One stat tells you that Rhett Bomar played his best game of the season – no turnovers. After a shaky start in the passing game, Bomar rebounded to finish over 50 percent for the game and was five-of-seven in the second half, including the Sooners first touchdown pass of the year to Joe Jon Finley. Still not a sparkling percentage, but combined with his team-leading 67 yards rushing on nine carries, a 43-yard and a touchdown keeper, Bomar's versatility showed the potential the offense has.
He also showed poise, getting sacked just once for a two-yard loss. The Sooners managed just 139 passing yards, but didn't really need to air it out after jumping on the Wildcats early.
Bomar seems to have benefited from the extra week of preparation and is getting more comfortable each week.
It was truly a group effort, as five different backs saw action. Adrian Peterson had one strong drive that included his 22-yard touchdown run in the opening quarter, and it looked like he was headed for a big night before being sidelined by an ankle injury.
In his absence, Kejuan Jones, Jacob Gutierrez and Donta Hickson all had strong runs. For Jones, it was his best performance of the year, as he scored twice and showed more explosion than at any time this season. Hickson came close to getting a score with a 22-yard run, and Gutierrez continued to impress with the most carries of his career.
Converted DB Alan Patrick even got to see the field, carrying twice late in the game. The Sooners averaged over five yards a carry and four different backs had double-digit runs.
The debut of Paul Thompson was the big news, as he made the most of his opportunity with two impressive catches in the early going, earning a game ball. He held his own as a blocker as well.
Travis Wilson had another solid outing, with five catches for 68 yards, and the tight end was a factor. Joe Jon Finley caught two passes, including the Sooners first TD in the air this season.
Not a lot of action overall for the receivers, but a solid, if not spectacular game.
The much maligned group up front rose to the occasion on Saturday night, even though there was still more shuffling due to injuries to Branndon Braxton and Chris Chester. Sooner ball carries were hit behind the line of scrimmage just three times all night, a big improvement over the first three games.
It will be interesting to see if the Sooners will ever get to a stable starting five in the trenches all season. But on Saturday night, they did a good job with the talent on hand.
The one area of consistency all year for Oklahoma has been the ability of the front four to stop the run. And in this game, they added a fierce pass rush to their repertoire, registering three of the six total sacks by the Sooners. Even though Alan Webb scrambled for a couple of nice runs, overall he wound up with just 11 total yards. Look for Oklahoma's name this week at the top of national run defense stats after they held the Wildcats to just 0.7 yards per attempt, including a 12 carry, seven yard performance for former national rushing leader Thomas Clayton.
The Sooners were also intimidating, forcing several false starts by the K-State defensive linemen. If opponents didn't believe it before, they should be learning that you don't run on the Sooners.
Clint Ingram returned from injury to combine with Rufus Alexander and Zach Latimer for five tackles for losses that included two sacks.
The linebackers were not as involved in pass coverage with the Sooners blitzing more but overall it appeared to be another solid performance by the trio.
Playing more aggressively in the early going, the two freshmen safeties made their presence felt, as Nic Harris recorded a sack and led the team in tackles, while Reggie Smith got the first interception by a defensive back this year.
D.J. Wolfe had some ups and downs at corner, while first-time starter Eric Bassey did a solid job.
The second half was not as crisp, and Kansas State was able to gain some yards through the air after the outcome had been decided. Coaches will be able to harp on the sloppy play in the final 30 minutes to keep pushing for improvement.
Another solid category all year, especially kick coverage. Again, the Sooners didn't allow K-State's dangerous return man Jermaine Moreira any room and Jacob Gutierrez got a partial block on a Tim Reyer punt to set up an OU field goal. Once again, Oklahoma held the opponent to less than a 20-yard average on kickoff returns.
Garrett Hartley hit both of his field goal attempts and was solid on kickoffs. It was probably his best game of the year. Punter Cody Freeby didn't have his best effort, failing to put a couple of attempts inside the 20, but it's hard to argue with two punts returned for a total of two yards.
Meanwhile, the Sooners brought excitement in the return game, with both Travis Wilson and Reggie Smith record kickoff returns of more than 30 yards. Jejuan Rankins also got the longest punt return of the year, a 26-yarder that set up the first Oklahoma scoring drive.
OU-KSU Grade Card
Sooners Illustrated Top Stories
OU pledges Young, Manek eye state berthsOU basketball pledges Brady Manek and Trae Young are hoping to earn return trips to the state tournament.
Sooners IllustratedYesterday at 8:16 AM
OU coach Lon Kruger earns career win No. 600OU coach Lon Kruger earned career win No. 600 in Sooners' 81-51 dominating performance against visiting Kansas State.
Sooners IllustratedSaturday at 5:25 PM
OU's Baker Mayfield arrestedOU quarterback Baker Mayfield was arrested early Saturday morning in Arkansas.
Sooners IllustratedSaturday at 8:34 AM
OU making its move for Patrick FieldsIntel returns with an update on high three-star safety Patrick Fields.
Sooners IllustratedFriday at 5:59 AM
Ron Tatum still scratching the surfaceIntel returns with an update on Scout 300 defensive end Ron Tatum.
Sooners IllustratedFriday at 5:56 AM