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October 4, 2011

Four Weeks of Sooner Football, Four No. 1s

The Sooner Hot 11 is a SoonerScoop.com ranking, compiled by associated editor Josh McCuistion, of the previous Saturday's top performers and Oklahoma's 62-6 pummeling of Ball State was arguably the most dominant performance collectively between the offense and defense in several seasons. As would be expected there were roughly 18 players considered for the 11 spots that needed to be filled. So how did things work out and with all the stellar performances who took the top spot? For the fourth time in as many games, it's a new occupant at the top spot.

11. Jaz Reynolds, Wide Receiver - Stats: Five catches for 141-yards including a 56-yard touchdown.
Analysis: I won't pretend I was the first one to think it but it's hard to deny that the Sooners seem to have find the heir apparent to Cameron Kenney from last year. Reynolds is doing a great job working his way into space and the last two weeks has definitely shown an ability to do something with the ball after he has it. The one thing that goes unnoticed by many is that Reynolds is an able, and willing, downfield blocker so far this season.Last Week: No. 7
10. Jarvis Jones , Offensive Line - Stats: N/A.
Analysis:This one may surprise people but every time I watched Jones he was making quality plays and looked good moving around from start to finish. When you add in that he was solid not only at right tackle, but left tackle as well as at guard. Jones isn't quite himself yet and early in the game looked to be working a bit of rust off but it's hard to think him taking a boatload of the snaps in this one was a total coincidence.Last Week: N/A
9. Kenny Stills, Wide Receiver - Stats: Seven catches for 80-yards and a 7-yard touchdown.
Analysis: Stills isn't far behind Ryan Broyles in that we're all getting spoiled by how good his performances are from week to week. Stills continues to play such a perfect 'Robin' to Broyles' 'Batman' forcing defenses to respect what he can do down the field thus allowing Broyles to work his magic in the open space underneath. Keep an eye on Stills, something tells me he is one of those guys that we'll talk about their 'big game performances against Texas' for years to come.Last Week: N/A
8. Tom Wort, Linebacker - Stats: Four tackles, one fumble recovery returned for a 22-yard touchdown.
Analysis:Entering his second year Wort seems to be finding more and more consistency. When Oklahoma landed Wort most focused on his ability to stop the run but those who are watching are seeing a young linebacker that is finding more and more comfort in pass defense. Wort played great last year against Texas and will be a key piece to Oklahoma repeating their feats of last season in the Cotton Bowl.Last Week: N/A
7. Stacy McGee, Defensive Tackle - Stats: Three tackles (one solo), one tackle for loss.
Analysis: McGee is only getting spot playing time, for whatever reason, at this point in time but when he is on the field he looks like a playmaker at defensive tackle. Last season McGee always clear performed to his best in passing situations but on Saturday he made some plays in the ground game and is clearly now physical enough to stand up to the beating of the position - something he has worked toward since playing as a defensive end in high school .Last Week: N/A
6. Ryan Broyles, Wide Receiver - Stats: Four catches for 109-yards and two touchdowns (27, 64).
Analysis: To me it's just a matter of where he fit in each week but the thing I like most about Broyles' performance was it seemed like the first time all season where he was really able to get out into space and show off some speed. Broyles is great in traffic and we all know it but as the threat for him to make big plays grows in possibility it changes the way defenses are going to have to look at him.Last Week: No. 3
5. Landry Jones, Quarterback - Stats: 23-for-33 for 425-yards and five touchdowns (6, 7, 27, 64, 56).
Analysis: Bob Stoops said it after the Missouri game but I feel it even more this week, it's shocking that a guy can put up these kind of numbers and go largely un-discussed. Much as with Broyles perhaps we're all accustomed to Jones putting in one strong performance after another. In this one, at times it's hard to remember just where those 10 incompletions were as Jones was simply in cruise control from start to finish.Last Week: No. 5
4. Frank Alexander, Defensive End - Stats: Seven tackles (one solo), one pass break-up, one quarterback hurry.
Analysis: I'll go ahead and say it, if Alexander can put together another big performance against Texas I'll start reconsidering some of my long-held notions on the big man from 'the Boot'. Alexander didn't put up the same stats that he did against Missouri but was equally disruptive to any and all things that Ball State tried to accomplish offensively. He'll be needed again this week with the mobility of Texas' two quarterbacks and shaking up the young quarterbacks could be key to a Sooner win.Last Week: No. 1
3. Gabe Ikard, Offensive Center - Stats: N/A.
Analysis: This may be a product of watching Ikard so closely due to his first start at center but I can't imagine that Oklahoma had a lot of misgivings about his performance. The sophomore offensive lineman seemed to pick up all the calls as the concern that there might be defenders with a free run at were proven with very little basis. However, Ikard also did a nice job getting out on linebackers and into second-level blocks.Last Week: No. 8
2. Dominique Whaley, Running Back - Stats: 15-carries for 109-yards and two touchdowns (25, 1) along with two catches for 18-yards(.
Analysis: This guy just keeps doing things that make an impression. It's probably safe to say that Texas is still scrambling to figure out just what he is and just how to stop as no schools have shown any real ability to do it so far. Now mind you Whaley may not be running wild but if there is yardage to be found, he gets it. As we've talked about on the site for two weeks, it's Whaley's balance and footwork that makes him such a unique talent. And as importantly as anything else it seems that Whaley is breaking more and more lengthy runs, whether that's him or the offensive line…who cares? Last Week: No. 4
1. Tony Jefferson, Safety - Stats: Five tackles (three solo), three interceptions (three return yards).
Analysis: Everyone will talk about the interceptions but it was his work individually in space that really sold me on the idea of him being this week's top dog. Some of his tackles and the impact he made in the game outweighed even the turnovers. Jefferson is becoming one of the pacesetters for the defense and with all his talent it seems that there is a direct correlation between his play and how well the defense plays. Last Week: N/A



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