In a dominating 59-14 win against an overmatched Iowa State team, it’s hard to know how much of the performance was about OU and how much was about the Cyclones. To be fair, in conference play, ISU had been competitive with Kansas State, Texas and Oklahoma State. The 'Clones also beat Big Ten middle-dweller Iowa. So, ISU is not Kansas-, Vanderbilt- or Wake Forest-level bad.
The rushing attack
Even grading on a curve, the Sooner rushing attack was awesome against the Cyclones. You don’t put up 500 yards without great execution and play-making.
The sophomore redshirt running back subbed in during the fourth quarter and had a great debut behind the backup offensive line. Smith’s obviously a team favorite because he was mobbed on the sideline after his touchdown run.
Smith showed power, moves and some speed. It was a great moment for a talented kid at OU’s deepest position.
Both dimensions of Trevor Knight
Knight had 16 carries for 146 yards, running the option game to the outside multiple times and the zone read in the red zone. It forced ISU to stop stacking the middle of the field and opened up lanes for the Sooners' RBs.
Knight is not going to throw for 400 yards per game like Landry Jones, but he can easily throw for 250 and run for 100 to be incredibly effective. If so OU doesn't need to be so efficient in the passing game.
The injury to Keith Ford has hurt the OU offense to a degree, but the additional reps have helped Alex Ross shake off almost three years of rust. He’s showing an improved feel for running the ball. In fact, versus Iowa State – and maybe KSU – Alex Ross might have been OU’s best back.
The line just dominated against an outmanned ISU defensive line. The addition of the QB run and outside running game left the Cyclones unable to stack inside for the RB dive. The Sooner OL just mauled ISU's defenders.
After a failed fourth-down attempt for the Sooners, ISU had the ball at midfield and was only down 21-7. The OU defense played the best series of the game, shutting down ISU and forcing a punt. By the time ISU got the ball back, it was 28-7.
It was nice to see the backups flying around the field and playing physical in the fourth quarter as well.
After his kicking meltdown versus KSU, Hunnicutt hit a tough 45-yard field goal into the wind.
Defending the fake punt
OU got very lucky that the ISU dropped the fake punt pass attempt. The receiver was wide open and would have easily made it to the Sooner 20 yard line, if not more. At 28-7, ISU could have made it a two-score game. OU appeared to be ready for the fake, but clearly a Sooner defender lost the targeted receiver in coverage.
Going for it on fourth down
OU attempted to pick up a 4th-and-2 at midfield. With Knight under center, OU tried to run Samaje Perine to the left side of the line. It got completely stuffed.
With the QB run game working so well, it would have been better to go out of the shotgun and let Knight read the play.
Factoring in the injury to Sterling Shepard and about five drops by his receivers, Knight’s passing was pretty good. He hit some key red zone passes and had third-down pickups.
But Knight's two interceptions were bad. He tried to force the ball to Bell on the first one. The second – throwing back across his body to the middle of the field – was basically QB 101 stuff.
Knight’s got to stop turning the ball over like this, especially when OU is in the red zone.