December 9, 2008

Sooner Hot 11: Sooners Stifle Missouri

The Sooner Hot 11 is a ranking of the previous Saturday's top performers and in Oklahoma's 62-21 victory over Missouri there were several stars worthy of recognition and a familiar face has found his way to the Hot 11's top spot for the second straight week. Have a look at the player-by-player breakdown of Oklahoma's big win in a game that would eventually secure their spot in the BCS championship game. It was yet another dominating performance from the Sooner offense while the Sooner defense continued to show signs of growth against yet another productive Big 12 offense.

11. Ryan Broyles, Wide Receiver - Stats: Six catches for 85-yards.
Analysis: With his big-play ability people often lose sight of how steady and consistent Broyles has been for Sam Bradford. While he still needs some work as a downfield blocker Broyles has featured as both a deep threat as well as a player who isn't afraid to go across the middle and make the tough catch for the Sooners. With yards figuring to be tougher to come by in the Sooners' final game the latter quality will be important.Last Week: N/A

10. Brian Jackson, Cornerback - Stats: Four tackles (two solo), one fumble recovery, one interception (21-yard return).
Analysis: Jackson was the team's Mr. big play man on Saturday night, while he had a few troubles dealing with Missouri's receivers. Jackson's recovered fumble was something of the beginning of the end for Missouri as Oklahoma's defense started coming up with the stops it needed to if Oklahoma was going to win. His interception was a great read on a pass and the type of plays that Oklahoma's great defense of the early portion of this decade made routinely.Last Week: N/A

9. Jermaine Gresham, Tight End - Stats: Eight catches for 82-yards.
Analysis: After two straight weeks of matching up against his fellow Mackey award finalists there is little doubt left as to where that trophy should be sent this season. Gresham's hands had been questioned off and on through the season but the last two weeks he has made leaping catches, tip drill catches, and most importantly catches in traffic. Gresham is saying all the right things, but could he actually be back next year after the type of season he is having? If so, Big 12 defenses are in for even more sleepless nights.Last Week: No. 2

8. Mossis Madu, Running Back - Stats: 15 carries for 114-yards and three touchdowns (12, 1, 37). Two catches for nine yards.
Analysis: Madu's first introduction into the Hot 11 was a rousing success making the record-breaking touchdown on a run that will go down as one of Oklahoma's plays of the season. The talented sophomore from Norman high had been something of a forgotten man but perhaps the biggest piece of his effort on Saturday was the reality that the Florida Gators now know they have another offensive weapon to prepare for.Last Week: N/A

7. Brandon Walker, Offensive Guard - Stats: N/A.
Analysis: Walker hasn't been on the list in quite some time but go back and watch the film he more than earned his spot this week. Missouri's defensive line may lack any real star power but there is no denying that he was quite exceptional on the cold Kansas City night. This means that every single Sooner offensive lineman has been on the list at one point or another this season, it really exemplifies what a star-studded unit the Sooners currently possess.Last Week: N/A

6. Frank Alexander, Defensive End - Stats: Six tackles (one solo), 1.5 sacks (three yards).
Analysis: Alexander's highest ranking to date was part of perhaps his most consistent performance as a Sooner. He has been great against the run and great against the pass at different points in the season but Saturday night was his most complete effort. With the return of Auston English and presumably Alan Davis the Sooners should have a chance to get Alexander an actual breather against Florida. Such rest may cause an even more impressive performance.Last Week: No. 8

5. Juaquin Iglesias, Wide Receiver - Stats: Nine catches for 125 yards and two touchdowns (10,7).
Analysis: Iglesias is almost undeniably the nation's most under appreciated receiver. Last year he statistically dominated the much more talked about Malcolm Kelly and this year in spite of people talking about almost anyone other than Iglesias he is Oklahoma's first 1,000 yard receiver since Mark Clayton was a Biletnikoff finalist in 2003. Iglesias is no such finalist being overshadowed by a few other Big 12 receivers, but he has a chance to get a trophy that neither Clayton nor his contemporaries have.Last Week: No. 9

4. Travis Lewis. Linebacker - Stats: 13 tackles (five solo), 1.5 tackles for loss (five-yards).
Analysis: Oklahoma's superstar linebacker had yet another amazing performance slowing Missouri down in both run and pass defense. Lewis may not have had any of his highlight reel plays that he has become known for but it was a performance that would leave very few players disappointed in their effort. Lewis still isn't receiving the full notoriety he deserves nationally but with the game of the year on his horizon next year he could really emerge as a pre-season All-American.Last Week: N/A

3. Chris Brown, Running Back - Stats: 27-carries for 122 yards and three touchdowns (4, 6,6). Three catches for 14-yards.
Analysis: Brown took over the role as Oklahoma's feature back with Demarco Murray going down on the first play of the game and Brown couldn't have seemed more comfortable in his own shoes. Brown was his always steady self after having several weeks of big plays and just seemed to keep the chains moving for the Sooner offense. Not his greatest performance but when Murray went down Oklahoma needed a steadying force and Brown more than provided it.Last Week: No. 6

2. Quinton Carter, Safety - Stats: Eight tackles (five solo), one pass break-up.
Analysis: Some people may be surprised but I'll always give credit to things outside of the stat line and there is absolutely no way of denying that Carter brought an attitude to Oklahoma's defense that had been lacking since tye days of Brandon Everage and Roy Williams. Carter made it clear early on that any runs into the secondary or passing routes across the middle were going to be met with hostile intentions, something that seemed to creep into the mind of Missouri's receivers more and more as the night wore on.Last Week: N/A

1. Sam Bradford, Quarterback - Stats: 34-for-49 for 384-yards and two touchdowns (10, 7). One carry for seven yards.
Analysis: I know, I know, cue the broken record. Bradford just could not have been anywhere else on this list other than on top of it. Bradford was immensely accurate and seemed to make a stream of never-ending correct decisions with the ball. Even if an attempted pass doesn't work out you can often see what his plans were and more often than not it's hard to find fault with it.Last Week: No. 1

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