Wow, it’s going to be hard to hold back the accolades coming off perhaps the best execution in a big road game by the Sooners under Bob Stoops.
Samaje Perine/Joe Mixon
Their back-to-back touchdown runs in the second quarter put this game away. Oklahoma State really struggled to come back up after those back-breaking runs. Perine’s run was highlighted by Orlando Brown collapsing the left side of the Aggie DL, then Dede Westbrook faking out the Aggie defensive back 30 yards downfield. MIxon’s run had a little Marcus Allen to it, with Mixon cutting away from where the run was supposed to go and reversing field, outrunning the OSU defense while aided by a pancake block by Baker Mayfield on an Aggie DB.
OU's dual-headed RB monster ate up OSU to the tune of 4 TDs and more than 270 yards rushing.
Mayfield did not have a huge day passing the ball, but he was very effective moving the chains on third down with his arm and his feet. Mayfield executed the 4th-and-1 call at the OSU 35 perfectly, sprinting 30 yards into the red zone.
Mayfield made big plays, avoided bad plays and just brought a heady, poised, spirited ("arrogant," if you hate OU) presence to the OU offense.
If not for about four drops, Mayfield probably would have completed close to 80 percent of his passes for more than 200 yards.
Alex Ross’ best kickoff return of the year
OU’s kickoff return game has been non-existent all year. I’d like to think Ross has been saving up some mojo for a special time and unleashed it against OSU, where it played a critical role in getting OU jumpstarted. Huge return at a great time.
Offensive line improvements
OU ran for more than 340 yards against OSU, and the Sooners' running game locked down the game in the fourth quarter. Offensive tackles Orlando Brown and Dru Samia made future first-round NFL draft pick Emmanuel Ogbah an afterthought for most of the day.
The OL blocked for the RBs and gave Mayfield time to make throws. For a unit that could barely function at Rocky Top and was a misfiring mess in Dallas, the fivesome of Brown, Jonathan Alvarez, Ty Darlington, Nila Kasitati and Samia have gotten better and better in both run blocking and pass protection. OU now has a clear future for the OL in 2016 as well.
OU’s cornerback duo has had a great run since the start of the Kansas State game. Thomas, in particular, has played at an All-Big 12 level and continued that play with crucial interceptions in the OSU game. The pick-six right before half took OU to 34-10 and signaled the end of OSU trying to play Mason Rudolph. His second INT led to an OU field goal and an even bigger lead.
In the end, Thomas completely shut down one side of the field.
The front seven
OU generated consistent pressure on J.W. Walsh and smashed the Cowboys' running game. OSU running backs rarely found any room. For all his run game skill, Walsh barely made any significant plays with his feet.
Charles Walker and Charles Tapper both deserve All-Big 12 consideration along with Eric Striker and Jordan Evans.
He had a tough night.
Admittedly, OSU’s wide receivers got away with at least three obvious offensive pass interference calls. If called correctly – or if Sanchez could have pushed off and kept his footing – or if Ahmad Thomas could have rotated over and made some plays – OSU might have gone through the game with just a field goal or two. OU shut down everything else.
I’m getting sick and tired of being told that targeting is an emphasis for officials, only to watch OU players get blasted by defenders leaving their feet, launching and leading with their helmets to hit Sooners in the head/neck/helmet area.
It happened two more times in Stillwater. Throw the damn flags, then let replay clean it up.
Two Big Ten teams in the playoff? Do you watch college football?
For the last 15 years, no coach with 10 years or more in his current position at a school had been able to reverse a downward trend to the point of winning a conference title and playing for a national title. Until Bob Stoops.
OU should be no worse than fourth when the final College Football Playoff rankings are released next Sunday. The Sooners have the most balanced offense of any of the contenders and arguably the best QB. This is also OU's best overall defense since the 2007-2010 stretch of three Big 12 championships.
OU seems ready for almost any match-up and stands a very real chance of a national semifinal game in JerryWorld. If so, the Sooners would finally have something approaching the home bowl advantage that SEC and ACC teams have enjoyed for years in venues like Miami and New Orleans. It would be nice to see OU fans filling JerryWorld to the rafters witih crimson and cream.