Sooners Belldoze past Iowa State
It may not have been pretty, nor was it anything dominant like last year's 52-0 beatdown, but Oklahoma got the job done in a 26-6 win over Iowa State, to set up a "winner takes all" Bedlam showdown against Oklahoma State.
Iowa State were coming off a 3 game win streak that included a blowout win against Texas Tech - who were only a week removed from knocking Oklahoma off their perch - and an epic upset of then #2 Oklahoma State in double overtime. Given the series of events that followed soon after, an Iowa State victory over the Sooners, could have pretty much handed the Cowboys the conference title, leaving nothing else but pride to play for in Bedlam.
With the weather conditions far from ideal, Oklahoma went into "throwback mode" by committing to running the football more, gaining a season high 253 yards. Receiver Trey Franks provided some spark, rushing for a team-high 88 yards on two "reverse" plays, just falling short of the endzone, and the "Belldozer" came in to complete the job, accounting for the two touchdowns on offense. Michael Hunnicutt's 4 field goals rounded up the scoring for the Sooners.
The Sooners were without Jaz Reynolds, but productivity in the run game helped take pressure off the shoulders of Landry Jones. For the second straight week, he was without a touchdown pass; something that hadn't happened since 2009. However, despite two turnovers, Jones leadership in the absence of Ryan Broyles has been crucial for the team.
Cyclone QB Jared Barnett looked like a much different player from the one who threw for a career-high 358 yards against Oklahoma State. The Cyclones though, weren't expected to be much of an aerial threat against the Sooners. The strong winds did affect matters, and with only the running game to worry about, the Sooners swarmed to the point of attack early and often.
The defense forced 4 turnovers, one of which resulted in a touchdown only to be negated by a questionable "block in the back" call. This unit has been rather "Jekyll and Hyde" especially down the stretch, affected by injuries to key players and poor execution. Their execution was just right, and hopefully this momentum can carry on into their next match.
In what had the makings of a "trap game", it was important for Oklahoma not to look ahead, and now that the task is completed, their undivided attention now be directed toward Stillwater.