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Iowa Vs. Oklahoma Recap, Insight Bowl 2011: The Numerical

The statistics that mattered in Oklahoma's 31-14 win over Iowa in the Insight Bowl, from the complete lack of offense, to the complete lack of offense. And punting.

3.3: Average gain by both teams in the first half. This was ... not the most exhilarating offensive contest, as evidenced by the number of "average gain" numbers in this recap. Oklahoma took a 14-0 lead into halftime despite gaining just 89 yards, thanks to one good drive and a five-yard touchdown drive following an interception. They went three-and-out on their other four possessions, but that was still better than Iowa, which gained 144 yards but punted four times, threw an ill-timed pick, and turned the ball over on downs at the Oklahoma 9 in their only good drive. With Iowa's Marcus Coker suspended and approximately 26 Oklahoma receivers injured, we had to figure the defenses would hold the advantage here. They did.

4.0: Average gain on passes to Trey Franks and Kenny Stills. Oklahoma's default top two receivers, neither made much noise -- 10 targets, five catches, 40 yards -- and both limped off of the field in the second half. Stills came back on to catch Jones' only pass attempt of the final 10 minutes. With the lead and no receivers, Oklahoma just handed the ball to "Belldozer" Blake Bell, the enormous backup quarterback-slash-short yardage back; it worked, and a 21-14 fourth-quarter lead turned into a 31-14 win.

4.6: Average gain on passes to Marvin McNutt, Jr. With Coker's suspension, extra pressure landed on the shoulders of McNutt and quarterback James Vandenberg to make plays. They could not. New starting running back Jordan Canzeri did not set the world aflame (22 carries, 58 yards), and for all intents and purposes, Jamell Fleming and the Oklahoma secondary ate McNutt's lunch. In the final game of a storied career, McNutt caught just four of 10 passes for 46 yards. And for good measure, he was attacked by the SkyCam.

In all, OU's defensive line made 5.5 tackles for loss (end R.J. Washington led the way with two sacks), and Iowa just could not sustain any offensive momentum.

19.8: Oklahoma's advantage in average starting field position. Thanks to turnovers and a nice kickoff return, the Sooners' average starting field position was their 41.5. Most of their game was played in Iowa territory, even if they weren't actually getting anywhere. Iowa, meanwhile, never actually started a drive beyond their 30-yard line. Average starting field position: their 21.7. Oklahoma punter Tress Way was one of the default MVPs, averaging 50.3 yards in six punts. Iowa was at enough of a disadvantage offensively that they needed to win the field position battle. Instead, they got obliterated in this regard.

31: Career receptions for former Oklahoma walk-on tight end Trent Ratterree. He gained 351 yards and scored three career touchdowns, including a three-yarder last night. I mention him for two reasons: 1) He is the younger brother of my high school best friend, and I will go out of my way to refer to anyone I've dunked in a pool. (Okay, I didn't dunk him. But his brother did. And I got sent home because his brother was grounded for it.) 2) In what was a pretty awful year for college football, it is nice to be reminded of the good stories. From first-hand experience, I know that Ratterree dreamed of being an Oklahoma Sooner since he was old enough to remember dreams. He was, as the song goes, Sooner born and Sooner bred. When I went to a Missouri-Oklahoma game with him in 1999, he refused to high-five the Missouri mascot. (This evidently upset Truman the Tiger enough that he would go on to live a life of vandalism.) An undersized tight end, he did not receive any major scholarship offers, but he was earning reps for a top program by his sophomore year, and despite quite a few injuries, continued to suit up and make hustle plays. His career ends with three bowl titles, three touchdowns, two Big 12 titles, and a trip to the national title game. Not bad, Trent.

Dec 31 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply