OU-Washington Grade Card

See inside for our postgame position-by-position breakdown of OU's 37-20 win over Washington. Junior running back Adrian Peterson (pictured) went over the century mark for the 18th time in his career with his 165-yard performance against the Huskies. (AP Photo)

Paul Thompson ran the offense with confidence for a second straight week and in the second half, he dissected the Washington defense, going 9-for-11 for 170 yards and a touchdown. Overall, Thompson threw for a career best 272 yards and added a nice 11-yard run.

Just as impressive is his continued command over the line of scrimmage. Several times he checked to the right reads and continued to run the offense in a crisp fashion.

One again this week, Thompson had two turnovers, but the interception came as he was hit just as he released the ball, and the fumble out of the end zone was a result of a lack of protection. Eliminate those mistakes and a couple of overthrown passes, and the senior quarterback could be looking at perfection.

Grade: A-

Running Back
Once again, Adrian Peterson was the only tailback to see action and the only running back to carry the ball. He wore Washington down in the second half, getting 107 of his 165 yards after intermission. Several times, he appeared one step away from breaking a long touchdown run. And he punished the Washington defense late in the game, sending several players off the field with injuries.

Peterson had two short pass receptions and dropped another one, but we won't wait for Coach Kevin Wilson's assessment of his blocking this week before making a grade.

With Matt Clapp sidelined with an injury, tight end Brody Eldridge became the starting fullback and Ian Pleasant saw second half action as his backup. Dane Zaslaw has now apparently fallen off the depth chart.

Grade: A-

Dazzling catches mixed with baffling misses. But the good definitely outweighed the bad as far as the receivers were concerned.

Malcolm Kelly got his second career 100-yard day with six catches for 121 yards and 2 TDs and had two drops that could have added another 50 yards to his totals. Fred Strong once again showed big play ability with four catches, including a key 25-yarder on third down. He also took a licking and kept on ticking after getting nailed while trying to make leaping sideline catch.

Juaquin Iglesias caught five but also had a couple of drops, Manuel Johnson caught a flanker middle screen and Mr. Everything, Reggie Smith even got his first career reception.

After being contained most of the afternoon, Joe Jon Finley had a key 36-yard catch in the second half but he also appeared to have run the wrong route when the Sooners were in scoring position in the first half.

A little better than last week, but still short of the mark.

Grade : B+

Offensive Line
For the most part, the line provided good protection for Paul Thompson. But they broke down on two key plays that resulted in turnovers and helped Washington rack up 10 first half points. It also took them a while to start providing some running space for Adrian Peterson. The second half performance was solid, as the Sooners racked up almost 300 yards in the final 30 minutes.

Brandon Walker left the game briefly with a leg injury and was replaced by Sherrone Moore at guard. Walker returned in the fourth quarter and his injury is apparently not a problem.

Duke Robinson had trouble with the snap count on several occasions, contributing to the problems that eventually resulted in Thompson's fumble near the goal line.

Only one sack allowed and only four yards in losses given up in the run game shows that this group is improving. If they can eliminate the silly procedure penalties, this offense has shown that it can move the ball on the ground or in the air.

Grade: B
Defensive Line After some shaky moments in the opening quarter, the line played much better the rest of the way and light years ahead of last week's opener. The defensive end trio of Birdine, Thibodeaux and Ah You had pressure on Isaiah Stanback all day, and when Demarcus Granger was inserted into the first defensive tackle rotation, that position became more solid.

A breakdown up front was responsible for opening the way for Washington's score on their first offensive play, but after that, the front seven kept things in check and held Stanback to just 18 yards on a dozen caries.

Still, the ability for people to run on the Sooners has coaches concerned. Even with Stanback's problems, Washington averaged over five yards a carry - unheard of against OU's run defense.

Grade: B

Rufus Alexander and Zach Latimer were in on a combined 20 tackles on Saturday, including three four losses. Alexander also broke up a couple of passes and will probably be in Stanback's nightmares for the next few days.

However, Latimer got caught inside on back to back plays and appeared to be bothered by a leg injury in the second half. Neither Curtis Lofton nor Demario Pleasant distinguished themselves at the other linebacker post, although Pleasant did recover a key fumble in the third quarter after Birdine's hit on the quarterback.

Alexander's performance lifts the overall grade, but the rest of the corps needs to catch up.

Grade: B

Not a good start for the starters. Darrien Williams overran the opening play on a safety blitz and Keenan Clayton failed to wrap up when he had a chance to stop the runner after a short gain. Result - touchdown Washington.

Clayton didn't return after that play and D.J. Wolfe later got a view from the sideline when he was beaten on a 3rd and 11 play for a 51-yard gain when the Sooners were in what Coach Bob Stoops described as a "conservative" coverage.

Their replacements, Lendy Holmes and Jason Carter, played well, so there may be some intense competition for the starting spots next week. Carter came up empty on two sure interceptions as the Sooners secondary continues to struggle to create turnovers.

Reggie Smith once again wasn't really challenged at corner.

Other than the pass given up by Wolfe, Stanback completed just eight passes for 88 yards, thanks mainly to the pressure applied up front, but also due to good coverage.

Grade: B

Special Teams
About as good as it can get. A blocked punt, three-for-three in field goals, a spectacular punt return, solid kickoff returns, effective punting and shut down coverage. Oh, and let's show some love for walk-on deep snapper Derek Shaw. Watch his laser snaps and understand why Hartley looks much smoother this season.

Hartley hit a 30, 37 and 44 yarder and seven of his eight kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. Michael Cohen averaged over 44 yards per punt and nailed a 53-yard effort that was downed at the one by special teams standout Allen Patrick.

Smith electrified the crowd with a 62-yard return of an 81-yard punt, averaged 25 yards on three returns and had a 22-yard kickoff return. Iglesias looked sharp on kickoff returns again this week with a 31 yard runback on his only effort.

Jason Carter provided his specialty, a blocked punt, and the only kickoff Washington managed to return was brought back only 14 yards.

All in all a perfect day for special teams.

Grade: A+

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