Shock and awe: Sooners trounce Cyclones, 53-7

Lucas Grundmeier

Oklahoma’s football staff needn’t launder quarterback Jason White’s uniform after he led the Sooners to a 53-7 pasting of Iowa State at Jack Trice Stadium Saturday.

“I didn’t get touched tonight, not once,” White said.

White came and left in matching spotless white jersey and pants as he threw for 384 yards and five touchdowns. Top-ranked Oklahoma raced to 35 first downs and 613 yards in the Big 12 Conference opener for both the Sooners (5-0. 1-0 Big 12) and the Cyclones (2-3, 0-1 Big 12).

“[I had] plenty of time to throw the ball, and the receivers did a great job running their routes and catching the ball,” White said.

Iowa State struggled again to establish a running game, and freshman quarterback Austin Flynn suffered as a result.

Flynn was sacked six times and carried 19 times overall for 49 yards. He was hit hard after nearly every run and pass attempt before leaving the game with a knee injury early in the fourth quarter.

ISU head coach Dan McCarney said Flynn’s injury wasn’t serious and said he kept the freshman in to try to spark the Cyclone offense, which totaled only 234 yards. “Our offense didn’t put any points on the board all day — very, very disappointing,” he said.

Iowa State kept the game close early and tried several trick plays. Tailback Michael Wagner found receiver Lance Young for a 39-yard gain with the Cyclones trailing 9-0 in the second quarter.

But the Cyclone offense was stifled all night by All-American defensive tackle Tommie Harris, who muscled Flynn into the ground on a sack on the game’s third play. Harris helped the Sooners begin to pull away by chasing down wide receiver Jack Whitver and jarring the football loose after a second-quarter reception. Cornerback Derrick Strait recovered at the ISU 39-yard line.

On the next play, White found receiver Mark Bradley for a diving touchdown catch behind ISU defenders Ellis Hobbs and Marc Timmons. Oklahoma led 16-0 then, 22-0 at halftime and coasted to the 46-point victory.

“It just didn’t feel like it should have been 22 to zero at half,” McCarney said. “It just felt like we were playing them tougher than that.”

The ISU defensive line played without senior captain Jordan Carstens, who hurt his knee against Northern Illinois Sept. 27. Defensive end Jason Berryman, starting due to senior Tyson Smith’s season-ending injury, left early in the game, forcing freshman Korey Smith into action.

True freshman Brent Curvey replaced Carstens and saw the Sooners gain more yards than any ISU opponent since Baylor had 624 in a 49-21 win in 1996.

“We had to learn quick,” Curvey said. “We kind of got worn down a little bit.”

Oklahoma converted six of 12 third downs. All but one of their scoring plays covered more than 10 yards.

“They made big plays and they made plays when they needed to,” junior linebacker Brandon Brown said. “That’s why they’re No. 1.”

Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops said his undefeated Sooners are playing well on offense, defense and special teams.

McCarney said he didn’t know a place to attack Oklahoma.

“We didn’t see any weaknesses going into the game. We sure didn’t see any today,” he said.

Iowa State’s points came on a 77-yard interception return by safety JaMaine Billups. Billups stepped in the way of a screen pass attempt by Sooner reserve quarterback Paul Thompson and raced to the end zone.

That victory was short-lived, as Bradley ran through a mammoth hole on the ensuing kickoff for a 100-yard touchdown return that put Oklahoma ahead 46-7.

Last season, a 49-3 loss at Oklahoma sent Iowa State into a season-ending 1-6 tailspin. Senior offensive lineman Bob Montgomery said the Cyclones have a lot to do before traveling to Texas Tech next Saturday.

“We’ve just got to get stuff figured out. I can’t tell you what it is right now,” Montgomery said.

McCarney said his responsibility was to rally the Cyclone team to continue playing hard.

“Our kids fought a valiant fight,” he said. “We’ll get this one behind us just as fast as we can.”