Oklahoma Smashes Cyclones: Grading Sooners Performance Against Iowa State

Luke McConnellCorrespondent IOctober 17, 2010

On a night when the Oklahoma athletic department recognized all of the major accomplishments of each of its teams from the 2009-2010 athletic season, Oklahoma football decided they wanted to continue to take steps toward being recognized in the future as well.

The Sooners played their most complete game of the season in a 52-0 thrashing of the Iowa State Cyclones on a beautiful homecoming night in Norman.

The Sooners looked great in every facet of the game, rolling up 672 yards of offense and holding Iowa State to a mere 183 yards and zero points.  In fact, the closest Iowa State got to scoring all night was two missed field goals, one from 45 yards and another from 50.  

The title of this article implies that there will be some sort of grade assigned to the Sooner's performance.  Well, it would be a waste of time to go through all of the units and assign grades because there is really only one grade to be given after a performance like this: A+

Offense: A+

Landry Jones set the single game OU completion percentage record by going 30-34 for 334 yard and three touchdowns.  Jones has been looking better and better since the Air Force game and is really maturing before our very eyes.  He has poise in the pocket and seems to have a much better grasp of the offense than he did at times earlier in the year.

Running back DeMarco Murray ran for 112 yards and scored two touchdowns and also caught a touchdown pass.  His three touchdowns on the night moved him past Steve Owens as Oklahoma's all time leader in touchdowns scored.  With at least six games to go this season, Murray can add a lot to that total, especially at the rate he has been scoring this season.  

Wide receiver Ryan Broyles tied his own record for receptions in a game, but did that in the first half alone.  Broyles finished the day with 15 catches for 182 yards and a touchdown, which was a beautifully executed pass and catch on a post route from 39 yards out.  

Freshman running back Roy Finch saw his first action of the season and electrified the crowd with his lightning fast speed and quickness.  Finch ran for 93 yards on 16 carries in his first game after missing the first five with a hairline fracture in his foot.  If you want to think about Finch, just think Darren Sproles.  

Overall, the offense was clicking on all cylinders, racking up 347 yards through the air and 325 on the ground.  The only negative was a Mossis Madu fumble in the second half, but it didn't cost the Sooners in any way.  The offensive line did a great job of blocking up front, both in the run game and in the passing game.  Visions of 2008 danced in the minds of the fans.  

Defense: A

The defense only gave up 183 yards, but there were still some struggles in containment of a mobile quarterback and in tackling.  On several occasions, it took Oklahoma some time to bring down quarterbacks Austin Arnaud and Jerome Tiller, and in some instances, each bought enough time to find tight ends open down the field.

There were other missed tackles as well, primarily on some runs straight up the middle in the second half.  The Sooners will have to continue to work on those things in order to continue to be stalwarts on defense.

In the positive light, the Sooners had consistent pressure on the quarterback, leading to four sacks on the night.  The Sooners also didn't allow any big plays which had been a problem for them coming into this game.  Overall, it was a dominating performance as Iowa State wasn't able to get into any sort of rhythm whatsoever.  

Special Teams: A

Jimmy Stevens connected on all of his kicks, including a 37 yard field goal in the first quarter to put OU up 10-0.  Stevens seems to have won the starting job back from Patrick O'Hara, because O'Hara is back from a muscle strain.  He handled kickoffs this week, sending several into the end zone for touchbacks.

Punter Tress Way seems to have lost some of the luster of his fantastic freshman season.  The sophomore only averaged 38.5 yards on his two kicks, a far cry from the 45.7 yards he averaged a year ago.  

One negative note for the special teams is that Ronnell "The Hammer" Lewis went out with an injury in the third quarter.  Lewis, known for his big hits on special teams, would be a huge loss if he is unable to return to the lineup soon.

Now the Sooners look ahead to Missouri, who is undefeated and coming off a 30-9 beatdown of the Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday.  College Gameday will be in town and a national TV audience will be tuning in for the 8 p.m. EST game on ABC.

This will be the biggest test for the Sooners thus far by a mile.  Missouri is a good team and they'll be amped up about getting ESPN Gameday for the first time in school history.  It's going to be a great game and OU will have to come out once again firing on all cylinders to come away with a win.