Oklahoma bounced back, as expected, against Idaho State with a dominating defensive performance and offensive speed. However, even against an FCS team the grades weren't perfect as the Sooners showed that they've still got some work to do.
At times Landry Jones was exceptional (18/32, 286 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT) and yet at other times he struggled in reading through his progressions which led to one interception and should have been more. Still, Jones managed the game well and showed that OU can continue to run their offense with him under center.
Running Backs A+
DeMarco Murray was his old self, rushing for 101 yards on 12 carries (8.4 ypc), and Chris Brown provided workman like 5.9 yards per carry going for 65 yards. In garbage time the young backs ran hard as well. Jonathan Miller carried the ball 9 times for 88 yards and, to my surprised, looked stronger and faster than Jermie Calhoun who rushed for 26 yards on 7 carries. All four of the running backs scored at least once with Murray crossing the goal line twice.
Receivers/Tight Ends C+
DeMarco Murray said that having Brody Eldridge out on the edge made a huge difference in the running game. I'd still like to see OU develop a passing game that includes the tight end because dropped passes by Brandon Caleb, Cameron Kenny and Dejuan Miller along with Adron Tennell last week are becoming too common. Ryan Broyles had 155 yards on 7 receptions with 3 touchdowns but unfortunately we have to grade the unit as a whole.
Offensive Line B-
Oklahoma's offensive line held up fairly well against a lesser Idaho State defense but my chief complaint against them is not being able to punch it in from inside the 1. That obviously is an issue with the line and running up the middle clearly shouldn't be an option for this team in those situations anymore. Regardless they line helped lead the team to a rushing average of 6.3 yards per carry.
Defensive Line A
Due to limited defensive snaps (Idaho State punted 12 times) and the rotation of younger players there weren't a lot of stats to be passed around. Gerald McCoy accounted for one of Oklahoma's two sacks and the Sooner defensive line stopped the Bengal offense at the point of attack all night. Frank Alexander recovered a Kyle Blum fumble and returned it for a touchdown.
The telling stat for Oklahoma's linebackers is 32/-22. That's how many rushes and rushing yards the Bengals had against the OU defense. Travis Lewis and Austin Box led the team with a combined 9 tackles each. Ronnell Lewis tackled Clint Knickrehm for a safety.
Like the other spots of the defense Oklahoma's secondary saw a lot of new faces on Saturday night and no one disappointed. ISU's only positive yardage came on passing plays but the Sooner secondary was more than stout and laid the wood of Bengal receivers and running backs all night. Dominique Franks and Jamell Flemming led the secondary with a combined 4 tackles each.
Special Teams B+
Maybe it was just me but it seemed that if Idaho State had more team speed they would have been able to exploit some of the seams in Oklahoma's kickoff team. Maybe I'm just nitpicking because the Bengals only averaged 14 yards a return. In the punting game Tress Way averaged 42.8 yards per kick while Idaho State had -2 yards per return. OU did have a missed extra point but I'm choosing to blame that on the weather.