Blogging about college football by an Oklahoma Sooners fan.

Oklahoma 35, Iowa State 20: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Oklahoma-Iowa State 2012

Hard to be overly critical with a good road win over Iowa State. Oklahoma seems to be rounding into form on offense for an ending similar to 2010. There are some cracks on defense, but hopefully OU can get improved play from some key guys in this last stretch run.

OU has a significant prize out there to be seized: Most BCS projections have the Sooners in a BCS bowl if they can win out, especially after the second loss suffered by Boise State.

The Good

*Brennan Clay has had a tough OU career, with two terrible head/neck injuries ruining his first two years. He has looked tentative and hesitant at times. He had a bad game against Notre Dame with a couple of drops. However, there have been times this season when finally healthy that Clay has looked like his old self from high school.

Clay had a great game Saturday. He ran with authority, balance and power. He made something out of nothing several times, made guys miss and rarely went down due to the first defender. He had the intelligence to get out of bounds to allow OU to throw deep to get the touchdown before halftime, and he sealed the game with a great run on 2nd-and-16 that led to a makeable third down and Landry Jones ending the game via the victory formation.

*I cannot be the only Sooner fan wondering where OU would be if Jalen Saunders had been eligible from day one and OU had started the season with Saunders in the slot and Kenny Stills and Justin Brown on the outside. Add in a heavy dose of Sterling Shepard and some nice plays by Durron Neal and Trey Metoyer, and it's not a stretch to say that OU probably has the best WR corps in the Big 12. There was maybe one drop from the WRs all game, and they made four clutch catches for TDs. It was a balanced performance by a group that might challenge Bob Stoops' best by the end of the year.

*At times Saturday in the second half, it seemed like Tony Jefferson was the only defender making plays. Jefferson had the interception that helped ice the game. He made numerous big hits (legal hits, as well) and tackles. He's the only playmaker on the Sooner D right now.

*Even without Lane Johnson, the offense put up nearly 200 yards rushing and over 400 yards passing. You cannot do that unless your line is executing at a high level. The OL kept Landry upright all game, with the only real pressure coming from a bust by redshirt freshman Farniok. They provided running room for Clay in the second half and iced the game with a nice blocking effort on 3rd-and-4.

*The defense in the first half was excellent. OU basically stoned ISU, save for some penalties for first downs and field position set up by the two INTs. OU stuffed the run completely and got pressure on Steele Jantz.

*Landry's overall passing was excellent. He distributed the ball and made some great throws on third down.

The Bad

*Aaron Colvin – I don't know what's happened to the guy who dominated the Texas Tech game and was all over the field versus Texas. Colvin is usually in the right spot, but cannot make a play and is attracting damaging pass-interference flags. He needs to get things straight, because the defense badly needs the playmaking Colvin back for the three passing attacks coming up.

*Second-half D (at times) – OU was up 21-6 and seemed to have the game in control. Then, the OU defense gave up a quick, "soft" TD drive to ISU featuring two long runs. It was vaguely reminiscent of the kind of TD drives that Brent Venables' teams had been giving up for years.

OU has been unable to combine offensive and defensive momentum to put teams away.

The Ugly

*Landry's first INT – Landry is still making these kinds of terrible decisions after three years of starting. It was the kind of INT you don't expect your three-year starter to throw.

*Landry's slide – Landry needed to get six yards to move the chains and end the game. I have no idea what he was thinking sliding before making sure he was past the yardage marker. I don't know why he slid to begin with instead of diving for the yardage.

It was the kind of "dumb'" football play from a senior QB that drives OU fans crazy. With that first down, the game is pretty much over, ISU never gets the ball back and Jefferson's INT would never have been needed.

*Just like Colvin's decline in play, all of a sudden, Gabe Ikard is having critical problems snapping the football. It cost OU badly last week versus Notre Dame, killing a great first drive and then making OU's last real attempt to stay in the game a farce.

OU got lucky with a penalty on one of them, otherwise a scoring drive would have ended. The other one nearly gave ISU life in a game that should have been over. It's a real concern that needs a resolution.