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. Jordan Thomas – (21 points): Is it possible that Thomas has gone from two suspensions to Oklahoma’s most important defensive player? He looked it at times Saturday, knocking pass away, picking off an arrant throw and forcing Kansas State to play much more balanced to either side. He’s improving rapidly.
2. Baker Mayfield – (20 points): Less than 300 yards is low for Mayfield, but he set a season-high for passing touchdowns and the second-highest mark for completion percentage (74.1). He was hyper efficient and got reward by not having to play after the third quarter.
3. Zack Sanchez – (18 points): Teams are testing Sanchez more with the growth of Thomas, and he’s making them pay. He has excellent ball skills. That part of his game in undeniable, and his two interceptions last week helped him earn Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors for the second time this year.
4. Sterling Shepard – (17 points): Saturday was the fourth two-touchdown game of Shepard’s career and his highest per catch average since Akron. But who could forget that massive block he laid to spring Mayfield for a big run. Shepard is a complete player, and a special one at that.
5. Will Johnson – (13 points): What a strong debut it was for Johnson, who had appeared in games before but never played a starring role like the one he did Saturday. He was the opening act, breaking up a bubble screen early in the first quarter and set the stage for the Sooners’ dominance of the air.
6. Joe Mixon – (12 points): Mixon got involved early and set a career-high with 18 touches. He also scored twice for the first time in his career and had a career-high 73 rushing yards. Mixon led the team in all-purpose yards.
7. Orlando Brown – (6 points): Two new-ish faces on the line with him? No problem for Brown, who was a stalwart on the left side. You didn’t hear from anyone coming off that edge. Brown is becoming a real four-year starter candidate for the Sooners.
8. Eric Striker – (6 points): Aggression is his forte, and although he’s had to pay sometimes, it helped him earn three tackles for loss (and a couple forced sacks) against Kansas State. The argument may never go away of how to use Striker, but unleashing him never seems like a bad idea.
9. Samaje Perine – (5 points): Of the running backs, Perine had the highest per carry average at 5.1. He also had 20 receiving yards for quietly good day.
10. Jordan Wade – (4 points): In place of the injured Matt Romar, Wade made the start for the Sooners and proved that he is still the guy that started almost the entire season two years ago. He’s massive and was consistently disruptive – even behind the line of scrimmage.
11. Charles Walker – (3 points): Always a danger, Walker was great at setting the edge against Kansas State. He didn’t have an overwhelming individual game, but he was part of an elite front that shut down the Wildcats.
Honorable mention: Dede Westbrook, Dru Samia, Matt Dimon, Que Overton.