OU 24, UTEP 7 | Sept. 1, 2012 | El Paso, Texas
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|| Oklahoma Team Notes
With the 24-7 win, Oklahoma is 822-307-53 all-time, 90-22-6 in season openers and 33-12-2 in road openers. The Sooners are 12-2 in season openers under Bob Stoops, including 2-0 in road season openers.
The Sooners have won 11 straight non-conference games and are 50-12 under Stoops outside the Big 12.
OU leads the all-time series with UTEP, 3-0. Tonight marked the second time that Oklahoma has played its season opener against UTEP and the second in Stoops' tenure. The Sooners have outscored the Miners 147-24 in the three total meetings.
Three Sooners made their first career starts tonight against UTEP: sophomore defensive end Chuka Ndulue, junior right guard Bronson Irwin and freshman wide receiver Trey Metoyer. Justin Brown made his first start with the Sooners after starting 30 games in three seasons at Penn State.
Making their debuts with the Sooners were junior defensive back Kass Everett, junior tight end Brannon Green, freshman offensive lineman Nila Kasitati, freshman tight end Taylor McNamara, freshman wide receiver Trey Metoyer, freshman wide receiver Durron Neal, freshman wide receiver Sterling Shepard, freshman linebacker Eric Striker and junior running back Damien Williams.
Landry Jones' 68-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills was the longest play from scrimmage by Oklahoma since Jones hit Cameron Kenney for an 86-yard touchdown at Oklahoma State on Nov. 27, 2010.
The blocked punt returned for a touchdown by UTEP's Nathan Jeffery was the first by an OU opponent since Alabama's Lance Taylor did it on Sept. 7, 2002. The last blocked punt against OU was Stanford's Richard Simon in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31, 2009.
UTEP's blocked field goal in the first half was the first by an OU foe since Oklahoma State on Nov. 28, 2009.
|| Oklahoma Individual Notes
Landry Jones' two touchdown passes give him 95 for his career, passing BYU's Max Hall (2007-09) and into a four-way tie with Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury (1999-02), North Carolina State's Philip Rivers (2000-03) and Notre Dame's Brady Quinn (2003-06) for 18th-most all-time in NCAA FBS history.
With 222 passing yards tonight, Jones (12,601) moved past Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury (12,429), UTEP's Trevor Vittatoe (12,439), Missouri's Chase Daniel (12,515) and Louisville's Chris Redman (12,541) to move into 14th place in FBS history.
With 203 yards of total offense, Jones (12,318) moved ahead of Louisville's Chris Redman (12,129), Florida's Tim Tebow (12,232), Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury (12,263), Southern Miss' Austin Davis (12,267) and UTEP's Trevor Vittatoe (12,291) for 19th on the FBS career list.
Kenny Stills' 68-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter was the longest reception of his career, surpassing the 58-yarder he had against Texas Tech in 2010.
The touchdown gives him 14 for his career, tying him with Brandon Jones for 10th-most in OU history. Stills also has 128 receptions in his career, passing Eddie Hinton (123) for 10th-best at Oklahoma.
With six catches for 121 yards and a touchdown, Stills (1,756) moves ahead of Curtis Fagan (1,689) and Manuel Johnson (1,710) for eighth-most receiving yards in school history. It's the fourth 100-yard game of Stills' career, tying him with Eddie Hinton for fifth all-time at Oklahoma.
Stills finished the first half with four catches for 104 yards, becoming the first OU player with 100 yards in a first half since Ryan Broyles had 10 catches for 105 yards at Kansas State on Oct. 29, 2011. Stills' previous high for one half was 94 yards in the second half last season at Texas Tech on Oct. 22, 2011.
Demontre Hurst finished with three tackles and two pass breakups. Hurst now has 25 career pass breakups, passing Jamell Fleming (24) for eighth-most in OU history.
Chuka Ndulue earned the first sack of his career when he assisted on a first quarter-sack with David King.
Ndulue finished with a career-high seven tackles, besting his old mark of two which was set last year against Ball State on Oct 1, 2011.
Tress Way had punts of 54, 52 and 50 yards, giving him 61 punts of 50-yards or longer in his career.
