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 9:
1. Charles Tapper – (22 points): The past four games have to be exactly what Tapper thought last year would be like, coming off a breakout Sugar Bowl. It’s been a really special run for Tapper, who has five sacks in the past two games after three sacks last year and a stretch of 12 games without a sack.
2. Baker Mayfield– (20 points): Mayfield kept it easy against Iowa State, and his 342 yards and four total touchdowns certainly looked easy. Mayfield has 14 touchdowns passes and just one interception in the past four games – and a completion percentage well over 70 percent.
3. Charles Walker – (16 points): Walker had five tackles, two for loss and one sack against Iowa State primarily as a member of the Sooners’ second-team defensive line. Oklahoma operates on a rotation, and Walker has made the most of his chances. He’s a highlight waiting to happen.
4. Ty Darlington – (15 points): The offensive line has come together in the past four games and part of that has to go to Darlington, who has turned into a real leader for the Sooners. Not just an older player but a real leader. He was chosen as OU’s offensive player of the game against Iowa State.
5. Durron Neal – (13 points): Consistency: It’s a word that wouldn’t have been used to describe Neal before this season but the only way to characterize him now. Neal had a career-high 10 catches for 75 yards. He’s the stabilizing force for the passing game.
6. Ahmad Thomas – (9 points): The growth of Thomas is starting to culminate in a great year. Against Iowa State, Thomas had a game-high 10 tackles. It has been night and day from last year for the junior.
7. Eric Striker – (8 points): Another chaos-fueled game for Striker as he finished with just one sack but three quarterback hurries. Striker is closing in on a new career-high in sacks and tackles for loss. He’s 1.5 sacks and four tackles for loss from his best pass-rushing (havoc-causing) season.
8. Dakota Austin– (8 points): It was probably Austin’s last chance to start this season, and he made the most of it. He was tested (nine tackles, one tackle-for-loss and one pass break-up) and he answered the call with an athletic interception when he tipped it to himself.
9. Joe Mixon – (6 points): Mixon set a career-long with a 57-yard touchdown, one of Oklahoma’s many quick drives against Iowa State. He finished with 88 yards and an 11-yard per carry average. Mixon also had two catches for 11 yards.
10. Jordan Evans – (6 points): Not a ton of rust on Evans after sitting out the previous two games. Evans tipped two passes, including once on the goal line, and made seven tackles.
11. Sterling Shepard – (5 points): Shepard hauled in a 74-yard touchdown passes, surprisingly the second-longest play of the victory, and had three more catches for a total of 94 yards.
Honorable mention: Samaje Perine, Steven Parker, Dominique Alexander