Thoughts on the Oklahoma Sooners' 59-14 blowout of the Iowa State Cyclones.
*Historically, Iowa State has made for a nice slump-buster for the Sooners. Saturday’s game was no different. OU took out a little of its frustration from the loss two weeks ago, worked on some new wrinkles installed during the bye week and get some action for the reserves.
Frankly, OU needed this. ISU didn’t test the Sooners at all, but OU looked sharp from the opening kick to the final whistle. Take that as a good sign for the rest of the season.
*I wrote before the game that OU’s running game would likely see a lot of work in this game. The Sooners pounded out more than 500 yards on the ground, averaging nearly 9 yards per rushing attempt.
The Cyclones have struggled all year to keep opponents from running wild, so no one should go overboard reacting to this performance. Even so, better to do it than not, ya know.
*The most notable numbers in the box score were 146 and 3: Trevor Knight’s rushing yardage and rushing touchdowns, respectively. OU’s quarterback ran all over the ‘Clones, begging the question of why OU has kept the reins on him in the running game this year.
Again, though, keep in mind that the ISU defense isn’t fielding quite the same level of athlete on D that you might see taking the field for Texas, Baylor or even Kansas State. When you have your opponent severely outclassed, you tend to get more out of stuff like the QB sweep that was so successful for the Sooners on Saturday.
*With standout receiver Sterling Shepard on the sideline for all but OU’s first offensive play, Knight spread the ball around. I’d say the results from the receiving corps were mixed. I didn’t see a lot of bad on the first viewing, but also nothing that really blew me away.
One positive development was the involvement of freshman Michiah Quick (8 receptions, 56 yards). More than anything, Quick looks like he just needs more reps when the ammo is live to get more comfortable.
*I’ve reserved most of my criticism regarding the quarterback play this year for offensive coordinator Josh Heupel, who hasn’t always put Trevor Knight in a position to succeed. Put the first of Knight’s two interceptions, however, directly at the QB’s feet. Blake Bell appeared to get knocked off his route, but still just a bad decision.
For the most part, though, Knight looked solid throwing the ball. All in all, a good showing on his part.
*Enough about the offense. The eye-popping stats will overshadow a complete performance by the D. Harp on Zack Sanchez getting burned once for a TD or ISU’s one sustained drive in the first half, but the Cyclones have a few weapons on offense and a really good coordinator in Mark Mangino.
*Jordan Evans shows up better and better each week at inside linebacker. He brings such an active presence in the middle of the field and has the kind of all-around game that coaches covet in the era of the spread offense. His emergence has made such a difference for the Sooner D, especially with Frank Shannon off the team.
*Lastly, no hangover for Michael Hunnicutt, who connected on all nine of his kicks, including 44-yard field goal.