Eric Gray, offensive line provide strong performance on a tough day for Sooners offense

It was tough going for the Oklahoma Sooners offense in their 27-13 win over Iowa State on Saturday. The offense totaled just 332 yards on the day and was just 7 of 17 on third downs.

It’s a credit to Iowa State’s defense, who continued their strong season, limiting an Oklahoma offense that racked up 700 yards of total offense just two weeks ago against Kansas.

Dillon Gabriel and the passing game had some struggles, generally because Marvin Mims had a rough outing. But with the way the Sooners’ defense was playing, the passing game didn’t need to be as explosive as they’ve been at times this season.

As a team, Oklahoma’s rushing attack put up 186 yards and averaged 3.9 yards per carry in the win. The Cyclones came into the week nine matchup allowing just 3.3 yards per carry and 105.3 yards per game this season.

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On a day when the offense was slowed down, the Sooners got another strong game from Eric Gray and the offensive line in the running game. Eric Gray earned his fifth 100-yard day and averaged just over 5 yards per carry for the game. Gray had five more runs of 10 yards or more, continuing to show off explosiveness regardless of the defense they face.

“Eric has been really tough all year,” Brent Venables said after the game. “He loves to compete and is the same guy every single day, every single play doesn’t matter what drill it is or what just happened. He responds and is mature beyond his years. He just loves his teammates, a very selfless guy. I don’t know any injury and where that is right now. Had a big smile on his face a few minutes ago.”

Not only has he been as advertised with his agility and elusiveness, but he’s been a tough, physical runner at the point of attack as well, often picking up dirty yards when that’s all there is to gain.

Anton Harrison (80.5) and McKade Mettauer (75.5) led the way for the Sooners’ offense in grades from Pro Football Focus. The offensive line has been playing really good football for some time now, and Saturday’s performance against Iowa State was another feather in their cap.

The passing offense will be better, and Marvin Mims will have better performances down the stretch, but the running game and the offensive line stepped up. The Sooners got just what they needed in the running game. A tough performance to carry the offense against arguably the best defense in the Big 12.

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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire