OU Report Card
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Monday, September 03, 2012
9/03/12 at 4:56 AM
Read more coverage
of OU’s win.
The Sooners totaled 427 yards. Kenny Stills had 121 receiving, Damien Williams 104 rushing. OU did not turn the ball over. Blake Bell was his old effective self in short yardage.
But don't be deceived - OU was dreadful in a seven-point first half and inconsistent at best over four quarters.
The revamped line and receiving corps struggled. Dominique Whaley was a little slow out of the gate. Landry Jones was self-critical in postgame.
The best thing that could be said was several new players got their first FBS game under their belt and should learn from the experience.
Nick Lamaison, UTEP's preseason All-Conference USA quarterback, completed 6-of-23 throws for 39 yards. Pass coverage was the standout on a night the Sooners did not allow an offensive touchdown.
The problem was a run defense that allowed 177 rushing yards by Nathan Jeffery. This from a player who gained 166 all last year. He broke UTEP's record for a season opener.
OU was gashed on a basic zone read for most of Jeffery's yards. He was impressive, but the Sooners were poor in tackling, and their outside defenders struggled in particular on the zone read.
Special teams: D-
The Sooners gave up a blocked punt for a touchdown, giving UTEP an early 7-0 lead and their fans an excuse to make a difference in the game.
The Miners nearly blocked Tress Way's next two before OU plugged some holes.
Michael Hunnicutt had a 44-yard field goal try blocked in the second quarter. Replays showed the try wouldn't have been close to the uprights had it not been deflected, thanks to Way's poor hold.
New punt returner Justin Brown ripped off a 26-yarder on his first try, but then let the next punt bounce past him for an extra 15-20 yards. The Miners had their own 25-yard return in the second quarter.
Oklahoma's Javon Harris tackles UTEP kick returner DeShawn Grayson during Saturday's game in El Paso, Texas. MARK LAMBIE / Associated Press
Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones throws against UTEP during Saturday's game. Jones completed 21-of-36 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns. MARK LAMBIE / Associated Press