Third quarter, third down spark OU win

November, 18, 2013
11/18/13
10:00
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After stumbling out of the blocks, which has been the norm this season, Oklahoma finally got on track in the second half and dominated Iowa State in the Sooners' 48-10 win Saturday. OU scored 45 unanswered points in the win.

[+] EnlargeTrevor Knight
Brett Deering/Getty ImagesTrevor Knight's ability to break down Iowa State with his legs opened up Oklahoma's offense.
Dual-threat running game averages 12.55 ypc: Quarterback Trevor Knight had 10 carries for 123 yards and running back Damien Williams had 10 carries for 128 yards and two touchdowns as the Sooners used the dual threat of quarterback and running back to perfection. The duo combined to average 12.55 yards per carry. Williams and Knight are the first pair of 100-yard rushers at OU since 2008 against Missouri. It’s a clear sign of how OU’s offense has evolved this season and could continue to evolve with a running threat such as Knight behind center.

ISU’s 2.5 yards per play on third down: Mike Stoops defense was dominant on third down, allowing just 35 yards on 14 third-down plays while holding ISU to 5 of 14 third down conversions. Frank Shannon, Gabe Lynn and Eric Striker each recorded sacks and safety Quentin Hayes grabbed his interception on third-down plays. OU’s defense stepped up in those clutch moments on Saturday.

OU’s 212-yard margin in the third quarter: The Sooners gained 231 yards in the third quarter compared to the Cyclones' 19 yards as OU pulled away after halftime. Brennan Clay had a 63-yard touchdown run and Williams added a 69-yard touchdown run as OU put the game away by averaging 14.93 yards per carry during the third quarter. OU came out of the locker room with a different focus and execution, allowing it to impose its will on ISU in the final half.

OU’s pass defense expected points added: The Sooners pass defense finished with 7.38 expected points added, an ESPN metric which essentially means that OU's pass defense contributed 7.38 points to the win. They rallied after ending the first quarter at minus-3.14 expected points added. They added 2.39 points in the second quarter, 3.35 points in the third and capped it off by adding 4.79 points in the fourth. Playing without All-Big 12 cornerback Aaron Colvin, the Sooners' secondary was solid with Cortez Johnson and Stanvon Taylor each playing well in Colvin’s absence.

OU’s 3.73 points per drive: The Sooners averaged 3.73 points per drive against the Cyclones, including a game-high six points per drive in the third quarter. OU is averaging 2.21 points per drive this season and the Big 12 average is 2.06. Florida State leads the nation with a 3.84 points per drive average. It was the second-most points per drive for the OU offense this season behind its 4.64 average against Tulsa. Seeing OU’s offense be so prolific with Knight, a redshirt freshman, behind center could be an encouraging sign for the future.

Brandon Chatmon | email

Oklahoma/Big 12 reporter

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