Before we look ahead to what should be a heavily anticipated 2014 season for Oklahoma, one last reflection at the 2013 Sooners that went 11-2 and won the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Sooners Illustrated is doing a countdown of the top 20 plays of OU’s season after looking back at the “OU Film Review” series that ran on SoonersIllustrated.com following every game. Here are plays No. 17-20.
Play No. 20: Barnett’s punt starts the sequence
The game: OU 41, Kansas State 31
Key players: P Jed Barnett, WR Jalen Saunders, RB Brennan Clay
OU had a fourth-and-11 at the KSU 37 and had the wind. The Sooners could have attempted a 54-yard field goal with Michael Hunnicutt, who had already drained two in the game.
Instead Stoops opted to try to pin the Wildcats deep. It worked. Jed Barnett was able to keep it in the field of play with the ball being downed at the 3 yard line.
Then the defense stepped up with a three-and-out where the Wildcats gained zero yards. Then it was Saunders making a great play on a short punt, catching it with forward momentum and taking it back to the 3 yard line.
OU needed one play for Clay to score and take a 34-24 lead.
Play No. 19: Everett sack and forced fumble, Ndulue recovers
The game: OU 16, West Virginia 7
Key players: DB Kass Everett, DL Chuka Ndulue
A sign of the attacking presence of this OU defense through two games. West Virginia faced third-and-seven at the OU 46 yard line early in the second quarter. Instead of reacting, OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops sent pressure in the form of defensive back Kass Everett. He was able to get through and nail quarterback Paul Millard as he was preparing to throw, and Chuka Ndulue recovered the fumble for the Sooners.
This was the first sack of Everett’s career, and he got everything he could in that hit. It was timed perfectly, and it was one of several big plays on defense during the night.
Play No. 18: Clay puts the game away
The game: OU 41, Iowa State 10
Key players: RB Brennan Clay
The third quarter was not kind to Iowa State as the Cyclones had 14 plays for 19 yards, and OU started to take advantage with big plays of its own.
The Sooners were out in front 20-10 when senior Brennan Clay hit another home run this season, going 63 yards for a touchdown.
The offensive line that couldn’t get anything going in the first half opened hole after hole after hole in the second half as OU rushed for 405 yards.
“We noticed their linebackers were over the top so we changed up our rung game a little bit,” Clay said. “They were running a lot of blitzes so we hit the gaps.”
Play No. 17: Knight to Saunders for their second touchdown of night
The game: OU 38, ULM 0
Key players: QB Trevor Knight, WR Jalen Saunders
Chalk this one up to Heupel as it was the perfect play call for the abilities of both Knight and Jalen Saunders. Following the failed fake punt by ULM, OU went for the jugular. With all the movement on the play going to the left side, Knight rolled out to the right and found Saunders coming across the field. Wide open, touchdown.
This was a nice confidence booster for Knight and for Saunders. The execution wasn’t always there in game one, but this was executed perfectly. Knight said after the game this play was his favorite one of the night.