OU defense bounces back vs. Cyclones

NORMAN, Okla. -- The Sooners weren't particularly sharp Saturday against Iowa State, but they were balanced. Oklahoma rushed for 253 yards, while Landry Jones threw for 256 yards. Jake Trotter grades the Sooners in their 26-6 win over Iowa State

Quarterbacks: B+

With his top-two wideouts not on the field, and facing awful conditions, Landry Jones still had a crisp passing performance, completing 22 of 43 passes for 256 yards. Jones was picked off twice, but the first interception went off the hands of freshman Kameel Jackson. "Belldozer" quarterback Blake Bell scored two touchdowns, but threw an interception on his only pass.

Running backs: A-

Roy Finch and true freshman Brandon Williams provided a nice one-two punch against an underrated Iowa State run defense. Finch rushed for 83 yards on 15 carries; Williams finished with 80 yards on 10 carries. The only negative from the backfield was Finch's fumble in the second half.

Receivers: C

The wideouts dropped several passes, one of which led to an Iowa State interception, and struggled to get open downfield without deep threat Jaz Reynolds, who watched the game at home serving a suspension. But Dejuan Miller and Trey Franks stepped up and gave the Sooners a spark. Miller caught a game-high seven passes for 86 yards, and Franks rushed for 88 yards off two reverses.

Offensive line: A

The line kept Landry Jones upright almost the entire game, while paving the way for 253 yards on the ground. Take out the yardage lost off the bad snap on the punt, and OU averaged 6.5 yards per carry.

Defensive line: B+

One week after letting Robert Griffin III run wild, the line contained Iowa State's dual threat QB, Jared Barnett, who managed to rush for only 21 yards. The rest of the Iowa State run game didn't fare much better against a unit adjusting to life without end Ronnell Lewis.

Linebackers: A

Welcome back, Travis Lewis. After a month of relative quiet play, Lewis intercepted a pass tipped by Tom Wort and rumbled all the way for a touchdown. The return was called back due to a block in the back by Jamarkus McFarland, but the pick still set up an OU field goal. Wort was also stout, leading the Sooners with 11 tackles. Corey Nelson, who got the start as OU played with three linebackers added eight tackles and a fumble recovery.

Secondary: A

The return of the "Sharks?" That's probably premature. But still, the secondary bounced back nicely from last week's embarrassing performance. Sam Proctor got the start in place of Javon Harris at safety, but Harris still saw time in obvious passing downs. The player of the game, however, was Tony Jefferson, who led the Sooners with two tackles for loss and a sack with his best performance in over a month.

Special teams: A

On a wet field with massive wind gusts, Michael Hunnicutt nailed all four of his field goal attempts, which gave the Sooners a cushion in the second quarter. Roy Finch also provided an electric, 40-yard return after putting the ball on the ground. OU special teams continue to get better.

Jake Trotter covers University of Oklahoma football for SoonerNation. He can be reached at trotterjake@gmail.com. and look for answers every Friday.

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