OU 11: Game 5

Shepard stands out but Sooners struggle in loss to TCU

In victory, everybody looks good. In a loss, everybody looks bad. Each week Sooners Illustrated will rank the top 11 players from Oklahoma’s past week’s performance.

Players are assigned a point value equal to the rating given by Bob and Justin. (Top player on either list gets 11 points, 11th player gets 1). That makes for a maximum of 22 points.

Here’s the OU 11 for Game 5:

1. Sterling Shepard – (22 points): Shepard continues to be Oklahoma’s best option in the passing game and one of the top deep threats in the country. He leads the nation in plays of 30 yards or more. His 215 yards against TCU was the second-most, single-game receiving total in school history.

2. Jordan Evans – (20 points): Evans likely played his best game as a starter for Oklahoma. He recorded the first interception of his career and forced a fumble on the goal line during the first quarter that nearly kept the Horned Frogs off the board. He also had a team-high 10 tackles.

3. Samaje Perine – (15 points): It’s hard to fault the freshman for the Sooners’ loss. Perine now has seven touchdowns in the past two games, and despite averaging just 3.5 yards per carry in the defeat, he still leads the Big 12 in rushing yards per contest.

4. Eric Striker – (12 points): After spending the first four games of the season earning sacks for other players, Striker was finally the beneficiary. He recorded the only two sacks of the day for Oklahoma, after the coverage kept TCU quarter Trevone Boykin in the pocket just long enough.

5. Chuka Ndulue – (12 points): Ndulue made a huge play to kept TCU off the board after reading and breaking up a wide receiver pass. He wasn’t happy with his play after the game but finished with four tackles and has become a premier player for the Sooners’ defense.

6. Durron Neal – (12 points): Neal recorded his third 70-yard game of the season and continues to grow into a threat opposite Shepard. Neal was taken out of the game by TCU’s defensive scheme but still managed four catches for 71 yards.

7. Quentin Hayes – (10 points): Hayes was beaten early in coverage – as was the rest of the secondary – but he made a big play late in the game. Hayes forced a fumble in the fourth-quarter that gave Oklahoma great field position to take the lead. It’s not his fault the offense turned it back over two plays later.

8. Geneo Grissom – (10 points): Like Hayes, Grissom gave Oklahoma chance late with a strip and a recovery three plays after Hayes’ forced fumble. His coverage wasn’t spectacular, but he finished the game with five tackles and a pass break-up.

9. Dominique Alexander – (10 points): Another quiet, near-double-digit tackle game for Alexander. Alexander was a big part of an Oklahoma defense that slowed down Boykin in the second half and forced a pair of turnovers and double three-and-outs in the fourth quarter.

10. Michael Hunnicutt – (4 points): Hunnicutt hit a 32-yard field goal and four extra points. It wasn’t a spectacular day, but he’s one of the few Sooners that didn’t make a negative play.

11. Charles Tapper – (2 points): Tapper might finally be back to form. He finished with four tackles – one for loss – but is still trying to play up to last season’s results.

Honorable mention: Daryl Williams, Nick Hodgson

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