The swirling winds cut down on the average per completion but Paul Thompson was still accurate, getting credit for completing almost two-thirds of his passes. He had at least five more droppped or the percentage would have been close to 80.
Thompson also broke out the legs for the first time this season, running several quarterback draws and keepers. He won't make anyone forget Vince Young, but he did have his longest run of the year, a 17-yarder.
It was another turnover free game, although he was luck not to have a pass picked off in the second quarter. Considering the elements, Thompson was solid, picking up several key third down conversions on pass plays.
You just thought Adrian Peterson was the only workhorse back in the Sooners stable. Allen Patrick carried the ball more than Peterson did in any single game this season, rushing 35 times for 110 yards without a bobble. Patrick got out of the gate quickly, and then suffered from a lack of daylight and also some cramps from all the work. He showed an ability to hit the hole quickly and was a physical runner as well.
Jacob Gutierrez had a key 10-yard third down run and was solid as a blocker. Chris Brown won the freshman running back lottery and excited Sooner fans late in the game with his strong running style. He was rewarded with a last-minute touchdown.
Dane Zaslaw saw the most extensive action of his Sooner career at fullback and had a couple of pass receptions.
The breakaway threat was missing without Peterson, but his replacements stepped up and provided much more than was necessary to take care of the Buffaloes.
This was the game that could have established Brody Eldridge as a receiving threat if he could have just caught the football. Instead, it may have coaches thinking about putting him at the dining table and turning him into a tackle next year.
Eldridge had three drops that could have put Thompson's yards per completion into double digits, but he was not alone. The usually sure-handed Malcolm Kelly dropped a perfect pass from Thompson and there were a couple of others as well.
Sooner receivers spent too much time going sideline to sideline on their underneath routes and Kelly uncharacteristically made the cardinal sin of receivers by not running deep enough on a third-down route.
Outside of Kelly's night, seven catches for 64 yards and a TD, not many highlights.
Another good night in pass protection for the front seven, another average night in opening holes for the runners.
The Sooners were dealt another blow in the second half when Brandon Braxton suffered a season-ending leg injury. His replacement, freshman Trent Williams, played extremely well and will likely get the start at tackle next week.
Without Peterson to create something out of nothing, OU was able to average less than 3.5 a carry, not something OU fans are familiar with from the running game.
More procedure penalties in crucial situations. One deep in Colorado territory on a 4th-and-one wound up costing the Sooners points.
The Sooners are finally starting to play up to their pre-season prognostications. For the first time all year, their opponent didn't have a double-digit run up the middle and they held the Buffaloes to just 2.5 yards per carry.
Of course, it's easier to play the run when you know the opposing quarterback has less than a one in five chance of completing a pass. The Sooners were able to disregard the passing game of Colorado and load up on the run.
No sacks, but it's tough to get one when the QB is turning every drop back situation into an improvised quarterback run.
This game was a linebacker's delight. No threat of the pass, just put the ears back and attack the football. Rufus Alexander and Zach Latimer combined for 20 tackles, 10 of them solo and three tackles for losses. Latimer also added an interception on a tipped pass, his second in as many weeks after going an entire career without a pick.
Curtis Lofton was called on to take the entire load at the other linebacker spot due to the hand injury to DeMario Pleasant, and Lofton played well.
A solid performance, possibly the best of the year for the linebackers.
It's not often that you get a night off as a defensive back at the major college level, but it's not often that you face a team with a quarterabck that throws as poorly as Colorado's Bernard Jackson.
There were more completions to the fans in the front row than there were to players on the field and Colorado had only two meaningful completions all night - a 22 yard play on 3rd-and-19 that kept their only scoring drive of the night alive and an 11-yarder on the same drive.
Reggie Smith saw limited duty in the game at safety, and came off hobbling in the final period after delivering a hard hit, but coaches say he can continue to play with his leg injury.
Garrett Hartley is quietly having an outstanding year. He boomed through a 46-yarder in the opening quarter and took advantage of the wind on kickoffs to negate the return game.
Michael Cohen onlyu got to take advantage of the wind once all night, but kept Colorado from getting any major advantage in field position with good hang time on his punts against the wind.
Kick coverage provided a turnover and was solid again. The Sooners didn't get a chance to return a kickoff and the only weak spot in the kicking game was Reggie Smith returning punts. He dropped the first one and the Sooners were lucky that Lendy Holmes was there to fall on it. Smith probably needs to be replaced as long as his leg injury is bothering him.
Oklahoma-Colorado Grade Card
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