OU Report Card: Kansas

Sooners earn plenty of high grades on record rushing day

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 11 grades:

Samaje Perine: A+ – The intention was to just grade Oklahoma’s dominant true freshman running back but one thing ran amiss: It’s not what Perine would have wanted. He would have wanted everyone else to be included in his record-setting day. So on his day, we’ll acknowledge his wishes. We’ll grade out the offensive line as well. Oprah couldn’t have done this better, though. You get an A+ and you get an A+ and you get an A+ and you get an A+. On a truly bleak day, Perine gave everyone in the stadium something to watch and his offensive line played a huge role. Here’s a list of Perine’s accomplishments from the day:

- Single-game Oklahoma, Big 12, NCAA freshman and FBS rushing record

- Most touchdowns in a single season at Oklahoma by a freshman

- First Oklahoma player since 2007 to rush for five touchdowns in a game

- First player in NCAA history to rush for 200 yards in each half – keep in mind he played half a series in the fourth quarter

Overall, it was just a great day for Perine and the offensive line. It was a day well-earned.

Steven Parker: B – No other young safety has had a more up-and-down season than Parker. He has gone from good game to horrible game to great game on a week-by-week basis. This week, he was pretty solid. He made a bunch of great plays in coverage, and surprise-surprise, there were no major breakdowns at the back of the Oklahoma defense. The Sooners allowed just 84 yards in the air, and Parker had three tackles and a pass break-up.

Defense as a whole: A – Lost in Perine’s amazing performance was the fact that the Oklahoma defense pitched its first shutout of the season. The pass rush was there. The secondary showed up, and the run defense was stout as Kansas gained just 103 yards of offense and seven first downs. If not for a fumble returned for a touchdown, Saturday would have been the first Big 12 shutout for Oklahoma since 2010. Kansas had nine three-and-outs on its 16 total drives. Oklahoma forced a pair of turnovers as well. Strangely, both were given back to Kansas after Oklahoma fumbles – but that’s not on the defense.

Offensive play-calling: B – Keep it simple ….. (You can fill in the rest). Co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel did Saturday. He didn’t out think himself, and although Oklahoma probably could have gone without a pass play the entire game, 13 attempts is hardly worth calling for his head. Oklahoma ran the ball 55 times – Perine had the ball 34 of those times. Cody Thomas ran only three times, so Heupel really kept the ball out of the young quarterback’s hands. Mother Nature did help a little bit with the game plan, but when it was actually working, it didn’t change – a welcomed answer to a season-long riddle.

Pass rush: B- – Sometimes the pass rush turned into run stuffers, but both were pretty good. A reduced grade comes almost exclusively from a lack of opportunity that resulted in just one sack. Kansas attempted only 23 passes despite being down by 24 at halftime, which was Oklahoma’s largest halftime advantage since 2012. The Sooners also recorded eight tackles for loss with Eric Striker, Jordan Phillips each recording two and Charles Tapper picking up 1.5. What do those three have in common? They are all also integral parts of Oklahoma’s pass rush.

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