Game Grades: Oklahoma Sooners 30, Kansas State Wildcats 31

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The Defense and Special Teams

Defensive Line: B

Considering the expectations of the defensive line coming into the season, some would probably grade this unit a little lower. I would tend to agree if it wasn’t for the fact that Mike Stoops for some reason has become hesitant when it comes to blitzing or being more aggressive rushing from the ends. This has left the line to bring pressure without that extra help. That’s tough to do in a 3-4 defense.

Kansas State was held to 160 yards rushing, which isn’t too bad against a team with a running quarterback like Jake Waters. We are still waiting to see Charles Tapper perform the way he did at the end of last year.

Giving up five yards per carry isn’t ideal, but the defensive line was far from the problem on defense.

Linebackers: C

Waters made Jordan Evans look bad a couple of times with his pop-up passes. Kansas State clearly saw something in preparing for this game that showed them they could take advantage of the Sooner’s linebackers and they were right. Evans has shown some real promise this year, but he has a tendency to get beat anytime he’s forced into coverage.

Eric Striker did nothing to deserve criticism, but for the first time this year he was not much of a disruption to the opposing offense. This most definitely was due to a lack of aggressiveness in Stoops approach to the defensive game plan. Striker spent more time dropping back in coverage than he did chasing down quarterbacks.

Geneo Grissom picked up a couple sacks and was the lone highlight of the defense. However, he does seem to at least have one foot in the Mike Stoops doghouse after being pulled in the Texas game. He didn’t see as many snaps this week as he usually does.

Secondary: D

You hate to give college kids an F. In this instance it may be deserved, but we will hold off on that for one more week.

It has become painfully evident that Oklahoma has some real issues at safety. Ahmad Thomas just doesn’t look like he belongs on the field at this time. It seems that almost every time the Sooners defense gives up a big play you can find Thomas out of position or just flat-out getting beat.

Apparently Julian Wilson had a suspect ankle that could have been the main cause of his lackluster performance covering Tyler Lockett. He was clearly outmatched early on. This is yet another puzzling call by Stoops. The way the Lockett family has performed against Oklahoma over the years, you would thing the coaching staff would want their best and healthiest cornerbacks on this guy.

Zack Sanchez was pretty good even when placed on Lockett. Despite his performance Waters had too many big passing plays on the secondary.

Special Teams: F

If there was one guy on this team that you thought you could count on this year to step up day in and day out it would have been kicker Michael Hunnicutt. Unfortunately, when he was needed most he completely choked. The blocked extra point was not his fault, but the two missed kicks were a shocker.

Nothing was more shocking than the missed 19 yard field goal that wasn’t even close to going through the uprights. It could have been the game winning kick, which is what kickers live for.

Hunnicutt has been solid in his time as a Sooner and is Oklahoma’s all-time leading scorer. Many considered him to be the best kicker in the country, which makes the two chip shot misses all that much more baffling.