Making his OU debut, Justin Brown caught four passes for 32 yards and returned 3 punts for 30 yards.
Trey Metoyer made the first catch of his career, a five-yard gain, in the third quarter. He finished the game with four catches for 21 yards.
Rashod Favors recorded the first four tackles of his career.
Brannon Green recorded the first catch and touchdown reception of his career when he caught an 18-yard pass from Landry Jones in the fourth quarter.
Damien Williams made his OU debut and finished with 9 carries for 104 yards. He scored on a 65-yard run in the fourth quarter, the longest run of his career and the longest by a Sooner since DeMarco Murray had a 70-yard run at Texas A&M on Nov. 8, 2008.
Williams is the first OU player to rush for 100 yards or more since Dominique Whaley had 165 at Kansas on Oct. 15, 2011.
|| Oklahoma Numbers of Note
R.J. Washington set a career high with six tackles, breaking his old mark of two, which he did six times.
Oklahoma has won 11 straight non-conference games.
Landry Jones now has 25 career games with two or more touchdown passes. OU is 23-2 in those games.
The OU defense held UTEP to just 48 yards passing, the fewest passing yards allowed since Oklahoma State had 47 on Nov. 28, 2009.
Saturday night's attendance.
|| UTEP Team Notes
Tonight's attendance was 40,137, the largest crowd for a UTEP home game since Sept. 20, 2008 versus New Mexico State (42,930). It marks the Miners' best crowd for a season opener in the Sun Bowl since Sept. 1, 2007 versus New Mexico (43,326).
The blocked punt return for a touchdown by Nathan Jeffery in the first quarter was the third by a UTEP player in the Mike Price era, and the first since Adrian James did so at Tulane last season. Nate Draughon had a punt return for a touchdown versus New Mexico in 2005.
UTEP's first quarter TD marked the first lead UTEP has enjoyed in the three-game series versus OU and ended a string of 89 consecutive points scored by the Sooners.
The blocked field goal in the second quarter by Horace Miller was the first by a Miner player since Will Osolinsky achieved the feat against Southern Miss in 2007.
Only once previously in the Mike Price era has UTEP missed its first three field goal attempts in a game. The first such occurrence was at Tulsa in 2004 when the Miners were 0-for-4 on field goals, misfiring from 37, 51, 33 and 56 yards.
UTEP failed to reach 100 yards passing for just the fourth time in 98 games under coach Mike Price. The other such occurrences came versus New Mexico in 2007 (81), New Mexico State in 2008 (95) and Texas in 2009 (44).
UTEP allowed less than 33 points to a Big 12 opponent for the first time in 12 matchups versus teams from the league.
UTEP rushed for 200+ yards in a season opener for the 11th time since 1965 (1969, 1974, 1976, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1991, 2002, 2010), and for the first time in an opener against an FBS opponent since 1991 (349 yards versus New Mexico).
UTEP had seven pass completions to seven different receivers tonight.
First-time starters for UTEP in the opener were WR Malcolm Trail on offense and SAM LB Aubrey Alexius, Mike LB A.J. Ropati & LCB Darren Woodard on defense.
UTEP is 41-49-5 in season openers and 32-18-3 in season openers in El Paso.
|| UTEP Individual Notes
Nathan Jeffery became the 14th Miner back to rush for 100+ yards in a season opener since 1950, joining Reeves Tevis (1955), Charles Bradshaw (1959), Leroy Johnson (1967), Robbie Rogers (1970), Mike Belew (1974), Robert Elliott (1976), Kevin Ward (1983), John Harvey (1987 & 1988), Patrick Bailey (1991), Toraino Singleton (1994), Paul Smith (1999), Howard Jackson (2002) and Donald Buckram (2009).
Jeffery set a school record for rushing yards in a season opener, eclipsing the 164 by Robert Elliott versus UT Arlington in 1976.
The 12 tackles for Josh Fely were a career high and he led the team in stops for the second time. The first occasion was versus Houston last season when he was credited with nine tackles.
Ian Campbell punted eight times for 367 yards, a 45.9-yard average. In 26 games for the Miners Campbell has averaged better than 45 yards per punt 15 times.