Oklahoma nowhere without place-kicker Zach Schmit, punter Michael Turk, without whom Sooners would have been nowhere in Ames on Saturday
The kickers won it.
Not the Sooner offense, which moved the ball but was still out-gained by the Big 12’s most anemic offense; which scored the grand sum of two touchdowns Saturday afternoon inside Jack Trice Stadium, one of them on a two-play, 2-yard drive set up by Danny Stutsman’s 37-yard interception return late in the fourth quarter..
Nor the Sooner defense, not really, though it picked off three passes, which was great to see but still allowed 378 yards of Cyclone offense — significantly more than Oklahoma’s 332 — and more had it not been for the picks, two of them almost entirely about Iowa State quarterback Hunter Dekkers and not much about Justin Broyles and Stutsman, who snared them.
Nope, it was the kickers.
Both of them, place-kicker Zach Schmit and punter Michael Turk, without whom OU’s 13 first-half points would have been zilch and without whom the Cyclones would have enjoyed immensely better fourth-quarter field position trying to tie things up as the Sooner offense went about suffering a trio of three-and-outs rather than putting the game away.
It finished 27-13 which, truth be told, was better than anybody predicted.
In the worst-conference-offense-vs.-worst-conference-defense category, OU held its own, in part because of the turnovers but also because it gave up no huge plays, played sound and sturdy, forced five punts and did not commit penalties.
In the best-conference-defense-vs.-a-middling-but-improving-conference-offense category, the Sooners did the same and would have done more had their best receiver, Marvin Mims, not come up with a case of the drops, finishing with two grabs for 16 yards.
But because the law firm of Schmit and Turk arrived on the scene in ways conventional and not, everything finished fine.
Oklahoma Columnist is a reader-supported venture. The best way to support this project is to take out a paid subscription for $6 per month, less if you purchase 12 months. As always, thanks for reading — Clay
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