After outscoring its last three opponents by a score of 180-34, Oklahoma continued right where it left off against Iowa State on Saturday as the Sooners beat the Cyclones 52-16 inside of Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium.
Baker Mayfield threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns while Charles Tapper paced the defense with two sacks in the OU victory.
There was a sense the Cyclones were going to give a solid fight after they quickly drove 50 yards down the field on their first drive and capped it off with a 43-yard field goal by their kicker Cole Netten. Turns out, it was the only lead the Cyclones would hold all day.
Oklahoma wasted no time with a response. On the first offensive play, Mayfield handed the ball to Semaje Perine who ran right and pitched to Sterling Shepard who appeared to be sprinting for the wide receiver reverse towards the left side of the field. Instead of continuing the reverse, Shepard flicked the ball back to Mayfield, who then set his feet and found a wide open Dimitri Flowers down the field for a 75-yard touchdown.
OU fans were roaring with excitement, while head coach Bob Stoops and offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley were celebrating like kids in the candy store on the sideline.
Just moments before, Iowa State was fired up after its first drive resulted in three points, but after the Sooners’ successful trickery, ISU looked as if it were punched in the gut—and that showed on its next offensive possession when the Cyclones went three-and-out.
After cornerback Dakota Austin made a tremendous interception and returned it to the Cyclones’27 yard line, the OU offense needed only one play to score yet again. This time Mayfield connected with Dede Westbrook across the middle for a 27-yard touchdown that gave the Sooners a 14-3 lead halfway through the first quarter.
The Sooners weren’t finished bringing the heat in the opening frame.
OU drove the ball 40 yards on five plays, and capped off its longest offensive drive up to that point with a 17-yard touchdown run by Mayfield. It wasn’t just your everyday touchdown run that you see from most quarterbacks. Mayfield scanned the field before taking off, cut back right across the field and hurdled to avoid a diving ISU defender. Mayfield brought his “A” game yet again, and the Sooners were rolling along with a 21-3 lead while 3:33 remained in the first quarter.
After an exciting opening quarter, the Sooners’ offense seemed to let off the pedal a little bit in the second frame and failed to score while ISU tacked on two more field goals to make the score 21-9 at halftime.
Then the Sooners’ offense did exactly what they’ve done each of the previous five games: score on the opening drive of the second half. Austin Seibert was able to redeem himself from a first-half miss, and nail a 37-yard field goal to increase the Sooners’ lead to 15 points.
Those three points were the elixir the Sooners needed to get going again on offense.
On the next OU drive, the Sooners were moving quickly, and went 82 yards on eight plays to add another touchdown to their point total. This time Perine got in on the action and rushed for an eight-yard touchdown to make the score 31-9.
Iowa State looked to be ready with a response, and drove the ball all the way to the Sooners’ six-yard line, but the OU defense refused to break. The Cyclones opted to go for it on fourth and goal, and linebacker Jordan Evans was able to deflect the ISU pass and get the ball back into the hands of the Sooners.
Then two plays later, Mayfield put the game away.
The Heisman contending quarterback connected with a wide open Sterling Shepard in stride for a 76-yard touchdown to give OU a 29-point lead with only a minute left in the third quarter.
Big-play touchdowns were the story of the first three quarters for OU. The Sooners scored touchdowns of 74, 8, 27 and 75 yards, and they wanted to continue that big-play fun in the fourth quarter.
On OU’s first drive of the final frame, freshman running back Joe Mixon sprinted through a gaping hole in the line of scrimmage and 56 yards later he found the endzone. Then on the next possession, backup quarterback Trevor Knight hooked up with tight end Mark Andrews for a 55-yard touchdown to make the score 52-9.
Shepard finished the game with 94 yards receiving and a touchdown, while Durron Neal totaled 10 catches for 75 yards. Flowers, Westbrook and Andrews also had receiving touchdowns for the Sooners.
OU had another solid day on the ground, with Perine rushing for 95 yards and a score while Mixon totaled 88 yards and a touchdown as well.
Ahmad Thomas led OU in tackles with 10 while Austin added nine from the cornerback position. Along with Tapper’s two sacks, both Charles Walker and Eric Striker were able to get to the quarterback and each had a sack in the game.
OU will be back in action on Saturday when they travel to Waco to play Baylor (8-0, 5-0). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.