Game Grades: Oklahoma Sooners 59, Iowa State Cyclones 14

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The Oklahoma Sooners played their best game of the season while beating the Iowa State Cyclones 59-14 in Ames, Iowa on Saturday. While the offense was explosive and the defense was ferocious, you still got the feeling while watching the game that Oklahoma still hadn’t put it all together.

Before we start looking ahead to Baylor, let’s take a look at how the Sooners graded out in the blowout win.

The Offense


Once again Trevor Knight was not 100% perfect, therefore giving the haters something to pick at. However, there is no denying the sophomore had a really good game on Saturday. Knight became the first FBS quarterback to pass for three touchdowns while also rushing for three touchdowns in a single game this season. Knight finished 22-of-35 for 230 yards passing with those three touchdowns and two interceptions. He also led the team in rushing, which was actually saying something today, with his 146 yards on 16 carries.

Knight did throw those two picks. One was just a bad decision to throw across his body and the other looked to be a miscommunication between Knight and Blake Bell when Bell appeared to stop his route short. This performance was a good example of what Knight is capable of when he is allowed to use his legs as a weapon in the offense.

Cody Thomas got a full quarter of playing time and didn’t seem to provide the same excitement as he did in his brief appearance against Kansas State. Thomas finished 1 for 8 with 11 yards and an interception. He showed a little quickness with his feet, but was very inaccurate in the passing game. For now, Oklahoma fans can stop calling sports talk radio shows to talk about how Thomas should get his chance to start.


The strength of the Oklahoma offense all season has been at the running back position. Against Iowa State the Sooners talented group of backs completely dominated the Cyclone defense. With some help from Knight, Oklahoma had three 100-yard rushers in a single game for the first time since 1992.

Samaje Perine finished with 110 yards on 17 carries, while Alex Ross ran for 144 yards on 13 carries. Sophomore David Smith even got in on the action and nearly gave the Sooners a fourth 100-yard rusher. Smith ended the game with 76 yards on 10 carries.

Perine also hauled in three receptions for 15 yards. Dimitri Flowers and Ross both caught one pass.


It might seem crazy that an offensive group would get anything other than an A when the offense puts up 751 yards, but with Sterling Shepard leaving the game after the teams first offensive play of the game, the Sooners’ young group of receivers had a difficult time catching the ball. Freshman Michiah Quick finished with 8 receptions for 56 yards, but missed out on an even bigger game by dropping several balls that Knight delivered perfectly.

Durron Neal has been Knight’s number two target this year and he had a descent game with five receptions for 60 yards, but even Neal had a couple drops and missed out on a touchdown that the replay official confirmed to be bobbled by Neal after he hit the ground.

Blake Bell only had two receptions, but both were for touchdowns. Bell has finally started to become a dependable target for Knight on third down and red zone situations. Bell was even asked by an official to stop his trademark choo-choo celebration after his first touchdown.

Fresman KJ Young had a couple receptions including his first touchdown of the year in the first half, but pretty much disappeared the rest of the way. Shepard did get a reception on his one play of the game for 46 yards before being helped off the field with a groin injury.


I’ve called out Josh Heupel and his play calling in the past, so I have to point it out when he does a good job. The addition of the three-back formation and the power running out of that formation were great new wrinkles that would have been nice to see against Kansas State.

The Sooners’ 510 yards rushing was the most since running for 518 yards against New Mexico State in 1989. That’s going back a long time and covering a bunch of good offensive coordinators. Heupel has to get a bunch of credit for the way he used the three-back set and allowed Knight to take advantage of his running ability.

Can Heupel continue his aggressive play calling against Baylor?