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Saturday, November 5, 2011
Injuries put a damper on Oklahoma win

By Jake Trotter
SoonerNation

NORMAN, Okla. -- Despite a slow first half start, Oklahoma scored 28 straight points in the third quarter to put away the Aggies. Jake Trotter grades the Sooners in their 41-25 win over Texas A&M.

Landry Jones: B-

Jones wasn't his sharpest, but much of that had to do with the 35-mile-per-hour gusts. Jones, who completed 18 of 38 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns, made the throws he needed to put Texas A&M away in the third quarter.

Blake Bell
Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell ran for two touchdowns against Texas A&M.
Running back committee: A-

Roy Finch showed that the Sooners might not have to necessarily spread the carries around now that Dominique Whaley is out for the season. Finch displayed some toughness and finished with 30 touches, including 26 on the ground, and rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown. Neither Brandon Williams (one carry, 1 yard) nor Brennan Clay (one carry, 4 yards) factored into the mix.

Ryan Broyles and Kenny Stills: Incomplete

Broyles had two spectacular catches. But on the latter, he suffered a season-ending ACL tear that left OU and its fans in shock in the fourth quarter. Broyles will go down as one of the best to ever don a Sooners uniform. Stills, who's been dealing with a hamstring injury, was severely limited, but did come up with two catches for 44 yards and a touchdown.

Other receivers: A-

Jaz Reynolds is no longer an "other receiver" with Broyles out for the season. Reynolds showed that he could help alleviate the loss of Broyles with a another sparkling performance, including another dazzling one-handed touchdown grab. He had five other catches and finished with 75 receiving yards. The other receivers, notably Dejuan Miller and Trey Franks, need to step up their games in the coming weeks.

Offensive line: B+

The Sooners ran the ball effectively enough, though did surrender a sack. But that came with center Ben Habern on the field. Habern is still working his way back from a broken forearm. He'll have a hard time carving out a full-time role because interior linemen Gabe Ikard, Adam Shead and Tyler Evans are playing at a high level.

Frank Alexander and Ronnell Lewis: A+

The "Hammer" was stellar. He led the Sooners with nine tackles, including two for loss. His biggest play came in the third quarter when he picked off a pass tipped by fellow end R.J. Washington. The interception set the table for an OU touchdown, which put the Sooners up 27-10. Alexander had a tackle for loss and two pass breakups.

Tom Wort and Javon Harris
Javon Harris picked off his third pass of the season against Texas A&M.
Other defensive linemen: B+

The Aggies gained 148 yards on the ground, but that damage didn't lead to much scoring through the first three quarters. Because the Sooners went with a four-man front, tackles Stacy McGee, Casey Walker and Jamarkus McFarland got a lot of snaps and held up well. Washington's tip was a huge play.

Travis Lewis and Tom Wort: Incomplete

Wort went down with an ankle injury in the first half and didn't return to the defense, though he did stay in on special teams. Jaydan Bird played well in relief and had three tackles, including one for loss, and a pass breakup. Lewis had six tackles, but he too left with an injury. Lewis did allow Ryan Swope to get behind him for a 79-yard touchdown pass at the end of the second quarter that brought the Aggies to within 13-10 at halftime.

Defensive backfield: A

The "Sharks" were back to form after getting lit up the last time out on Owen Field. Ryan Tannehill had some success throwing the ball, but needed 63 attempts to reach 379 yards passing. Going into the fourth quarter, when the score was 41-10, Tannehill was just 18 of 42 passing with 221 yards and three picks. Safeties Aaron Colvin (seven tackles) and Joe Ibiloye (six tackles) were stout against the run and cornerback Jamell Fleming in his first game back from minor knee surgery came up with two turnovers, a pick and a strip.

Special teams: A

Why not? Michael Hunnicutt made 29- and 39-yard field goals, Patrick O'Hara had five touchbacks on seven kickoffs and the Sooners didn't give up anything cheap in the return game.

Jake Trotter covers University of Oklahoma football for SoonerNation. He can be reached at trotterjake@gmail.com. and look for answers every Friday.

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