No. 12 Oklahoma 26, Iowa St. 6
With an assist from Mother Nature, No. 12 Oklahoma got its
defense back in order and set up a Bedlam showdown for the Big 12
Landry Jones threw for 256 yards, Blake Bell punched in two
short touchdown runs and the Sooners limited Iowa State to a
season-low 245 yards in a 26-6 victory on Saturday.
Rebounding after allowing a school-record 616 yards allowed last
week in a 45-38 loss at Baylor, Oklahoma only let the Cyclones
(6-5, 3-5 Big 12) score after James Winchester’s snap sailed over
the head of punter Tress Way in the first quarter.
Oklahoma will visit No. 4 Oklahoma State – with the nation’s
second-highest scoring offense – next week with the winner earning
the Big 12 title.
”We’ve got a bigger challenge in front of us. Maybe we aren’t
on a national championship run but we do have a shot at the Big
12,” nickel back Tony Jefferson said.
”We knew that this whole week and we knew we had to persevere
and fight through all that.”
Trey Franks finished with 88 yards rushing on two long reverses
to set up scores for the Sooners (9-2, 6-2), and Michael Hunnicutt
matched his career-high with four field goals on a difficult day
Each team turned it over four times in a game played in front of
thousands of empty seats at sold-out Owen Field, with sustained
winds of over 30 mph and gusting to more than 40 mph. The game-time
winds were the strongest in Norman since a 1964 loss against
”Obviously there’s plays out there that were left on the field.
I didn’t play very well today but I played good enough to win a
game,” said Jones, who threw two interceptions and went without a
touchdown pass for the second straight game.
”The weather was tough, but you’ve got to overcome things in
The Cyclones didn’t sustain a drive of longer than 35 yards and
got their only points on Jared Barnett’s 10-yard touchdown pass to
Albert Gary one play after Oklahoma’s botched punt. They were shut
out the rest of the way, failing in their chance to pull off
another monumental upset eight days after the biggest win in school
history – over then-No. 2 Oklahoma State.
Iowa State hasn’t beaten ranked opponents in back-to-back weeks
since 1974 and was trying to win for just the sixth time in 76
meetings with Oklahoma all time.
”You can’t turn the ball over like we did and stall so many
long drives,” coach Paul Rhoads said. ”At some point, you have to
find success and get the ball in the end zone and give your whole
football team an energy that gives you a chance to win the football
The Sooners were able to find enough offense to win it. Bell
scored on a 3-yard run and a 1-yarder, and Oklahoma settled for
field goals on four other red zone possessions.
After being practically unstoppable in the scoring zone a week
ago at Baylor, Bell ran into trouble early on against the Cyclones.
He was stuffed on Oklahoma’s first red zone possession, leading to
Hunnicutt’s 20-yard field goal, and then threw an interception to
Jake Knott the next time.
But the Sooners kept going back to their third-string
quarterback, who last week joined J.C. Watts and Jamelle Holieway
as the only quarterbacks in the program’s history with four rushing
TDs in a game. He scored on a 3-yard keeper in the second quarter
to give Oklahoma the lead to stay, then smashed his way into the
end zone from a yard out on the next possession to make it
Hunnicutt added field goals from 28 and 36 yards to push the
halftime lead to 23-6, and he provided the only points of the
second half on a 21-yarder. Franks set it up with a 45-yard
reverse, getting tackled at the 1-yard line before the Sooners’
goal line offense got stuffed.
Oklahoma was able to compile 509 yards of offense, including 253
on the ground – a total brought down by a 35-yard loss on the
errant punt snap. That was plenty with the defense back on its game
and the conditions making the type deep balls that hurt the Sooners
last week tough to complete.
”It’s good to see them smile,” defensive coordinator Brent
Venables said. ”It’s been obviously a tough week after an
emotional loss last week. But that being said, still to have a Big
12 championship to play for and really kind of having to play with
everything on the line this week in order to have a chance at it
next week, obviously you’re really happy for them.”
To claim an eighth Big 12 title, the Sooners will have to go on
the road and win their ninth straight Bedlam rivalry game.
”We’re a bunch that has been over there plenty of times and
understand the challenge of it, respect the challenge of it but I
believe our team is also excited about it,” coach Bob Stoops
”They know it’s a one-game season with the chance for the Big
12 championship. That’s where you want to be.”
Barnett finished with 125 yards on 13-for-28 passing with one
interception, losing for the first time in four career starts. He
also fumbled a first-quarter handoff to James White, after White
had already fumbled on his first carry of the game.
The Cyclones also turned it over when linebacker Jevohn Miller
muffed a kickoff that was blown around by the wind, leading to
Hunnicutt’s third field goal of the opening half.
Iowa State had its lowest yardage output since being held to 183
in a 52-0 shutout at Oklahoma last season.
”We didn’t get pushed around like we did the last time we were
here in Norman and that’s continued signs of development in the
Iowa State football program,” Rhoads said.