Iowa State's first appearance in the top 10 won't last long.
The Cyclones, who entered Saturday's game against Oklahoma ranked in the top 10 for the first time in school history, were welcomed to big-time college football Saturday by the second-ranked Sooners.
Kejuan Jones and Quentin Griffin combined for four rushing touchdowns and the Oklahoma defense shut down and almost shut out Iowa State and Heisman Trophy Candidate Seneca Wallace in their 49-3 pasting of the Cyclones Saturday at Owen Field in Norman.
The Oklahoma defense intercepted Wallace three times (two by safety Brandon Everage) and held Iowa State's potent offense to just 60 yards of total offense, the fourth worst in school history.
"It was an incredible defensive game against a tremendous player," said Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops, who is now 10-1 all-time against top 10 opponents. "We still believe Seneca Wallace is a guy who deserves all the Heisman attention he has gotten. We approached this game as we need to play at our level to do the best we could. We're really proud of our players for doing that."
Wallace, who was labeled by many in the national media as the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy, was held to just 4 of 22 passing for 43 yards.
"Oklahoma totally dominated the game," said Iowa State Head Coach Dan McCarney. "Their defense was about the best I've coached against and I've been around for a long time."
"In all the conference, non-conference, and bowl games I've coached I don't believe I have ever played against a defense as good as that one. They dominated our offense from beginning to end and we couldn't establish a good running game."
Coming into Saturday, Iowa State's offense had been averaging 432 yards per game, but on Saturday they were held to just four total yards in the first half, while the Oklahoma offense blew the game open with 21 second quarter points.
"It was really tough to bounce back and get into a rhythm after the way the first half went," said Iowa State quarterback Seneca Wallace who had -28 yards rushing, 58 below his season average. "Our game plan was just to have offense, period. It didn't matter if it was running or throwing."
"They're a tough defense and they came out and played well. They're fast and we didn't execute."
Oklahoma's special teams did execute, and set the stage for the Sooners' stampede when Derrick Strait blocked the Cyclones punt following the first possession of the game. Terrance Sims recovered the ball in the end zone to give the Sooners an early 7-0 lead at the 13:58 mark.
That set the stage for Griffin and Jones.
Griffin broke a remarkable 15-yard run midway through the first quarter to put Oklahoma up 14-0, and would later score his second touchdown of the day on a 4-yard run with 13:20 left in the second quarter to help OU extend the lead to 21-0.
Jones took over from there with a pair 1-yard touchdown runs in the second quarter as Oklahoma continued their land run en route to a 35-0 halftime lead. The Sooners' 35 first half points were the most in the first half of a conference game since Baylor in 2000.
And with his two touchdowns, Griffin moved into a tie with Greg Pruitt for fourth place on the all-time career touchdown list with 38. The senior from Humble, Texas also moved into the eighth spot on the all-time rushing list. Griffin carried the ball 23 times for 111 yards.
In all, Oklahoma's running backs carried the ball 66 times for 199 yards.
"Quentin is just making people miss. Once he gets off the line of scrimmage, he makes people miss and gets 10 or 15 yards that he shouldn't get. His althleticism is just so tremendous that he finds a way. Kejuan just runs you over. He'll take your head off and get five extra yards," said sophomore tackle Jammal Brown of OU's 1-2 punch of Jones and Griffin.
"Coach Wilson just keeps telling us to run and run," Brown continued. "He says, 'If you miss a block, you just keep running and find someone else to block.' We just try to run full speed off the ball and find someone to hit. It worked out in a positive way today."
"Offensively, it's fun to watch us go out there and control the line of scrimmage in a sloppy situation," said Stoops.
Iowa State erased any hopes of a shutout on their first drive of the second half, which was capped by a 29-yard field goal that cut OU's lead to 35-3.
Sophomore receiver Brandon Jones helped Oklahoma extend the lead to 42-3 with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Nate Hybl late in the third quarter, and Renaldo Works capped Oklahoma's scoring onslaught with an 11-yard touchdown run with 3:00 left in the game to push the lead to 49-3.
"After the Texas game, people want to know if we are ready to play," said Stoops after the game. "Our guys had a great week of practice. Iowa State is an excellent football team coming in number nine in the country. We needed to be ready and it was obvious we were."
"We just may be hitting our stride at the right time. I know we have a lot of confidence right now."
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