OU 11: Game 10

Sooners' run game shines in dominating performance against Texas Tech

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 10:

1. Samaje Perine – (22 points): Perine became only the ninth player in the country with two 200-yard performances and became the first Oklahoma freshman since Adrian Peterson to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. He leads the Big 12 in rushing touchdowns (14) and is the only player in the conference averaging more than 100 yards per game. So much for being third on the depth chart and the second-best running back in his recruiting class.

2. Aaron Ripkowski – (20 points): Even if Ripkowski hadn’t put forth a career game with the ball in his hands, he’d still wind up on this list. Before this season, Ripkowski had just one touch. He caught two more passes before Saturday but had the first carry and first touchdown of his career against Texas Tech. He could be the answer to Oklahoma’s short-yardage woes, finishing with just 23 yards on six touches (four carries) but converting multiple times in pressure situations.

3. Daryl Williams – (17 points): Williams helped fuel an offensive line that led the way for a season-high 51 carries by Oklahoma. The Sooners averaged 7.53 per carry, the third-best average of the season and third time they averaged more than seven yards on the ground. Williams was his usual mauling self.

4. Eric Striker – (16 points): For a little while, the Red Raiders allowed Striker to once again be Striker. All he needed was a little bit of time. Before the game was finished, Striker had a sack, two tackles for loss and five total tackles. He also had a pass break-up and a quarterback hurry. He doesn’t need much time. He makes the most of it.

5. Tyrus Thompson – (15 points): Oklahoma’s bookends make it look almost too easy at times. The loss of Thompson and Williams after this season will be felt, no matter what potential the back-ups have. Thompson celebrated his birthday Monday, and now with 26 starts under his belt, he’s as complete a tackle as he’s ever been.

6. Dominique Alexander – (10 points): Another game and another plethora of tackles for Alexander. He’s been good all over the field but is becoming more of a presence in opponents’ backfields than anyone ever thought. He had a sack and a tackle for loss against Texas Tech to go along with seven solo tackles – team-leading. He also forced a fumble.

7. Chuka Ndulue – (8 points): Out of the gate strong, Ndulue helped set the edge for the Sooners against Texas Tech. He finished with a pretty good and sound game. He didn’t miss any tackles, made four and recorded a quarterback hurry.

8. Durron Neal – (6 points): Still without Shepard, Neal has found a way to be a contributor. He finished the game against Texas Tech with four catches for 57 yards and one of the greatest called touchdowns of the season.

9. Zack Sanchez – (6 points): Two tackles and one pass-break-up might not seem like a great day, but Sanchez’s best days are when he’s not heard from at all. He was sound again, which is the most important thing for Sanchez, who has been erratic at times this season.

10. Charles Tapper – (5 points): This year was not the one Tapper was hoping to have. Against Texas Tech though, he had two tackles but made a big impact in stopping the running game and funneling it back inside.

11. Jordan Thomas – (4 points): Thomas made his first career start and except for being tackled by his own teammate and giving up a last-second Hail Mary, he had a pretty stellar game. Tested often, he finished with six tackles and a pass break-up. Again, not a great day, but with all things considered, the future is still bright.

Honorable mention: Cody Thomas


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