NORMAN, Okla. -- The Oklahoma Sooners finally got their running game going in the second half but it took a punt return from Jalen Saunders to save the season.
OU blasted by the Iowa State Cyclones with a big second half in the 48-10 victory Saturday, but Saunders' 91-yard kickoff return with 1:09 left before halftime shook the Sooners out of a funk and tied the game at 10-10.
Oklahoma ran for 209 yards in the third quarter after a first half where it managed just six first downs. The Sooners went on to score 38 points in about 22 minutes.
Running back Damien Williams scored on the second play of the third quarter on a 69-yard run, Brennan Clay added a 63-yard run and the Sooners added a field goal for a 17-0 quarter.
Trevor Knight, who replaced starting quarterback Blake Bell in the second quarter after Bell suffered what looked like a head injury, went for a 56-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Trainers took away Bell's helmet later in the quarter. He stayed on the sideline the rest of the game. Bell's status for next week is unknown, but Knight will likely be the starter.
Knight started the season as the Sooners' quarterback, but was injured in the third quarter of OU's second game. He missed the next game with the leg injury but never returned as the starter. He'll start next week at Kansas State, though, because he was the better quarterback Saturday against Iowa State.
Knight wound up 8-of-14 passing for 61 yards, but it was his legs that made the difference. Knight went for 123 yards on 10 carries.
No. 18-ranked Oklahoma improved to 8-2 overall and 5-2 in the Big 12 Conference. Iowa State is 1-9 and 0-7.
In the first half, both Knight and Bell struggled. OU had 25 yards of offense on nine plays in the first quarter. The Sooners wrapped up the first half with 110 yards and just 44 yards passing.
Once again, the Sooners struggled in the first quarter, getting shut out. They have no first-quarter touchdowns all season. Iowa State got out to a 7-0 lead with a Sam Richardson 4-yard touchdown run with 14:18 to go in the second quarter. The teams traded field goals before Saunders went for his touchdown run.
Oklahoma had 523 yards of offense, including 405 on the ground. Iowa State had just 291 yards of offense and ran for 103, including 50 on 13 carries from Aaron Wimberly.