The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

September 1, 2013

Sooners ground and pound way to opening win

NORMAN — Oklahoma emerged from its cocoon Saturday night as a completely different team from 2012. A program celebrated for throwing the ball became a running team. The same group mocked for suspect defense dominated in a 34-0 victory over Louisiana-Monroe Saturday night at Owen Field.

A metamorphosis is the only to describe what the Sooners displayed on the field.

“Probably fair to say,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “I hadn’t looked at it that way, but yeah, that’s a good assessment.”

The Sooners won and won handily despite only throwing for 124 yards — their lowest total in six seasons.

Instead, OU rushed for 319 yards, riding a bevy of running backs and redshirt freshman quarterback Trevor Knight.

Knight finished with 103 rushing yards and became the first OU quarterback since the 1980s to cross the century mark while running backs Damien Williams (66), Brennan Clay (43) and Roy Finch (44) combined for 151 yards.

The running game mixed with the Sooners’ first shutout since 2010, allowed Knight to settle in after a shaky start. Knight was just 3 for 10 for just 36 yards in the first quarter and OU gained just one first down during that stretch.

But the group that was last seen giving up more than 600 yards to Texas A&M in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, kept forcing punts from the Warhawks.

“That’s what we were expecting,” said linebacker Corey Nelson, who finished the night with OU’s only sack and two tackles for loss. “We wanted the mindset where we came in with a chip on our shoulder. We wanted to show people that we can play Oklahoma defense.”

It’s been years since OU truly relied on it, but it happened Saturday.

Louisiana-Monroe, which beat Arkansas and took Auburn and Baylor down to the wire last season, only had nine first downs and 166 total yards.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
OU Sports
  • _Y_R3186 Sooners succumb to Longhorns in run-rule shutout

    Oklahoma had its chances. The Sooners put eight runners on base Friday night against Texas, several times with no outs. And stranded every one of them....

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU draws even in rout of West Virginia

    As Oklahoma’s players jogged back to the dugout following the top of the first inning against West Virginia, no one appeared overly excited. It was the classic case of masking the emotions....

    April 19, 2014

  • OU V Texas Casey sparks Sooners at the plate against Longhorns

    Oklahoma put runners in scoring position all night, but midway through Thursday’s series opener against Texas, the Sooners couldn’t do much with them. Heading into the bottom of the fifth, they had stranded a handful of runners, including ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Offense disappears in shutout loss to Mountaineers

    Everything Oklahoma did Thursday night looked rushed. It fell behind quickly, hacked at pitches early in counts and even recorded outs in a time-efficient manner....

    April 18, 2014

  • OU womens gym Sooners eager for title shot

    After fighting all season long to stay near the top of the women’s gymnastics rankings, the time has come for Oklahoma to show it belongs there. The NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships kick-off at 1 p.m. today and the second ranked ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shannon won’t face criminal charges

    Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon will not face criminal charges for an alleged sexual assault. Any punishment he receives will be through the University....

    April 18, 2014

  • Much riding on Red River rivalry series

    Coach Patty Gasso said before last weekend’s road trip to Baylor that the Big 12 championship would run through Waco. The Sooners took care of that, taking two of three from the Bears to take control of the title race....

    April 17, 2014

  • Sooners hoping to keep momentum of marathon victory

    Practice was brief Wednesday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Rest was more important than work after what Oklahoma had gone through the previous night....

    April 17, 2014

  • OU’s Hornbeak to transfer

    In a surprising decision, sophomore guard Je’lon Hornbeak informed Oklahoma’s coaching staff on Tuesday he will transfer at the end of the spring semester....

    April 16, 2014

  • BedlamBaseball2 Sooners prevail in 18-inning Bedlam showdown

    STILLWATER — Oklahoma hoped a little more pop in the lineup would serve as an energy injection....

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook