OU 11: Game 6

Zack Sanchez highlights the Sooners' list of top peformers

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 6:

1. Zack Sanchez– (21 points): Saturday was a banner day for Sanchez, who had spent most of the season as a point of ire. It’s only his second appearance on this list and his first showing above the No. 11 spot. He picked off his fifth pass of the season (seventh of his career) and scored the second defensive touchdown of his career. He also had a career-high eight tackles and three pass break-ups. Challenge accepted. Challenge achieved.

2. Jordan Evans – (19 points): Evans seems to be improving in bounds every week. Against Texas, he made a career-high 14 tackles. It was his third straight game with at least 10. He was beat occasionally over the middle, as was Oklahoma’s entire defense, but he has made incredible plays in just his sixth start.

3. Sterling Shepard – (17 points): Everybody knew Shepard could go get the deep ball, but he showed against Texas that he can do some things in the running game. While his streak of 100-yard games ended with Saturday’s 63-yard output, Shepard had a 31-yard jet sweep that helped jumpstart Oklahoma’s stagnant offense. He is now seventh in OU history in career yards and just 347 yards from the top five.

4. Samaje Perine – (16 points): Oklahoma has shown that it truly trusts the freshman. Perine touched the ball on every play of the drive that sealed the victory for Oklahoma. He finished with 62 yards and one touchdown but converted a big third down in the passing game and had 32 total yards on the final drive.

5. Alex Ross – (14 points): After a time-consuming opening drive by Texas, Ross didn’t wait long to give Oklahoma an answering play. His 91-yard kick-off return touchdown was the second of his career as he became the first Oklahoma player to return a kickoff for a TD against Texas. He is averaging 45.7 yards per return – first in the nation and well ahead of second place, West Virginia’s Mario Alford (34.8).

6. Jordan Phillips – (12 points): Phillips’ impact doesn’t show up on the stat sheet, but he was as disruptive as humanly possible against Texas. The Longhorns averaged just 3.7 yards per carry, as Phillips fought off double teams all day to create room for the linebackers. Best of all, he knows that’s his role, and he cherishes it.

7. Dominique Alexander– (8 points): It has officially been one year since Alexander made his first career start, and he made an impact in his second game against Texas. Now with 30 tackles in two games against the Longhorns, Alexander’s 11 tackles was his second double-digit tackle game of the season.

8. Daryl Williams– (8 points): The road-grading run blocker was again outstanding but maybe was best for setting the edge on Perine’s third-down pass reception late in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma has had a tough time of running the past two weeks, but coach Bob Stoops pointed to Williams’ leadership.

9. Eric Striker – (6 points): Striker continues to climb the Sooners’ sack chart. He hauled down Tyrone Swoopes once Saturday to give him 11 for his career and move him into fifth-place in Sooners’ history – for a linebacker.

10. Quentin Hayes – (6 points): Hayes’ best play in the Red River Showdown is one that never existed. His fumble return for a touchdown won’t be seen on any stat sheet, but his seven tackles (one for loss) and quarterback hurry is written in stone.

11. Devante Bond – (3 points): Before Saturday, Bond had just one tackle this season. He checked in for the second half and saw extensive time in a move that really opened up the game for Oklahoma. He finished with three tackles.

Honorable mention: Nick Hodgson, Michael Hunnicutt, Nila Kasitati, Chuka Ndulue


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