OU-Iowa State Grade Card

See inside for our position-by-position breakdown of the Sooners' 34-9 win. Running back Adrian Peterson (pictured) gets an A+ for what may be his final game as a Sooner after rushing for 183 yards and two touchdowns. He is currently second nationally in rushing yards per game. (AP Photo)


Paul Thompson had his A game going in the first half, with 14-for-17 and two touchdowns. But he, like the rest of his offensive teammates, left something in the locker room at halftime. A 2-for-10 second half performance was punctuated by dropped passes, low throws, high throws and a questionable incompletion in front of the OU sideline. His numbers could have been much better than the final 195 yards that he tallied.

Thompson had command of the huddle as usual, but did not display the nimbleness of foot to escape the Cyclone's rush in the second half. Not all of the blame lies on Thompson for the decrease in production after intermission, but his job for the rest of the season just got tougher after the injury to Adrian Peterson, so he will have to be sharp for the entire 40 from now on.

Grade: B

Running Back

It's hard to believe that Adrian Peterson may end his Oklahoma career with no national championships, no Heisman Trophy and without the OU career rushing record. Sooner fans may be left with the memory of his scintillating 53-yard touchdown run on what may have been the final carry of his college career.

Anyone but the legally blind or Gordon Riese could see that Peterson's injury came not from any showboating, but from an awkward fall in the end zone after he was hit in the back of the legs by an Iowa State player. If you still can't grasp this reality, watch the 400 replays of SportsCenter over the next couple of days.

Peterson's day had a great start and a great finish, with a couple of impressive short distance runs in between. Even more impressive than the last touchdown run may have been a spinning, hand-balancing 10-yard gain earlier in the day. And Peterson was responsible for sending at least three Cyclones off the field with assistance following collisions in the second half.

In honor of his three years in the OU backfield, it's hard to give anything other than the highest accolades to next year's number one NFL pick.

Grade: A+


You have to catch the ball before you can run. This sentence should be repeated 100 times by Juaquin Iglesias, who dropped two sure big gainers in the second half.

That marred what would have otherwise been ruled as another impressive performance by the receiving corps. Malcolm Kelly made his two touchdown passes look easy and he got a rare chance for yards after catch in the first half.

Manuel Johnson continues to improve as the pass and run choice in the offense. He appeared to have been robbed of a great grab on the sideline in the second half.

Expect the receivers to get more of an opportunity in coming weeks without the presence of Peterson.

Grade: B-

Offensive Line

Now we will really get a chance to grade the offensive line without the mulligan provided by Peterson in the backfield.

In the first half, they gave Thompson good protection and blocked adequately for Peterson. But in the second half, the protection broke down and Big Play Curvey took Brandon Walker and Duke Robinson to school on several occasions.

Other than an earlier illegal formation penalty, which wasn't on the interior line, they eliminated the unforced errors from the previous week.

Even more than Thompson, the pressure of AD's absence may fall on the men up front.

Grade: C

Defensive Line

Carl Pendleton and Larry Birdine returned from MIA status and C.J. Ah You had another solid game, as the defensive line actually got pressure on Bret Meyer without benefit of a blitz on every down.

Other than the clock-killing 58 yards run by Stevie Hicks at the end of the first half, the OU defense stuffed the Cyclones running game.

The Sooners will move up the stats nationally and the defensive line will gain some message board respect this week. Well, I probably went too far with that last part.

Grade: A-


Rufus Alexander heard the call for a big play and provided one with an interception set up by Ah You's pressure. He also played a part in shutting down the ‘Clones running game. After being absent last week, both Alexander and Zach Latimer got the linebackers back in the tackle picture, combining to be involved with 14 on Saturday.

Curtis Lofton continues to get more playing time. That will probably continue against Colorado, as the Buffs will be less likely to run formations that will cause the Sooners to go with Nic Harris at the nickel.

Grade: B+


A free prize for the person that can name the different starting lineups at secondary for the Sooners this season in less than :30 seconds. Outside of two pass plays on one drive that accounted for almost half of the Iowa State passing game, the defensive backs played well.

Reggie Smith was in a funk all day. At least he picked a good time to do that, but he needs to get back on his game next week.

Darien Williams picked up the slack, with two sacks, an interception and seven solo tackles. It was the most active game of his Sooner career. Harris also provided a big play and the linebacker corps is lobbying for me to include that in their totals. Not until next year, guys.

Stoops indicated Lendy Holmes might get a second straight start next week. We'll see.

Grade: B

Special Teams

Let's start with the good part. Garrett Hartley continues to have an outstanding season, with two long field goals into the wind on Saturday. He also put half of his kickoffs into the end zone and skied the others into the wind, giving the Cyclones fits in handling them.

Allen Patrick continues to be a special teams monster, delivering the lick of the day that served a dual purpose, knocking out starting defensive back DeAndre Jackson. Overall, OU held Iowa State to less than 15 yards per kickoff return.

The punters did their job, although the wind made it more difficult. None of the five Sooner punts were returned.

Reggie Smith struggled fielding punts and making decisions all day. He lost one in the sun that wound up setting up Iowa State's second half safety and he fumbled another that the Sooners fortunately recovered. OU got just one chance to run back a kickoff and Iglesias showed good vision again in taking it back 20 yards.

If only Jacob Gutierrez were 5-7, he would have blocked a punt in the second half as well.

Grade: B

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