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Westbrook leads No. 14 Oklahoma past Iowa State

Westbrook leads No. 14 Oklahoma past Iowa State
Published On: Thu, Nov 03
Sep 21, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes running back Duke Johnson (8) returns a kick off in the first quarter asSavannah State Tigers linebacker Warren Sweet (46) defends at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

AMES, Iowa -- As good as Dede Westbrook was Thursday night against Iowa State and has been for Oklahoma, Sooners coach Bob Stoops saved his highest praise for Dimitri Flowers.

Saddled with the responsibility of being the top running back despite not having a single carry in his first two-and-a-half seasons with Oklahoma, Flowers came up big.

The junior rushed for 115 yards on 22 carries and had three catches for 34 yards and a touchdowns as the No. 14 Sooners hung on to beat Iowa State 34-24 in front of 50,662 at Jack Trice Stadium.

Westbrook yet again was sensational, catching seven passes for 131 yards and a touchdown and returning a kick 63 yards.

In Oklahoma's last six games, Westbrook has 1,012 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns overall -- 12 receiving.

Flowers, who typically plays fullback, was used in a variety of positions against the Cyclones. He lined up at tailback, fullback, tight end, wide receiver and even for a play at quarterback when the Sooners needed a short-yardage conversion.

"I don't believe I've ever seen a guy do all of that and so well in a game ever," Stoops said. "It tells you what an exceptional athlete he is."

Flowers was pressed into duty at tailback with just about 48 hours to go until game time when starting running back Joe Mixon was suspended for a game after a run-in with a parking attendant that issued him a ticket.

"I thought he would run pretty well," Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said. "He has such a good feel for the blocking schemes, because he's in there blocking so well. He has a great feel for what we're doing. We knew if we got in this situation, he would be productive."

The game didn't end in the first half as the Cyclones hung around. Oklahoma finally all but put the game away with seven minutes to play but perhaps the game's biggest play came just before halftime courtesy of Flowers.

Oklahoma had just regained the lead after briefly falling behind and Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield engineered a nine-play, 75-yard drive that was capped by his 11-yard touchdown pass to Flowers in the back of the end zone.

"That was a huge deal," Riley said. "Gave us a huge shot."

Mayfield completed 25 of 34 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns. The junior now has 31 touchdowns passes this season with just six interceptions.

While the Sooners (7-2, 6-0 Big 12) have turned things around since Big 12 play began, Iowa State has struggled.

The loss was the fifth consecutive for the Cyclones (1-8, 0-6). Four of the losses in conference play have come by 10 points or less.

"We're continuing to fight and continuing to battle and you know obviously it stinks when the score is not indicative of the strides and how our kids have played," first-year Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said.

Oklahoma's schedule has been relatively soft since a tough first five games that included a pair of non-conference games against top-15 opponents and Big 12 games against then-ranked TCU and rival Texas.

The Sooners made it through the stretch that included Kansas State, Texas Tech, Kansas and Iowa State without a loss but with plenty of questions remaining.

As good as the Sooners have been offensively, they've struggled to slow down defenses that have even one receiver capable of stretching them down the field.

Since an embarrassing performance against Texas Tech on Oct. 22 where the Sooners gave up 854 yards of total offense, Oklahoma's defense has been wanting to show that it wouldn't be defined by that game.

"We were embarrassed," defensive lineman D.J. Ward said. "We can't let anything like that happen again. Now's our chance to start proving that we're better."

NOTES: There was a pregame moment of silence for a pair of Des Moines-area police officers Justin Martin and Anthony Beminio killed Wednesday in an ?ambush-style attack. ... Oklahoma LB Kapri Doucet, who was going to have to miss the first half of Thursday's game anyway after being flagged for targeting in the second half of the Sooners win over Kansas a week earlier, missed the entire game due to injury. ... Iowa State sophomore RB Mike Warren missed the game with an ankle injury. Warren went through some warmups but was unable to play after suffering the injury in the Oct. 29 loss to Kansas State. ... Oklahoma hosts Baylor on Nov. 12. ... Iowa State plays at Kansas.

Read the complete news article here...

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