November 30, 2008

Bedlam Hot 11: Sooner Offense Dominates

The Sooner Hot 11 is a ranking of the previous Saturday's top performers and in Oklahoma's 61-41 victory over Oklahoma State there were several stars worthy of recognition and a familiar face has found his way for the Hot 11's top spot yet another time in 2008. Have a look at the player-by-player breakdown of Oklahoma's big win over their rivals in an environment that could only be described as Bedlam. After sputtering early the Sooner offense soared and put the game out of reach as the defense found a way to make a few stops late in the game.

11. Duke Robinson, Offensive Guard - Stats: N/A.
Analysis: Robinson was a bit up and down on Saturday night. At time he was a dominant force in both blocking aspects but also suffered a few setbacks at the hands of Oklahoma State defensive tackle Tonga Tea. At the end of the day though Robinson was a big part of wearing down the Oklahoma State front four as Oklahoma found more and more consistent joy from the running game as the proceedings wore on.Last Week: N/A

10. Keenan Clayton, Linebacker - Stats: 4.5 Tackles (four solo), one sack (nine yards), one pass break-up, one quarterback hurry.
Analysis: Say what you want about ESPN's coverage but there is no question they are some of the nation's biggest fans of Oklahoma's former safety turned linebacker. Clayton against two-dimensional offenses who favor a controlled passing game (that team in Gainesville ring any bells?) is always going to look impressive as his ability to aid in both run and pass defense makes him nearly unavoidable for an offense.Last Week: No. 6

9. Juaquin Iglesias, Running Back - Stats: Eight catches for 86-yards and one touchdown (17).
Analysis: Iglesias had perhaps the catch of the night on a third down inside the red zone where he may have been hit early but managed to hang onto the ball in traffic and keep the Sooner offense rolling. Iglesias is probably the Sooners most under appreciated player and after having completed his fourth regular season in Norman it's still amazing to think he was almost a UTEP Miner. No one is happier Bobby Jack Wright found him than Sam Bradford.Last Week: No. 4

8. Frank Alexander, Defensive End - Stats: Three tackles (two solo).
Analysis: If Alexander had made good on some of the pressure he applied throughout the game then he'd probably be among the top three players on the list. Alexander simply wouldn't be blocked all night and was almost his own worst enemy because his flushing of Zac Robinson from the pocket kept putting the Cowboys talented running-quarterback on the loose. If Alexander had collected a few of his sacks even more of the nation would realize what kind of player he'll be.Last Week: No. 7

7. Dominique Franks, Cornerback - Stats: 1.5 tackles (one solo), one interception (24 yard return), one pass break-up.
Analysis: I know some realize that Franks made an interception that helped set up Oklahoma's first touchdown of the game. However, those that were there know that Franks' play also meant stemming the tide of a Cowboy crowd that was ready to burst after forcing Oklahoma to punt on the first possession and with Oklahoma State moving the ball. Franks also did a solid game throughout getting his hand on a couple of balls and barely missing deflecting a touchdown pass to Dez Bryant. Last Week: No. 2

6. Chris Brown, Running Back - Stats: 19 carries for 98 yards and two touchdowns (2, 28).
Analysis: Brown had yet another big game and as they say about the best backs they tend to get better as the game wears on. There is no doubt that Oklahoma's massive defensive line also helped the Sooner ground game improve as they continued to lean on the Oklahoma State front four more and more as the game wore on. Brown also did a great job with blitz pick-up allowing Sam Bradford an extra half-a-second to find one of his 30 completions.Last Week: N/A

5. Trent Williams, Offensive Tackle - Stats: N/A.
Analysis: Just another monster game from the lone junior starter on Oklahoma's offensive line. It seems to have become old hat but Williams just continue to prove that he's one of the nation's best offensive lineman and for all of the talk surrounding his two senior teammates on the left side and Oklahoma State's Russell Okung it's hard to imagine anyone coming away from that game with a higher grade-out than the talented Longview, Texas blocker.Last Week: No. 5

4. Jeremy Beal. Defensive End - Stats: 6.5 tackles (six solo), 1.5 tackles for loss (10 yards), forced fumble, two quarterback hurries.
Analysis: Beal was all over the place on Saturday night and the difference with his counterpart is that he finished a few more of the plays. Beal created the fumble that Alexander returned for a two-point conversion and also caused the fumble Kendall Hunter that was not called. The pass-rushing specialist like Alexander also did a good job of putting some pressure on Robinson, even if it seemed to only create more problems for the Sooner defense.Last Week: No. 3

3. Demarco Murray, Running Back - Stats: 15 carries for 73-yards and one touchdown (20), one catch for 16 yards, and a 68-yard kickoff return.
Analysis: The former five-star running back showed his multiple chances to impact a football game both as a pass receiver, running back, and a kick returner. The star back only had one real moment of flash that separated himself from some of his teammates but the part that had really developed in Murray's game is his level of consistency. His tough running was needed last night and it may have been the difference in the game for the Sooners.Last Week: No. 10

2. Jermaine Gresham, Tight End - Stats: 9 catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns (3, 73).
Analysis: The argument could be made for Gresham to have the top spot and it would have been a good one. Perhaps most importantly Gresham's 'showdown' with fellow Mackey award finalist Brandon Pettigrew was a landslide victory for the Ardmore, Okla. native. Gresham made one big play after another including a few that ruined the growing perception of his struggling catching passes. Gresham is the nation's best tight end and he cemented it on Saturday night.Last Week: No. 1

1. Sam Bradford, Quarterback - Stats: 30-for-44 for 370-yards and four touchdowns (3, 73, 1, 17). Four carries for 16 yards and one touchdown (1).
Analysis: It may have been one of the slowest starts of Bradford's illustrious career but he spent the next three quarters of his game making up for that and ended up with quite possibly the best game of his Sooner career. His stats are only magnified by the reality that Colt McCoy struggled against the same defense while in Austin; in direct difference Bradford dominated the Cowboys on the own home field. Heisman? It should be.Last Week: No. 9

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