OU Report Card: Iowa State

Oklahoma offensive line sets the curve for the rest of the Sooners

Every week Sooners Illustrated will break down a few players and a few units and assign them grades based on their performance.

Here are the Game 8 grades:

Trevor Knight: B- – It’s hard not to look at Knight’s game and think he wasn’t good. It’s also impossible not to notice two big interceptions that weren’t created by some great play from a defensive player. Knight was good enough to lead Oklahoma to a dominating victory against Iowa State, but this season wasn’t really about beating Iowa State. Was it? On the ground, Knight was special and did the thing that he needed to do – and the things that he’s more than capable of doing every game. In the air, two bad interceptions will hurt a lot more next week against Baylor.

Offensive line: A+ – If the Sooners wanted a statement game from their front line, this was it. Iowa State is undersized and under-talented compared to Oklahoma’s front, but the Sooners made sure there were no gaps all day. They did not play down to the competition. Oklahoma averaged 8.6 yards per carry as even the back-ups helped to dominate the game. Knight wasn’t sacked and had plenty of time for much of the day with only a few missed assignments. There might have been a better opponent than Iowa State, but there couldn’t have been a better game.

Middle linebackers/safeties: B+ – During the past three games, the middle of the field was wide open. Whether by the quarterback run game or quick passes that helped keep the Sooners from blitzing on third down. Saturday, it wasn’t. Hatari Byrd stepped up and made an early play as Iowa State couldn’t convert passing on third down for much of the game. Now, there were some missed tackles, but that’s going to happen when you play other teams. Those players are on scholarship, too. There were no busted plays, though.

Receivers: B – The receiving corps was put directly in the spotlight after No. 1 target Sterling Shepard went down on the first play of the game. What they responded with was inconsistent. The receivers’ grade would be much lower had it not been for the efforts of tight end Blake Bell, who posted his first career two-touchdown reception game. There were just too many drops, especially by Michiah Quick. Quick became the focal point of the offense, and when he had the ball in his hands, he showed how dangerous he can be. It was just an issue getting it there in the first place.

Alex Ross: A- – So it would seem that Oklahoma does in fact have three complete backs on its roster. For the first time all season, Ross showed that he does weight more than 200 pounds, and the roster doesn’t lie. His vision was great, and he was able to break tackles. Ross finished with 144 rushing yards on 13 carries. Both were career highs.

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