OU-Missouri Grade Card

See inside for our position-by-position breakdown of the Sooners win over Missouri. Quarterback Paul Thompson (pictured) accounted for three touchdowns — two passing and one running — in OU's 26-10 win. (AP Photo)

Quarterback
This was probably the worst passing performance this season for Paul Thompson, but he still accounted for two touchdown passes and no interceptions.

Thompson was way off target on a number of passes, many of them into the wind and used questionable judgement on a 4th and one in Missouri territory in the second quarter, choosing to throw deep to a covered receiver instead of a wide open Jermaine Gresham or possibly running for the first down.

Speaking of running, Thompson still looks uneasy carrrying the football, but he ran the option for a score. His best run of the day also had the worst result, as he coughed up the ball after picking up a first down.

The bottom line is, he did an excellent job again in running the Sooner offense and managing the huddle. We've come to expect this now but it can never be emphasized enough.

Grade: B-

Running Back
We thought last week's workhorse performance by Alan Patrick was a one-time occurrence. He, and the OU coaches, proved that wrong by setting another high water mark for carries with 36 for 162 yards. Patrick was much better at keeping his head up and finding the hole and was close to breaking a couple of long runs during the game. He did lose a fumble early in the third quarter that started Missouri on their only scoring drive of the day.

Jacob Gutierrez once again provided a nice change of pace from Patrick, doing the "Gute scoot" underneath tacklers and picking up valuable yardage.

Another solid performace by AD's understudies.

Grade: A-

Receiver
Opportunities were limited with Thompson being off target and the Sooners choosing to run against Missouri's front, but the receivers made the key plays this week without the drops.

Malcolm Kelly became the youngest receiver in terms of games played to reach a 1,000 yards in his career, grabbing four balls, but being denied the end zone.

Quentin Chaney made fans forget about all those previous drops with a great move and catch for his first Sooner touchdown. Chaney has started making strides during this season, regaining the coaches confidence and hopefully his own. He could be a factor down the stretch.

Tight ends Jermaine Gresham and Joe Jon Finley were key players in the aerial game, combining for three double-digit catches and a touchdown for Finley.

Grade: A

Offensive Line
Best performance of the season for the offensive line. Patrick was only caught for three yards in losses and was able to find holes most of the day.

Trent Williams played well in the absence of the injured Branndon Braxton and there were none of the usual procedure penalties that have stalled drives this season.

It's possible now that the front line is concentrating a little harder without Peterson in the backfield. Subconsciously, they may have been thinking they only needed to provide just a minimum of space for AD to break one. Now they know they need to bear down on every play to keep the offense moving.

Whatever they're doing, they need to keep doing it.

Grade: A-

Defensive Line
This was the best quarterback the OU defense will face all year and it was especially tough for the front line to keep Chase Daniel under control. They struggled a bit in the early going, but as the game went on, good coverage in the secondary and good containment by the line made Daniel a frustrated man.

C.J. Ah You was tenacious from both the end slot and the middle guard in the three-man front. He is quietly having an excellent season. Larry Birdine made a couple of plays as well.

Statistically, not the best day, but the outcome and the fact that they allowed just one touchdown drive all day makes this a rousing success for the hard working front wall.

Grade: B

Linebackers
This was their day to be recognized. Zach Latimer had yet another interception, created by the deflection by Rufus Alexander, who was a force with seven unnassisted tackles.

And it was a day when Lewis Baker came in to shine as the hybrid backer, recording seven solo tackles and breaking up a pass. Against Missouri's five receiver sets, Baker was the perfect solution. Usually too light to stand up to the power teams, he was able to use his agility to fit perfectly against Missouri's two quality tight end receivers.

The linebackers have come alive since the Texas game and they will be the most important part of trying to stop the Texas A&M attack next week.

Grade: A

Secondary
This was the most aggressive performance by an OU secondary in years. Instead of laying back and waiting to contain receivers for short gains, the Sooners were contesting every route.

Lendy Holmes' confidence is growing by the quarter and he used his basketball playing ability to negate a 4th down Missouri touchdown try.

Marcus Walker is showing why he is OU's best cover corner. Even though he gave up Missouri's longest pass play of the day, he was in great coverage and appeared to just misjudge the ball that carried in the wind.

Each of the starting defensive backs were credited with a pass break up in the game. Nic Harris continues to play well at safety, Darien Williams was solid as well, and Reggie Smith appeared to be running much better as well.

Daniel was just over 50 percent while throwing 44 times and even thought he threw for 284 yards, the Sooners did not allow a passing touchdown.

Grade: B+

Special Teams
Once again, the Sooners dominated, something that will produce wins on the road more often than not.

Oklahoma's punting game was strong, with Michael Cohen and Mike Knall combining to average over 40 yards per kick. Cohen also was involved in one of the key plays of the game, when he drew a roughing the kicker penalty that kept a Sooner scoring drive alive.

As far as punt coverage, Jason Carter provided another blocked kick. Carter could parlay that talent into a NFL special teams job if he keeps it up. OU's punt coverage was excellent as was their coverage of kickoffs.

Garrett Hartley continues to be near-perfect on field goals, but he put another kickoff out of bounds, drawing the wrath of Coach Bob Stoops. The Sooners return game was hampered by the fact that Missouri's punter was weak and there weren't many kickoff return opportunities.

Grade: A-


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