OU 11: Game 7

Sooners' talented wide receiver remains atop the list

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 7:

1. Sterling Shepard – (22 points): Shepard’s game Saturday was no dink-and-dunk fest. He caught passes all over the field before racking up an Oklahoma single-game record of 15. It’s just the continuation of what has been a special year for Shepard, who has at least 100 yards or one touchdown in every game this season and leads the nation in yards per catch with at least 30 catches.

2. Zack Sanchez – (20 points): An early pass break-up in the end got Sanchez’s day going right. Then, he gave Oklahoma a chance by holding Tyler Lockett to just one reception in the second half after he told defensive coordinator Mike Stoops that he wanted the assignment.

3. Geneo Grissom – (17 points): Grissom has seen his play count decrease with the emergence of Devante Bond, but he said Monday that he doesn’t mind it. He doesn’t feel as gassed in the third and fourth quarters, and it paid off Saturday with two big sacks – a career-high.

4. Trevor Knight – (16 points): If not for one play, Knight might have been atop this list. It’s impossible to ignore his pick-6, especially since it came two drives after Cody Thomas led Oklahoma to a touchdown, but you can’t ignore the rest of his performance, either. He went 26-for-32 and eclipsed 300 yards passing for the third time this season. He also threw a season-high three touchdowns.

5. Alex Ross – (14 points): It seems as though Ross is finally developing into a complete back. Up until Saturday, Ross seemed to be at a loss when running through the middle, but against Kansas State, he finished with 75 yards on eight carries for a 9.4 yard per carry average. Most importantly, he was stopped for a loss only once.

6. Daryl Williams – (12 points): The offensive line found its form behind Daryl Williams, who Bob Stoops said has stepped in to fill the void left by Gabe Ikard as the leader of the group. The Oklahoma running game averaged 4.7 yards per carry against the best run defense in the Big 12 and didn’t allow a sack. Kansas State had been giving up less than 85 yards per game on the ground. Oklahoma rushed for nearly 200.

7. Jordan Evans – (10 points): Evans finished with a team-high seven tackles, including one for loss, while contending all game with contain Kansas State quarterback Jake Waters. His speed was an issue for Kansas State, which allowed Evans to come free up the middle on multiple occasions.

8. Samaje Perine – (8 points): Another solid day for the Oklahoma bell-cow, who finished with 24 of the Sooners’ 42 carries. He also added two receptions for 96 all-purpose yards. Perine’s production has been slowed of late. In the past three games, he has rushed for only one more touchdown and four fewer yards than he did against West Virginia.

9. Blake Bell – (5 points): Bell tied a career-high with three catches for 31 yards, including a career long 22-yard reception. He caught his second touchdown of the season, and his invaluable blocking showed when Oklahoma failed to convert with Bell – and Aaron Ripkowski – off the field.

10. Quentin Hayes – (5 points): Hayes registered six tackles for a defense that allowed just one second-half touchdown. Hayes has grown more comfortable down low and has been one of the few standouts in the secondary.

11. Dominique Alexander – (2 points): Alexander benefited most from Kansas State’s offensive line formation. The wide splits allowed Alexander to penetrate into the backfield for two tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry. He also had a sack and six tackles, second on the team in both categories.

Honorable mention: Nick Hodgson


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