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October 18, 2010

Iowa State Hot 11 a Methodical Beating

The Sooner Hot 11 is a SoonerScoop.com ranking, compiled by associated editor Josh McCuistion, of the previous Saturday's top performers and in Oklahoma's machine like 52-0 demolition against Iowa State the job was to sort though multiple great performances to find the day's best. While there may have been numerous efforts worthy of recognition it's the Hot 11's job to pick out the best of the best and with several huge performances including one guy in his first game as a Sooner who seems destined to make a name for himself this Hot 11 is as interesting as any year.
11. Roy Finch, Running Back - Stats: 16 carries for 92-yards.
Analysis: I knew I liked him when I saw the first run of the game but after re-watching it he was even better than I realized. The amazing thing is that Finch's true bread and butter was never really displayed during the game; just pure open field running. The interesting thing is to see whether Finch can become a complete back and be less of a tipoff when he is on the field. If he can show the ability to block and allow Landry Jones to pass while he is on the field he really could be a lethal option. Last Week: N/A
10. Jarvis Jones, Offensive Tackle - Stats: N/A.
Analysis: I thought as a whole Oklahoma may have played it's best game all season along the offensive line but Jones was one of two that really stood out on the day. The big offensive tackle has become Oklahoma's utility tackle moving back and forth from side to side and after many errors last year has been steadfast and smart in the Sooners zone-blocking scheme. The surprising thing is that in spite of Jones light frame he shows impressive run-blocking ability. Last Week: N/A
9. Trey Millard, Fullback - Stats: Two carries for three yards and a one-yard touchdown, one catch for eight-yards.
Analysis: Does it take much time to realize how much the Sooner coaching staff thinks of Millard? Each and every broadcast full of TV mercenaries who learn as much as they can in a few days all seem fully apprised of the first year Sooner. And each week they have a larger sampling of Millard's capabilities to compliment whether it's the easy things to see like his third down conversions, his pass-catching in the flats or the less obvious devastating blocks leading for Oklahoma's running backs. Last Week: No. 6
8. Jamarkus McFarland, Defensive Tackle - Stats: Three tackles (two solo), one and a half sacks (12-yards).
Analysis: The big defensive tackle has been up and down during a sophomore season in which many were hoping for an emergence and Saturday night that may be exactly what took place. McFarland took a little time to get going but as he took off he became a dominant force and spent much of the second half throwing a party full of Crimson colored jerseys in the Iowa State backfield. McFarland showed great change of direction and surprising closing speed for a man of his size. Last Week: N/A
7. Demarco Murray, Running Back - Stats: 20-carries for 112-yards and two touchdowns (1, 10) and two-catches for 28-yards and a 15-yard touchdown.
Analysis: I really had trouble keeping Murray this far down the list but I've always been adamant about not letting this turn into a reputation ranking or have anything to do with other than the game at hand. That being said this ranking is no shame, as Murray stood out even in a collection of amazing performances. It's still wild to think of all the time that Murray has missed and what type of numbers he could have come up with if he'd stayed a bit healthier. Last Week: No. 1
6. Frank Alexander, Defensive End - Stats: Seven tackles (four solo), three tackles for loss (18-yards), one sack (10-yards).
Analysis: Let's make it real simple, if Alexander can play at that level all season Oklahoma's pass rush can be just about as good as any in the country. The big end had not really been expected to start based on some comments from Oklahoma's head man during last Tuesday's press conference but perhaps that was just the kick in the pants he needed because Alexander spent the entirety of the game in the Cyclones backfield. Last Week: N/A
5. Ben Habern, Center - Stats: N/A.
Analysis: Josh Heupel had Bubba Burcham, Jason White had Vince Carter, Sam Bradford had Jon Cooper, is Habern about to become Jones' guy? It certainly seems so on the heel of arguably his two best performances as a Sooner. It seems more and more Oklahoma is doing things that really suit Habern well by getting him out in space and allowing him to get in defenders way. Against the Cyclones he not only picked up some linebackers but on Murray's touchdown catch and run did a nice job shielding a defensive back from Murray. Last Week: N/A
4. Travis Lewis, Linebacker - Stats: 14 tackles (eight solo), half a tackle for loss (one yard), one pass break-up, one quarterback hurry.
Analysis: From the first snap to the last Lewis was an absolute madman on Saturday night. There were big hits and nearly every other type of big play that one could look for but it was his smelling out of Iowa State's screen play on their first third down that really set the tone for the Sooner defense that pitched their first shutout since last season's Bedlam game. Not surprising as Lewis has pretty much cemented himself as the catalyst of the defense this year. Last Week: No. 4
3. Stacy McGee, Defensive Tackle - Stats: One tackle, one tackle for loss (three yards).
Analysis: It just doesn't get a whole lot better than McGee on Saturday night. Ok, actually Stacy go ahead and grab the quarterbacks and get the takedown come next Saturday night. The big man was probably inches away from having three sacks in the game but just couldn't quite hang on to Austen Arnaud for a couple of tackles. McGee has a chance to be an effective pass rusher up the middle, a skill that could help the Sooners create some space for Alexander and Jeremy Beal. Last Week: N/A
2. Landry Jones, Quarterback - Stats: 30-for-34 for 334-yards and three touchdowns (3, 39, 15).
Analysis: I feel like a broken record but I honestly haven't seen a better performance from Jones in his time as Sooner quarterback. In fact his performance was so resoundingly strong I could only find one hole; his post-game interview. I have to give my wife credit for noticing Jones' hands in his shoulder pads and the shocking similarity to one of the great interviews ever. In all seriousness, Jones was on point and I loved that he challenged down the field more than any game previously. Last Week: No. 5
1. Ryan Broyles, Wide Receiver - Stats: 15- catches for 182-yards and a 39-yard touchdown.
Analysis: If the football was a mic, Broyles should have just dropped it after his absurd catch in the first quarter. It's just a catch that no one has any business making, much less a slot receiver without overwhelming size. But then again, it's just another day another catch for Broyles who is currently making himself a shoe-in for my prediction for his record breaking before the end of the season.Last Week: N/A


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