Oklahoma Tops ULM 34-0 in Season Opener
NORMAN, Okla. – Cameron Blakes racked up a career-high 16 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss, but ULM could not overcome a strong Oklahoma rushing attack on Saturday night, falling 34-0 to the Sooners at the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in the season opener for both teams.
Redshirt freshman Trevor Knight, making his first start at quarterback for Oklahoma, did the most damage with his legs, leading all players with 103 rushing yards on 13 carries. Knight also completed 11 of his 28 passes with three touchdowns and one interception on the night.
For the Warhawks, Kolton Browning went 20-of-39 for 128 yards and an interception. Rashon Ceaser and Je’Ron Hamm each notched five receptions, with Ceaser gaining 39 yards to Hamm’s 38.
Both sides traded possession early, with ULM having the best opportunity to score. After fair catching the ball on their own 36-yard line, Browning engineered a drive deep into Oklahoma territory. The senior completed four of his five passes on the drive for 26 yards; the last, however, was called back due to an offensive pass interference call. Backed up to the Sooners’ 39, Browning took another deep shot to Kenzee Jackson, but the receiver was ruled just out of bounds, putting an end to the drive.
Oklahoma struck first early in the second quarter to take a 7-0 lead. Knight found Jalen Saunders on an 12-yard slant to the left side of the end zone, and Michael Hunnicutt converted the extra point to give the Sooners their first lead of the contest at the 11:15 mark.
ULM was able to pick up a handful of yards on the ensuing drive, but Justin Manton was called in after the drive stalled on the team’s own 37. Saunders fielded the fair catch at Oklahoma’s 23, setting up the second scoring drive of the night for the Sooners.
Keyed by two big passes from Knight, Oklahoma drove all the way down to ULM’s 24-yard line. On the first, Knight found Jaz Reynolds for 12 yards to Oklahoma’s 46, and he struck Sterling Shepard for an 11-yard gain to ULM’s 43. The remainder of the yards on the drive were picked up on the ground, culminating in a 41-yard field goal by Hunnicutt.
The Sooners regained possession after stymying the ULM offense into a three-and-out. Fielding another fair catch at its own 28-yard line, Oklahoma turned to its ground game to move the ball against the Warhawks. Knight began the drive with an 11-yard gain, and Damien Williams added four rushes for 18 yards. ULM’s defense finally halted the drive at its own 16-yard line, setting up a successful 33-yard field goal by Hunnicutt to give Oklahoma a 13-0 lead.
Set up with excellent field position after Julian Wilson picked off a pass by Browning, the Sooners again stayed on the ground. Knight had a pair of long runs totaling 32 yards, and Brennan Clay finished the drive with an 8-yard plunge into the end zone to give Oklahoma a 20-0 advantage.
Following a turnover on downs by ULM, Oklahoma took over on the Warhawks’ 18 and needed just one play to find the end zone. Knight found Saunders open on a short route to the right, allowing the receiver to run unopposed for his second touchdown of the night to put the Sooners up 27-0.
A return by Saunders all the way down to the ULM 20 set up the final scoring play of the night for the Sooners. Just three plays into the drive, Knight found Trey Metoyer for the 13-yard score and the 34-0 lead.
The Warhawks will return to action next Saturday, Sept. 7, at 6 p.m. as they welcome Grambling State to Malone Stadium for the first home game of the season. ULM is 2-0 all-time against the Tigers, earning a 35-7 victory in the last meeting on Sept. 10, 2011, in Monroe. The game will be televised on ESPN3 and live stats will be provided here on ULMWarhawks.com.
11:15: OU – 12-yard pass from T. Knight to J. Saunders (M. Hunnicutt XP), 14-78-4:06 OU 7-0
5:34: OU – 41-yard field goal by M. Hunnicutt, 13-53-3:00 OU 10-0
0:39: OU – 33-yard field goal by M. Hunnicutt, 11-56-4:12 OU 13-0
10:42: OU – 8-yard run by B. Clay (Hunnicutt XP), 5-47-1:39 OU 20-0
3:07: OU – 18-yard pass from T. Knight to J. Saunders (M. Hunnicutt XP), 1-18-0:09 OU 27-0
0:38: OU – 13-yard pass from T. Knight to T. Metoyer (M. Hunnicutt XP) 3-20-1:24 OU 34-0
4th QuarterNo Score