After a first half that made everyone scratch their head, the Sooners dominated the Cyclones in the second half to win 50-20.
From big takeaways to atrocious 3rd-down defense, the Sooners made the necessary adjustments to notch a victory over a team that has had their number in recent seasons.
Let’s get into the good and bad on this one.
— Dillon Gabriel had himself a game. Yes, he had some bad throws but overall it was great to see him run hard and sling it versus a solid Iowa State defense. Gabriel topped off the Sooners’ first offensive drive with a very physical touchdown run and that physicality was matched all game as Gabriel had 8 carries for 37 yards and 2 touchdowns. As for passing, this offense was explosive.
— The wide receiver room is DEEP. The expected stars all had solid games, Jalil Farooq led the team in yards while Drake Stoops and Nic Anderson both found the end zone. We finally saw Texas-transfer, Brenen Thompson, who showed off his explosiveness on a big 54-yard reception. We also saw Jayden Gibson do what he does best, score when it matters most. He had a physical 41-yard touchdown on a 4th-and-7 to extend the Sooners lead in the 3rd.
— The adjustments were clear and noticeable! After a rough 21-20 start, the Sooners cruised into half-time at 40-20 after a blocked punt turned safety and an interception by Gentry Williams. The momentum did not slow down, Sooners blanked the cyclones in the second half and only allowed FIVE first-downs.
— The defense was… BAD.. in the first half. After starting the game with a Billy Bowman pick-six, the defense allowed 20 points over the next four drives. On those drives, the Sooners gave up a 3rd-and-18 for a 51-yard touchdown, a 3rd-and-8 that led to a field goal, and a 3rd-and-2 that was converted for a 67-yard touchdown.
— The Sooners still do not have a “RB1.” Yes, rotation is good, and having depth is never an issue, but the team still has not found their identity in the rushing attack which could become problematic down the stretch.
This is around a 7.5/10 performance from the Sooners. The offense was electric, but the Sooners must develop a more consistent rushing attack if they want to be playing in Dallas in December. As far as the defense goes, they are forcing turnovers and making adjustments as the game goes, which are huge improvements after years of poor play.
After securing this win, both the Sooners and Longhorns will head to Dallas at perfect 5-0 records. The last time both teams went into the Red River Rivalry undefeated? 2011, where the Sooners dominated in a 55-17 win.