OU-Texas Tech Grade Card

See inside for a position-by-position breakdown of Oklahoma's 34-24 win over Texas Tech. Freshman running back Chris Brown came off the bench to rush for 84 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown run that gave Oklahoma the lead for good in the fourth quarter. (AP Photo)

Things looked dim when Paul Thompson made the mistake of trying to throw the ball 40 yards across the field on an out route and it was intercepted and returned for a touchdown, putting the Sooners down by two scores.

But Thompson came back and showed the character that made his the Don Key Award winner, immediately moving the team downfield and throwing the best pass of his career - a perfect, in stride, over the defender touchdown to Malcolm Kelly - and he went on to have the best statistical night of his career.

Thompson hit over 75 percent of his passes, going 24-31-1 for 309 yards and two touchdowns. He also scrambled 19 yards to pull the Sooners out of a 3rd and long situation and keep a drive alive in the third quarter.

And to top off his Owen Field career, Thompson engineered a masterful almost seven minute touchdown drive that kept the football away from Tech in the final minutes and put the game out of reach.

Also note that Thompson was clutch on third down, as the Sooners converted 7-of-11 third down attempts.

Coming off of his worst game of the season, Thompson put together one of his best.

Grade: A-

Running Back
With Allen Patrick out of the lineup, OU struggled to make yards for the first three quarters. Jacob Gutierrez got the start, but wasn't used much after coughing up the football after the Sooners had taken the ball away from Tech deep in Red Raider territory.

Chris Brown found the going slow until the fourth quarter, when he broke loose with a spin move and cut across the field for a 40-yard touchdown run that proved to be the game winner. Just for good measure, Brown showed his short yardage ability by finishing off the Sooners final drive with his second touchdown of the night. His late game showing gave him respectable final numbers of 16 carries for 84 yards, over five yards per carry.

Dane Zaslaw had two important pass receptions as he continues to see the majority of playing time at fullback.

Grade : B-

Wide Receivers
Fantastic night for Malcolm Kelly who pulled down 11 passes for 153 yards and that big near halftime score. Manuel Johnson had six catches and just missed joining Kelly in the 100-yard club, but he was carted off the field after being hit and fumbling after his last catch of the game. Johnson was hospitalized overnight as a precautionary measure.

Juaquin Iglesias had a couple of catches and didn't suffer from dropitis as he had in the past few games. Tight ends Joe Jon Finley and Jermaine Gresham each got one catch and Gresham recorded his first collegiate start in the game.

As was the case with Thompson, the turnover keeps it from being an almost perfect night.

Grade: A-

Offensive Line
The front line did a good job of protecting Thompson, allowing just one sack on the night. Running yards were surprisingly hard to come by until the final quarter, but the line did an outstanding job on the final long time consuming touchdown drive that put the game away.

Statistically, the Sooners piled up 449 yards in offense and did a good job of sustaining drives and keeping the ball away from Texas Tech. Oklahoma only punted twice all night.

The line has done a good job the past two games of staying away from penalties. No holding or procedure penalties again last night.

Grade: A-

Defensive Line
Tech only tried to run the ball eight times last night and outside of one 17-yard effort, they were unsuccessful.

That meant the line was busy containing quarterback Graham Harrell, and they did that well. Larry Birdine had a sack and especially in the second half, the Sooners had good pressure on the quarterback.

From a statistical standpoint, this was a game that you weren't going to find the names of OU's linemen on the tackle chart. But they did what they were asked to do and contributed well to the victory.

Defensive end Calvin Thibodeaux even got an interception to close out his home career.

Grade: B+

This was a busy night for OU's linebackers, who were called on to primarily be pass defenders.

The job for the most part fell to Rufus Alexander and Lewis Baker, as Alexander found himself far downfield in coverage on several occasions, even managing to break up a pass. It was a tough assignment and in the early going, he did get beat a couple of times, but overall it was a solid effort.

All in all, the linebackers played well and were a big part of OU holding tech out of the end zone after three turnovers.

Grade: B+

The Sooners were up to the task in defending Tech's spread passing game. Harrell was held to just over 50 per cent passing, well below his season average.

Even more impressive was the fact that Tech was only able to convert on 2-of-12 third down attempts.

As well as Oklahoma's defensive backs did in coverage, they were equally as important on the blitz. Lendy Holmes delivered a crushing blindside blow on Harrell for a nine-yard sack, and Nic Harris also got credit for a sack.

Harris and Darien Williams also made key tackles to prevent long catch and run plays.

The defense overall held Tech under 300 yards in total offense, quite a feat considering the turnovers by the Sooners.

Grade: B+

Special Teams
Garrett Hartley is to be commended for gutting it out and continuing his near-perfect placement season. He converted an early field goal and made all his extra points, despite suffering pain from an ankle injury suffered last week.

The name Blake Baublits is now on the tongues of Sooner fans, as the freshman walk-on from McKinney, TX had to step in and take over kickoff chores from Hartley after the opening kickoff. Baublits did well under the circumstances, even though he did not get any touchbacks.

Manuel Johnson replaced Juaquin Iglesias on kickoffs this week and that turned out not to be a good idea. Johnson was tentative on two returns, coughing one up. OU made sure after the fumble that Reggie Smith got over to receive the kickoffs and Smith did have one 28 yard return, but overall, nothing to rave about on kickoff returns. Smith didn't do much with punt returns either, managing just 10 yards on two efforts.

Kick coverage was good for the Sooners, as they held tech to just 13 yards per kickoff return on seven attempts. OU only had to punt twice. Michael Cohen had a 48 yard effort with the wind.

Grade: B-

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