Aside from Adrian Peterson the biggest story of the day was the play of the defense. OU kept their position as the number one team in the conference in total passing yards given up and number two in passing yards allowed per game. The Sooner defense played with intensity and passion allowing only 277 total net yards. The defensive front made plays and OU sacked Iowa State quarterback Bret Meyer three times. This wasn't a second rate offensive attack the Sooners were facing either. Iowa State came into this game 4th in the conference in passing yards per game. Another thing worth mentioning for the Sooner defense is that for the third game in a row Oklahoma did not allow a 100 yard rusher.
Oklahoma showed definite signs of improvement on defense and now without Peterson they will have to step up even more. The offense will move on and find a new identity but while that is developing the defense is going to have to come along a little quicker and there is more pressure on them to do that. Playing Colorado this weekend could be another confidence booster for the defense.
Suddenly Paul Thompson's numbers are a little more important! Saturday he completed 59% of his passes for 195 yards and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions. Saturday's rushing stats really don't matter anymore because OU doesn't have another running back the caliber of Adrian Peterson. What does matter is what is going to happen from here. Saturday will mark a new era in Sooner history as we will see what post Adrian Peterson offense will look like. The silver lining in A.D.'s injury is that our young receivers, line and now running backs will get at lest six ectra games of experience in running next season's offensive schemes.
I don't think we will see it all at once Saturday but over the last half of the season the offense will evolve into more of a shotgun spread attack. OU has the talent at receiver to do it, Malcolm Kelly, Manuel Johnson and Juaquin Iglesias as well as talent at tight end with Joe Jon Finley and Jermaine Gresham. The key will be running back and Peterson's 183 yards on 26 carries Saturday won't be easy to duplicate.
In my opinion the only thing you can take from this game is an improved defensive performance and a consistent passing game. Obviously the passing will have to get better as it will now become the focal point of the offense. What that means and how that develops remains to be seen. The season has just reached the half-way point and the Sooners are sitting with a 1-1 conference record. There is a still lot of potential and at this point no reason to lower expectations of a 9 or 10 win season with a decent bowl appearance.
This week we will be breaking down the Colorado Buffalos as well as passing on any information we obtain in regards to the Sooner offense.