Sooner rushing attack topples deflated ISU defense


Redshirt junior defensive back Kenneth Lynn dives for the Oklahoma ball carrier Nov. 1, 2014. The Cyclones fell to the No. 19 Sooners with a final score of 59-14.

Beau Berkley

All week leading up to Iowa State’s game against Oklahoma on Nov. 1, players and coaches had the same thing to say about Oklahoma’s offensive line.

They’re big, they’re massive, they’re huge. Paul Rhoads said it, defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said it and linebacker Luke Knott said it.

On Saturday, all of that and more rang true about Oklahoma’s offense, to the tune of 751 total yards in a 59-14 victory against Iowa State (2-6, 0-5 Big 12). The Sooners (6-2, 3-2 Big 12) dominated in all facets of the game, but none more so than in the rushing category. When it was all said and done, 510 of Oklahoma’s 751 yards came from their ground game.

“They’re a very good football team, they got a massive offensive line that we talked about earlier in the week and they got good skill players,” Rhoads said.

Oklahoma’s success on the ground came early and often, as quarterback Trevor Knight scampered into the end zone from 31 yards out for the first of his three rushing touchdowns on the day. It wasn’t just Knight’s feet getting the job done either — he also threw for 230 yards and three touchdowns.

Oklahoma’s offensive line continued to punch holes in Iowa State’s front seven as the first half progressed, and the secondary struggled to bring down ball carriers in the open field.

Knight, who’s previous single game rushing high this season was 61 yards against TCU, was not the only one ripping through Iowa State’s defense. Sophomore running back Alex Ross also ran for 144 yards and freshman Samaje Perine joined in with 110 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Iowa State knew going into the game what Oklahoma was going to bring in the trenches, but it appeared they could not concoct an answer. The Cyclones were undoubtedly hampered by the loss of linebacker Jevohn Miller, whose season is now in question after an injury in the first quarter ended his day. Rhoads said the outlook was “probably not good” and that all that is known as of now is that Miller will not play next week against Kansas.

Miller is one of the leaders on the defense as a senior and, leading into Saturday’s game, was third in the Big 12 in tackles with 68

“Seeing any player go down like that, especially one of our leaders on our defense, it’s always tough,” said linebacker Luke Knott.

Also out for the Cyclones were Brandon Jensen, who left the game after re-aggravating an injury sustained during the Texas game on Oct. 18, and defensive tackle Robby Garcia. In the secondary, cornerback Nigel Tribune sat out due to a groin injury sustained in practice this past week.

If a bright spot could be found on the defense on Saturday, it was cornerback Sam Richardson, who picked off Knight twice in the first half, including once in the redzone in the first quarter. Knott also had one interception in the second half.

“The first one he threw it out there and I just got it, the second the defensive line did a good job of pushing him out of the pocket and making him throw across his body,” Richardson said.

Iowa State will have a week to regroup before heading to Lawrence, Kan. Nov. 1, to face Kansas (2-5, 0-4 Big 12).