TBO.com: Tampa Bay Online, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather.
  • Home
Football Bowl Subdivision

                     === Oklahoma shuts out ULM in opener ===
 Norman,  OK (Sports  Network) - Oklahoma needed to fine-tune its defense after
 it  floundered down  the stretch last season, especially after losing its star
 quarterback Landry Jones to the pros.
 The defense stifled one of last year's giant killers in the season opener.
 Oklahoma  ran for  305 yards  and  held the  Warhawks  to 166  total yards  in
 the No. 16 Sooners' 34-0 thrashing of Louisiana-Monroe.
 "Any time you  can rush  the football that  way, over 300  yards, that's a big
 positive,"  said Oklahoma  head coach Bob Stoops. "I thought our running backs
 did a great job. There wasn't a ball on the ground all day. They ran physical.
 It was positive."
 Oklahoma's  defense  allowed 37.8 points  per game over  its last five tilts a
 year  ago,  including giving up  a staggering 633  yards to Johnny Manziel and
 Texas A&M in a 41-13 loss in the Cotton Bowl.
 The  Sooners  (1-0),  who  outgained  the Warhawks  (0-1)  429-166,  held  ULM
 to  a 2-of-16  efficiency on third down. The Warhawks crossed midfield on just
 two occassions and recorded only nine first downs.
 Freshman  quarterback  Trevor Knight, who  beat out  junior Blake Bell for the
 starting  job, tossed  three  touchdown passes,  but  completed just  11-of-28
 passes  for 86  yards with an interception  for the Sooners, who went 10-3 and
 8-1 in the Big 12 last year.
 Knight  also ran  the ball 13 times  for 103 yards, Damien Williams tallied 66
 yards  on 16  touches and Brennan Clay  registered 43 yards and a score on the
 ground in the triumph. Jalen Saunders hauled in two touchdowns.
 The Sooners ran 50 times as opposed to just 33 passes.
 Senior  quarterback  Kolton Browning, who  led the  Sun Belt with 29 touchdown
 passes  a  year ago, was  20-of-39 for 128 yards  with an interception for the
 Warhawks,  who  defeated then-No. 8 Arkansas  34-31 in an overtime thriller in
 last year's season opener.
 "They  took  it to  us and we  didn't respond very  well," said UL-Monroe head
 coach  Todd Berry. "We knew that we were facing a great football team. A well-
 coached  football team.  But, quite honestly, I thought we had a chance coming
 in, based off of past history and all other kinds of things."
 The  Sooners  attempted to  bring Knight  along quickly  over their first four
 possessions  of  the game.  Nine of  OU's first  14 plays were called  passes,
 but  the freshman  completed just three of them for seven yards. Oklahoma also
 tallied three three-and-outs.
 But  then  the Sooners  turned to  their ground game  and the momentum shifted
 toward their favor.
 Oklahoma  carried the  ball 11 times for  66 yards on a 14-play, 78-yard drive
 that  bridged  the first two  quarters before Knight  found Saunders for a 12-
 yard score.
 Michael Hunnicutt booted through field goals of 41 and 33 yards, respectively,
 as the Sooners took a 13-0 advantage into the break.
 Oklahoma  capitalized on  back-to-back ULM turnovers to start the second half.
 Julian  Wilson intercepted  a Browning pass over the middle to set the Sooners
 up  at  the  Warhawks' 47-yard  line.  Knight  rushed  for  17 and  15  yards,
 respectively,   on   back-to-back  quarterback  keepers  before  Clay  ran  in
 for an 8-yard score two plays later.
 ULM  was  unable to  convert a 4th-and-6  in its own  territory at the 16-yard
 line,  which led to an Oklahoma score a play later when Knight hit Saunders in
 the flat for an 18-yard touchdown and a 27-0 OU margin.
 Knight  hit  Trey Metoyer  for a  13-yard score late  in the  third to cap the
                                   Game Notes
 Knight  is  the first Sooner  quarterback to  rush for 100-or-more yards since
 Jason  White had 117  yards on Oct. 13, 2001  against Kansas ... Stoops earned
 his 150th win at Oklahoma,  which leaves him seven behind Barry Switzer on the
 school's  all-time  list  ...  The  Warhawks  lost  to  Ohio,  45-14,  in  the
 Independence  Bowl last  year  ...  The Oklahoma  defense  limited  ULM to  38
 yards  rushing  on 22 carries  ... Oklahoma  registered seven penalties for 78
 09/01 01:48:21 ET