Sooners pound Louisiana Tech to open season
Norman, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - Keith Ford and Alex Ross each rushed for a pair of touchdowns as fourth-ranked Oklahoma kicked off its 2014 season with a 48-16 rout of Louisiana Tech.
Ford added a team-high 65 receiving yards on four catches while amassing 51 yards on the ground on nine carries, with Trevor Knight chipping in 253 yards and a touchdown through the air in the Sooners' fifth straight season-opening triumph.
Knight finished 19-of-34 with one interception for Oklahoma (1-0), with freshman Samaje Perine amassing 77 yards and a touchdown on 13 rush attempts.
Cody Sokol threw for a pair of touchdowns in a losing cause for Louisiana Tech (0-1). Sterling Griffin led the Bulldogs with seven catches for 74 yards, while Trent Taylor had 68 yards and a touchdown on four grabs.
Sokol ended with 191 yards and was intercepted once on 22-of-36 passing.
Oklahoma wasted little time asserting its superiority, with the defense forcing a three-and-out on the game's opening drive and Ford and Ross leading an 8-play, 70-yard jaunt on the Sooners' initial possession.
Ford capped the sequence by breaking free for a 22-yard touchdown 4 1/2 minutes into the contest.
The Bulldogs failed to generate a first down on their following series, and Oklahoma got the ball back near midfield after a 17-yard punt return by Sterling Shepard. The Sooners needed just five plays to reach the end zone again, with Shepard hauling in Knight's well-thrown sideline fade for a 16- yard touchdown with 6:18 left in the first quarter.
Oklahoma's next drive began in Louisiana Tech territory after the Bulldogs' Jonathan Barnes had a field goal attempt blocked and run back 20 yards by Eric Striker. An 18-yard connection from Knight to Shepard later gave the Sooners a 1st-and-goal that set up Ford's 5-yard burst for a 21-0 lead.
Sokol was then intercepted by Zack Sanchez near midfield, and a 16-yard catch- and-run by Ross led to Michael Hunnicutt's 39-yard field goal that extended the margin early in the second quarter.
Oklahoma tacked on one more score prior to the half, with Perine doing much of the work on an 11-play, 72-yard march culminating in Ross' 1-yard burst that staked the Sooners to a commanding 31-0 advantage.
The Bulldogs finally got on the board just before the intermission, as a pair of completions from Sokol to Taylor that totaled 41 yards enabled Barnes to boot a 36-yard field goal with four seconds on the clock.
Knight came out razor-sharp to begin the second half, though, hitting on four straight passes on the initial drive of the third quarter to quickly place Oklahoma inside the Louisiana Tech 10. Ross followed with an 8-yard run to extend the lead to 38-3.
Hunnicutt knocked through a 37-yard field goal after the Bulldogs again went three-and-out for the final points of the third quarter. Louisiana Tech responded with its best offensive series to date, with Sokol going 4-for-5 on a 9-play, 59-yard possession he ended with a 6-yard scoring delivery to Kenneth Dixon.
Ross took back the ensuing kickoff 80 yards to the Louisiana Tech 14, however. Two plays later, Perine broke the goal line from seven yards out to put the Sooners up 48-10 a minute into the fourth quarter.
Sokol's 22-yard strike to Taylor with 37 seconds remaining closed out the scoring, with Barnes misfiring on the extra point attempt.
The game was the 200th for Bob Stoops as Oklahoma's head coach ... Louisiana Tech fell to 0-21 against top-25 opponents since last beating a ranked team in September of 1999, a 29-28 road upset of Alabama ... The Sooners improved to 6-0 in August under Stoops and have outscored the opposition by a 253-48 margin in those games ... The schools had never met previously.
08/31 01:01:33 ET