Oklahoma cruised to its second win of the season, hammering Tulsa 52-7 on Saturday afternoon at H.A. Chapman Stadium in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Sooners dominated on the ground, through the air and without the football as Bob Stoops' team looked worthy of its No. 4 AP ranking.
Here's a closer look at five plays that changed the game, what they said and what those plays could mean for the future.
The Sooners sent a message from the start of the game with Shepard catching a flip pass from Knight and racing down the sideline, aided by a key block from Keith Ford, for a gain of 54 yards. Oklahoma grabbed immediate momentum with the play, which led to a seven-yard touchdown run from Ford to give Oklahoma a 7-0 advantage less than a minute into the game. The play removed any doubt about the Sooners' focus despite being a clear favorite heading into kickoff.
They said it: "Sterling is a special player; he has a chance to have a special year. He can run it, he can get behind you, he can return it, he's really pretty special." -- OU coach Bob Stoops
Knight's 31-yard touchdown run
The Sooners had already taken control of the game before Knight's 31-yard gallop into the end zone, but the play was a glimpse at just how lethal their offense can become with Knight behind center. Oklahoma spread the field with an empty backfield, then Knight went right down the middle of the Golden Hurricane defense, made a man miss in the secondary and was gone. That will be difficult for any team on the Sooners' schedule to defend, because Knight is proving he has the ability to make teams pay with his arm and legs.
They said it: "They were just running out of there [the middle], so Heup [offensive coordinator Josh Heupel] dialed it up and it opened up for me." -- Knight
Alex Ross' 82-yard touchdown run
One play after Jordan Phillips' fumble return for touchdown was erased by a penalty, Ross put the points on the scoreboard anyway with a 82-yard run that put his speed and strength on full display. The sophomore from Tulsa, Oklahoma, has created a buzz with his terrific speed and size at 6-foot-1 and 221 pounds, but this long touchdown score was the first time we've seen it in a game for the Sooners. His big-play ability could be a key asset this season.
They said it: "If I had gotten chased down, I never would have been able to see another day after that. I was trying to [make sure] I'd never get caught." -- Ross
Geneo Grissom's 38-yard interception return for touchdown
Grissom looks like he's finally found a home as a hybrid defensive end/linebacker in Oklahoma's 3-4 defensive system. He drops back in coverage at times, yet plays in the defensive interior in the Sooners' pass-rush packages, a sign of his versatility. On Saturday, he dropped into coverage to intercept a pass from Tulsa quarterback Dane Evans and cruised into the end zone after stiff-arming Evans, who was the final Golden Hurricane standing between himself and paydirt.
They said it: "I started licking my chops. I feel like I'm more physical than most quarterbacks. I might even slow down just so I can get a stiff arm. It's all fun. I like making plays." -- Grissom, on what went through his mind when he saw Evans was going to try to stop him
They said it, part II: "Reporters always ask me, 'Have I found a home yet?' I think my home is the end zone." -- Grissom
Shepard's 48-yard reception in the third quarter
It wasn't a game-changing play against Tulsa, but Shepard's 48-yard reception got Oklahoma out of trouble from deep in its own territory in the middle of the third quarter. It was a key play to give the Sooners some breathing room and an even bigger play for the future. Knight's accurate deep throw is a great sign, as he can keep defenses honest and become a defensive coordinator's nightmare if he can consistently drop accurate deep balls into the arms of OU receivers. Shepard finished the game with eight receptions for 177 yards and one touchdown.
They said it: "I think you're going to see all year that he's tough. If you're going to stop the running game, then you've got to play a lot more one-on-one with him. The fact they're very balanced in what they do makes him an especially tough matchup." -- Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship, on Shepard
They said it, part II: "Trevor's been doing a great job putting those on the money." -- Shepard
BONUS PLAY: Jordan Phillips' nullified touchdown
The best touchdown of the day is nowhere to be found on the score summary. Phillips rumbled 69 yards for a touchdown that was erased by a penalty on Chuka Ndulue, who was blocking behind the play. Here's what Phillips had to say after the game:
On what he thought after he found out it didn't count: "Man... that's as G-rated as I can keep it."
On if Ndulue owes him dinner: "We're going to Chipotle tomorrow, so it's OK."
On his sack and forced fumble which started it all: "I knew which way they were going to slide, so I set up the guard and it just opened up for me. When he saw me, I saw the ball come out, so I pushed him and I got a good bounce, so I took it."