Rhett Bomar's first half performance brought to mind the dazzling play of Jason White in the Sooners' 77-0 romp over A&M two years ago. But after suffering a scare when his leg was hit late in the second quarter, Bomar became human again for most of the game.
Still, 20 of 28 for 298 yards was his best day statistically, putting his percentage where the Sooners would like to see it every week. Before the hit that forced him out of the game for one play, Bomar had hit 11 of 14 for 161 yards and run three times for 52 more. His rushing stats went backwards the rest of the game, as he was sacked twice in the second half, but he did come back to throw his only touchdown pass of the day to Travis Wilson and then hit Juaquin Iglesias on a 34-yard pass to convert a third and long to seal the victory.
A fumbled snap which gave A&M life late in the game, and a poorly thrown out route which resulted in his lone interception of the day were two key mistakes that kept this from being Bomar's best game overall. Another fumble that led to a touchdown appeared to be a combination of Bomar putting the handoff on Adrian Peterson's hip and Peterson trying to look for his running lane before he made sure he had the ball.
Looking more confident with every game, Bomar is on the verge of becoming a special player.
Grade: A -
Peterson started the day like he was going to break a long one, hitting the Aggies for two early touchdowns. But it looked like he tweaked his sore ankle again and, although he ran hard, didn't have as much success after the first quarter. Still, 27 carries for 135 yards, a five-yard per carry average, is not chopped liver. The abovementioned fumble may also be partially Peterson's fault as well.
Allen Patrick moved into action as Jacob Gutierrez was held out with an elbow injury and he made his presence felt early with an electrifying 28-yard touchdown run. He continues to impress in limited duty.
Kejuan Jones also started out as if he were headed for a big day, converting on a key third-and-11 screen pass on the opening touchdown drive. He also had a 16-yard run early, but managed only 13 yards on his remaining five carries.
J.D. Runnels was once again a key player in the passing game, grabbing four passes for 46 yards. He made a subtle move on a third down screen pass to pick up a first down and again showed his surprising athletic ability.
There was a surprise Donta Hickson sighting late in the game, as he got a carry after four weeks of inactivity due to injury.
After an explosive start, the running game was solid for most of the game.
Over 500 yards of total offense, yet a few inconsistent series in the second and third quarter mirrored the Sooners last performance at Nebraska. Freshman Jon Cooper was solid as a blocker all day but had some trouble with snaps in the shotgun. He and Bomar also had trouble on an exchange late in the game that gave A&M a late opportunity.
After giving Bomar good protection in the opening half, the line had problems in the third quarter, allowing a couple of sacks. And both Peterson and Kejuan Jones were hit for losses in the backfield. In fact, the Sooners lost a total of 60 yards off their rushing total during the game.
Still, OU averaged over six and a half yards per play, making this one of the most productive efforts this year. Consistency is all that prevents this from ranking as the top performance of the season.
A big start for Malcolm Kelly, who hauled in two deep passes and made an NFL-type play over a defender on the sideline. He continues to be Bomar's favorite receiver, hauling in five for 118 yards in the game.
Juaquin Iglesias had the key catch of the game late and also contributed two other big plays earlier in the game. Travis Wilson finally got into the end zone as he continues to come back from injuries. Lendy Holmes also made the most of his limited playing time with a pair of receptions.
The tight end was no factor in the passing game.
With almost 14 yards per reception, the wide receivers recorded their most productive day of the season. After being a liability early in the year, they are turning into an impressive group as the year progresses.
Grade : A
The most puzzling performance of the season. No one would have expected the Sooners to give up almost 300 yards rushing to A&M. In fact, no one probably expected the nation's top defense against the run to allow 200 yards to anyone this year.
But A&M's option game, especially after reserve quarterback Stephen McGee entered the game, had the Sooners on their heels.
As far as the rush was concerned, C.J. Ah You and Calvin Thibodeaux provided good pressure all day, recording four sacks, three of them by Thibodeaux, including one that resulted in a safety. With Dusty Dvoracek sidelined by the aggravation of an ankle injury, Carl Pendleton and Corey Bennett stepped in to record a couple of tackles for losses and a sack, but they were not very effective in the second half.
With the second half failure against the run, it has to rank as the most disappointing overall performance by the front four.
Not a great day for the linebacking crew. Zach Latimer was denied a pass interception by an offside call and Clint Ingram wiped out his own big sack on a third down play by grabbing McNeal's facemask.
Rufus Alexander was active early, but was victimized on several pass plays and the linebackers provided little support when A&M was able to break the option game open in the second half.
Curtis Lofton got some experience when Latimer was sidelined briefly.
Like the defensive line, the linebackers suffered through their worst day this year.
Nothing deep allowed in this contest. Outside of running back Jovorskie Lane slipping out undetected after a great fake by McNeal on a 42-yard catch and run play, the Sooners didn't allow a completion longer than 16 yards.
D.J. Wolfe had a solid game against the pass and came up with some important hits against the run. Reggie Smith was also steady and picked up his second interception of the year.
It must be an unwritten rule among officials that Chijioke Onyenegetcha must be called for a phantom interference call each game. His streak was kept alive in this one and they even threw in another one to make up for the off week the Sooners had last week. He continues to have problems in staying with the pass defense assignments. Also, it was a tough game for Lewis Baker, who missed several tackles.
McNeal was held below 50 percent and his replacement, McGee, failed to complete any of his six attempts. Overall, A&M was able to complete only 12 of 35 attempts for 158 yards.
For the first time this year, the secondary fared better than the rest of the defense.
Reggie Smith continues to impress and improve as a kickoff return man. He had one attempt that covered almost a hundred yards as he zig-zagged across the field, resulting in a 33-yard return. With coaches wanting to protect Travis Wilson's recovering ankle, Allen Patrick got a chance to join Smith and had one decent return.
The move of Kejuan Jones to punt returns didn't have any significant impact and coaches reinstalled Jejuan Rankins midway through the game when the winds shifted and began swirling across the field. They felt more comfortable with Rankins being able to field punts successfully under the conditions.
After a two-week lapse in kickoff coverage, the Sooners rebounded in this game, limiting A&M to less than 20 yards per return on three kicks.
Cody Freeby had his best overall game of the season, averaging almost 55 yards a kick, nailing one inside the five-yard line and preventing A&M from getting a return all day.
Garrett Hartley had a trying day with the shifting winds and missed his only field goal effort from 46 yards.
Under the conditions, a solid effort by the Sooners here.
Oklahoma-Texas A&M Grade Card
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