Oklahoma-Oregon Grade Card

Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon is engulfed by Oklahoma's Dusty Dvoracek and Zach Latimer during OU's 17-14 Holiday Bowl win on Thursday. See inside for our unit-by-unit grade card. (AP Photo/Jack Smith)

Quarterback
Rhett Bomar made a number of key plays for the Sooners and his decision making was on target most of the night. The one problem he had the entire game was trying to throw the deep ball over the middle. None of his efforts came close to being completed, except for the interception he threw into triple coverage.

He managed to connect to Malcolm Kelly and Juaquin Iglesias for important first downs all night and wound up hitting 17 of 30 passes for 230 yards and a well-thrown TD pass to J.D. Runnels. His running was a factor early, but after getting rocked a few times, that was taken out of the game plan in the second half.

Another solid outing for Bomar who will be looking forward to an extended session in the hot tub after this one.

Grade: B

Running Backs
Adrian Peterson would have had another 100 yards game had he not taken the fall for a 17 yard loss on a busted play in the first half. As it was, Peterson again got stronger as the game went on, recording 78 of his 86 yards after halftime.

His ill-advised stretch at the goal line probably cost the Sooners a touchdown, as he likely would have been able to punch it in on third down if not for the questionable fumble call. Peterson also got involved in the passing game, a sign of things to come next season.

Kejuan Jones ran harder than he had all season in his final game and was rewarded with a touchdown. Alan Patrick also looked solid in limited duty. And J.D. Runnels atoned for an early dropped pass by making a great leaping catch for the touchdown.

Grade: B

Offensive line
Another solid performance by the men up front as Bomar was not sacked. Except for the third quarter, there was not a lot of running room provided, but the effort after halftime certainly helped the Sooners establish control of the game.

And give Chris Messner props for getting downfield and being there to scoop up Adrian Peterson's fumble, even though his touchdown was wiped out by a holding penalty behind the play.

Grade: B

Receivers
The strongest part of the offense on this night. Kelly made a couple of shoestring grabs and always seemed to find the first down marker on most of his seven catches, while Iglesias was money all night on the quick screens down the sideline. Manuel Johnson also made a couple of nice grabs as all three freshmen receivers averaged more than 10 yards a reception.

Even though Joe Jon Finley's diving reception was overturned, it was nice to see the tight end try to catch a pass, although it was not intended for him.

Grade: A

Defensive Line
The Oklahoma defensive line dominated for most of the game, overpowering the less conditioned Oregon line. Dusty Dvoracek created havoc for the center all night, Calvin Thibodeaux and C.J. Ah You put pressure on both quarterbacks, as did Remi Ayodele and Carl Pendleton.

There were a few missed tackles late in the game that allowed Oregon to make things interesting, but the Sooners won the battles all night.

Grade: A-

Linebackers
The key to the game going in and they did not disappoint. As a unit, Rufus Alexander, Zach Latimer and Clint Ingram were outstanding in both run support and pass defense - especially in pass coverage where they dropped deep to help the Sooners secondary against the Oregon spread.

The trio took turns dominating play. Alexander was the man early, Latimer made his presence felt in the second quarter, and of course, Ingram made the big play at the end.

Speed and athletic ability made the difference in Oklahoma's linebackers being able to contain both the running and passing of Oregon.

Grade: A

Defensive Backs
The secondary did not allow a pass longer than 19 yards in this one. Yes, Whitehead went for 34 late in the game, but that was on a short pass where he gained most of the yards after catch.

Reggie Smith and D.J. Wolfe were solid all night and Eric Bassey did a good job, even though he was called for interference on an obviously uncatchable ball on the fake field goal.

The Sooners held Oregon to less than 10 yards a catch and well under 60 percent completions, when the Ducks had been averaging 63.5 on the year.

A solid effort that helped the Sooners win this game.

Grade : A-

Special Teams
Even though the Sooners were burned twice by fakes and had several penalties as well, the kick coverage was outstanding. OU held Jonathan Stewart, who was averaging 37.5 a return, to just a 15 yard average on two kicks and Justin Phinisee was shutout on punt returns.

OU's return game was good. For the first time this year, Jejuan Rankins showed his ability to run on punt returns, averaging almost 15 yards per runback on four attempts. Alan Patrick almost broke the only kickoff return the Sooners had, going 31 yards before being stopped on a touchdown saving tackle.

Cody Freeby started well and gave the Sooners great field position by pinning Oregon at the one and preventing Phinisee from getting any runbacks. He did struggle late in the game, which may have been a result of aggravating his leg injury.

Garrett Hartley was perfect on his only field goal attempt and converted extra points. His kickoffs were a good part of keeping Oregon in less than desirable field position as well.

Grade: B-


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