Following a much-needed bye week, the Oklahoma Sooners’ defense put together palate-cleansing performance en route to a 27-13 win over the Iowa State Cyclones. Mind you, the ISU offense did not come into his weekend as world-beaters, but this is the performance Brent Venables’ defensive unit needed in order to build confidence for the season’s home stretch.
On the day, Oklahoma held Iowa State to 66 yards on the ground on 27 attempts, equaling 2.7 yards per rush. The Cyclones, granted, were only averaging just over 100 per game entering Saturday. However, holding an opponent under its offensive average is obviously a step in the right direction. In the air, Hunter Dekkers threw for 312, but he needed 57 attempts to get there and threw three interceptions on the process. Overall, Brent Venables and Ted Roof are surely finding some positives, albeit without being too content with the performance.
Offensively, Eric Gray once again led the way, gaining 101 yards on 20 attempts and punching in a late TD to seal the deal. Gray left the game in the third quarter with an apparent leg injury, but he was fortunately able to return. The offense generally wasn’t flashy, totaling 332 yards and only 150 through the air. A lot of that can be attributed to drops, including some very uncharacteristic ones off the hand of Marvin Mims. For what it’s worth, if anyone has earned some grace from the fan base, it’s Marvelous Marvin. The bright spot was definitely the offensive line, which has seemingly come into its own as of late — particularly in the run game.
Special teams was a major strength for OU today. Ladies and gentlemen, Zach Schmit:
Additionally, Michael Turk had a phenomenal day, punting a 61-yarder and pinning two inside the 20.
The Baylor Bears, who admittedly aren’t as strong as they were a year ago, will provide a unique test that will show us whether or not this team has truly turned a corner. I’d expect both Venables and Dave Aranda to have their teams prepared, and I’d expect a physical affair.