Quick Hits: Oklahoma 35, Iowa State 20
Instant analysis of the Sooners' win in Ames.
OKLAHOMA WON: After a lackluster effort last week at Notre Dame, the Sooners rediscovered their big guns in Ames, outgaining Iowa State by more than 300 total yards en route to a reassuringly routine conference win.
HOW OKLAHOMA WON: Aside from a pair of interceptions in the first half -- on back-to-back attempts, no less -- this was the day Sooners fans have been waiting for from senior quarterback Landry Jones, who racked up season highs for passing yards (405), touchdowns (4) and completion percentage (71.1). After turning the ball over on downs and punting in ISU territory on its first two possessions, Oklahoma broke through on extended touchdown drives covering 90, 75, 75, 68 and 54 yards, and racked up a 12:30 time-of-possession advantage.
Individually, Jones spread that wealth among nine receivers, three of whom (Justin Brown, Kenny Stills and Sterling Shepard) came down with at least one touchdown; Stills had two. On the ground, tailback Brennan Clay handled the majority of the workload for the first time this season and responded with 157 yards on 24 carries, the first 100-yard game of his career.
WHEN OKLAHOMA WON: After a scoreless first quarter, the Sooners led just 7-6 in the final minute of the second when Jones found Stills on a 21-yard strike to extend the lead to 14-6 heading into the locker room. On the other side of halftime, OU took its first two possessions of the second half for touchdowns and a 15-point edge heading into the final frame. Jones' second touchdown pass to Stills early in the fourth was the dagger.
WHAT OKLAHOMA WON: A win keeps the Sooners within a game of Kansas State at the top of the Big 12 standings, and within striking distance of the conference championship if the Wildcats stumble down the stretch. (As much as it may pain OU to root for Oklahoma State, a Cowboy upset in Manhattan would be ideal for the Sooners' chances.) More important, it keeps them within striking distance of one of the four at-large BCS bowl bids up for grabs over the next five weeks.
WHAT IOWA STATE LOST: The yawning gaps in the box score hurt more than the loss itself, which comes as no surprise. The postseason math for ISU has not changed: At 5-4, the Cyclones still need one more win in their final three games -- at Texas, at Kansas, back home against West Virginia to close -- to get to six wins and bowl eligibility for the second year in a row. An upset in Austin next week would be nice, but the Nov. 17 date in Lawrence looks like the make-or-break game for the Cyclones to keep playing into December.
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