Hard to believe defense could overshadow Knight’s first start, especially one where he threw for three touchdowns and delivered on the running ability that’s been touted since he dazzled his teammates as the scout team quarterback last season.
Knight’s passing numbers left a lot to be desired. He completed just 11 of 28 passing attempts for 86 yards. But it was a game where his confidence grew as the game went on.
After the first quarter, Knight was just 3 for 10 for seven yards and had led OU to just one first down. A crowd of 84,911 had every reason to panic.
Nerves calmed when Knight hit Jalen Saunders for a 12-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter. It was the first of four straight scoring drives that gave the Sooners a 20-point lead.
“We got more comfortable as the game went on and made some big plays,” Knight said. “The guys up front did a helluva job. We just got it going and came out on top. It was good.”
It was the running game that got going. The Sooners rushed for 269 of their 305-yard rushing total in the final three quarters.
Even they were stunned they could win a game by cramming the ball down a team’s throat.
“The offensive line played great, getting on their guys and pushing their guys. It just opened a lot of stuff in the running game,” Williams said. “I guess (offensive coordinator Josh Heupel) saw that and decided that we should keep pounding it.”
Late in the game, Clay looked at the offensive total on the scoreboard and saw the Sooners had just barely gone over 100 passing yards. They noticed because OU had a five-touchdown lead and was cruising to a season-opening victory and the backups were on the field.