Sunday, November 24, 2013
What we learned: Week 13
By Brandon Chatmon
Here’s what we learned during Oklahoma’s 41-31 win over Kansas State on Saturday.
Brennan Clay and the run game propelled the Sooners against K-State.
Trevor Knight is steadily improving. The Sooners quarterback seems to be getting better as the season progresses. He stepped in flawlessly to lead OU to a win over Iowa State then helped spark the Sooners’ to a quick start in Manhattan while accounting for 83 first-quarter yards on eight plays (49 passing, 34 rushing) and one touchdown pass to help OU take a 7-0 lead into the second quarter. The Sooners scored their first touchdown in the first quarter since Sept. 28. He recorded the best passing game of his young career (14 of 20 for 171 yards) and terrorized the Wildcats’ defense with his quickness on quarterback run plays.
The versatile Sooners defense can be stout against the run. OU held Kansas State to 22 carries for 24 yards, 1.09 yards per carry. When the Sooners went to a three-man front to become more versatile, a major concern was their ability to handle power running attacks. While KSU hasn’t been the dominant rushing team they were last season, the Wildcats still have four games of 200 rushing yards or more including a 327-yard outing against Baylor. The Sooners stuffed that running attack in every way possible on Saturday.
OU’s offensive line continues to dominate. When OU’s offensive line dominates, the Sooners win. Losses to Baylor and Texas are the only times the Sooners have been held under 150 rushing yards, and OU has rushed for 300 or more yards in four different games. True enough the Sooners have a stable of quality running backs, but it all starts with center Gabe Ikard and the rest of OU’s offensive line. With Knight taking the majority of the snaps, OU has rushed for 706 yards in its last two games, an average of 353 rushing yards per contest.