Earlier in the week Travis Lewis challenged Oklahoma's defense to get their first shutout of the season and while many may have looked on with a skeptical eye he found some takers to his challenge and the Oklahoma defense went to work.
"We needed to come out there with a strong performance," Lewis said. "We finally got healthy, you give us two weeks to prepare for a team and we're playing at home. That's three combinations that you don't want to put together with this team."
On a record setting night for the Sooner offense the Oklahoma defense was every bit as dominant as well. Using more than his mouth to get his teammates fired up, Travis Lewis let his play do the talking once the lights came on. The unquestioned leader of the defense, Lewis led the charge with 14 total tackles while charging his defensive unit to play with amped up energy all night.
Coming into this game we knew that Iowa State would struggle on defense which would lead to a big night for for the Sooner offense but with the Cyclones averaging 328 yards and 27 points per game this season we expected ISU to have their share of offensive success as well. That wouldn't be the case though because Oklahoma held them to just 10 total first downs (OU had 41), a 3.3 yard per play average, 192 total yards and zero points. Iowa State had a total of 11 offensive possessions that didn't end at the expiration of the play clock and of those, 4 of them ended in three and out and seven were drives of 15-yards or less.
In addition to Lewis there were several other Sooner defenders to have a big game on a night when Oklahoma's defense was perfect. Oklahoma's secondary was as solid as they've been this season. There were no blown coverages, run support was great and tackles were sure. A guy who had struggled in the secondary this season was Quintin Carter but on Saturday night he was not only in the right place at the right time but he was also delivering blows that had guys deciding if they wanted to get up off the turf or not.
We already discussed the play of Travis Lewis but the play of the men in front of him was the best it has been this year. Defensive end Frank Alexander was second on the tackles list for the Sooners with 7 but also had a quarterback sack three total tackles for loss. The defensive linemen tallied a total of 3.5 sacks.
Coming out of the bye week I believe that the thing we needed to see most from the Sooners was defensive improvement. You couldn't have asked for more than what you got Saturday night.