam Bradford records and UConn has a guy who completed less than 50 percent of his passes. But no. The biggest difference in these teams were the receiving corps. Broyles' TD was a magic act, plus he had 13 catches for 170 yards. Cameron Kenney was sensational, with seven catches for 154 yards. And Kenny Stills added eight catches for 73 yards.
Kickoff coverage: D.
A 34-yard return gave UConn confidence to try to move the ball in the final two minutes of the first half, leading to a field goal. Then Robbie Frey's 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown put the Huskies back in the game after OU took a 34-10 lead. Even lumbering fullback Anthony Sherman returned a squib kick 26 yards. This is getting ridiculous. Time to hire a special-teams coordinator, Bob Stoops.
The Pac-10 crew might have sent shivers up Sooner spines before the game, but the Fiesta Bowl was expertly called. Few flags. The players were allowed to play, even the defensive backs. Both teams could have been called for pass interference once, but weren't. And no play was sent to replay until Ryan Broyles' tip-toe touchdown catch with 7:49 left in the game.
Jeremy Beal: A.
The stalwart defensive end was his usual superb self, but in his final OU game, Beal was most effective on run plays, twice running down UConn star Jordan Todman from behind on sweeps.
Josh Heupel: B.
The new offensive coordinator called a fine game. Heupel didn't use any of the fullhouse backfield, but with Roy Finch injured, no reason to. But Heupel's halftime adjustments weren't much; UConn got stops on four of OU's first five possessions in the second half.
Pre-game pomp: A.
From a trilogy of patriotic songs — sign me up for “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America” any time — to a bald eagle circling around University of Phoenix Stadium, the Fiesta produced as good a pre-game atmosphere as can be found in an indoor stadium.
Landry Jones: B.
His numbers were fantastic — 34 of 49 for 429 yards and three touchdowns — but his one major mistakes was a whopper, a panicked pass under a blitz that Dwayne Gratz intercepted and returned 42 yards for a touchdown. No big deal in this game, but that kind of play can cost a team in a closer contest.
Jimmy Stevens: A.
The maligned kicker came up big against UConn, nailing two field goals, including a 41-yarder that gave the Sooners a 17-7 lead. Kick like that, and Stevens can keep this job next season.