OU 24, UTEP 7 | Sept. 1, 2012 | El Paso, Texas
| Oklahoma 24, UTEP 7
That's a final from El Paso as Oklahoma sweats out a 24-7 win against the UTEP Miners. We'll have a complete recap, stats, game notes, quotes, photos and highlights soon. Thank you for following along with us here on SoonerSports.com and good night.
| Good Company
That 65-yard run by Williams was the longest by a Sooner since a certain current Dallas Cowboy went for 70 yards against Texas A&M back on November 8, 2008. Anyone remember DeMarco Murray? Not bad company Mr. Williams.
| Damien Williams
Damien Williams breaks loose on a 65-yard touchdown run and it appears the Sooners will escape El Paso with the win.
The kick is good, Oklahoma now up 24-7. UTEP's fans, so loud and boisterous for three quarters, are heading home.
| Stands Thinning
The clock drains down on the Miners here in the fourth quarter and Oklahoma sits on a 17-7 lead. The crowd is beginning to thin in the stands.
It's nearing midnight here in Mountain Time
| Moose Rewind
Here's an interview we
shot with junior tight end Brannon "Moose" Green during the preseason. Moose shared the origin of his nickname, his role in the offense and his excitement about putting on that OU jersey and helmet here in the season-opener:
FSN's J.C. Pearson on Landry Jones' OU touchdown pass: "That's the best ball he's thrown tonight. He put it right on the money." Also, Moose was so excited about the touchdown, he almost forgot about the extra point.
| Two Scores
First time all night we've breathed a little -- I'll repeat, just a little -- easier up here in the press box. Still a lot of time left on the clock (10:28) here in the fourth quarter. But, OU up by two scores.
Blake Bell dances behind the line, chooses his hole and plunges his body for the first down. Landry Jones nails Brannon "Moose" Green on the next play for the touchdown. Moose!
| Fake Snuffed
The OU defense snuffs out a fake punt by UTEP and takes over at the Miners' 41. The camera caught Jaydan Bird in his new No. 44 jersey after the play. Home-schooler out of Claremore, Caleb Gastelum came up big for the Sooners on that play.
| Heading to 4th
Third quarter draws to a close and
the Sooners are clinging to a slim 10-7 lead in El Paso. Obviously, not the opening performance expected for OU but goal at this point is getting out of town with a win. We're set for the deciding 15 minutes.
| Cramping Issues
Laura McKeeman of FSN reports that UTEP is dealing with some cramping issues, specifically senior WR Michael Edwards. That means RB Nathan Jeffery could get more looks in the passing game. He's rushed for 94 yards on 19 carries.
| Third Miss
Oklahoma's defense stiffens and forces the field goal try. UTEP misses its third attempt of the game. The Sooners are lucky to still have a lead. Tough night for the Miner kicking game.
| UTEP in Business
UTEP reels off a 71-yard run to dig itself out of hole on its opening possession of the second half.
The Miners are in business on OU's 36. Missed tackles contributed to that one...
| White Unis
Totally unrelated to football action, Oklahoma's white road uniforms under the lights are probably our favorite "combination" for the Sooners. Clean, crisp and unmistakably OU.
A lethargic game seems like it has slowed considerably here in the third quarter. We've crossed midnight and it's officially Sunday morning in Central Time.
| OU Takes First Lead
Oklahoma takes its first lead of the 2012 season as Michael Hunnicutt connects on a 38-yard field goal. Oklahoma 10, UTEP 7. OU's opening drive of the second half went 13 plays for 54 yards. 4:55 came off the clock.
| Bell, First Down
Oklahoma nets a first down on the first appearance of the Belldozer of the season. The Sooners continue to grind it out on their opening possession of the second half.
| Mike Stoops
FSN sideline reporter Laura McKeeman spoke with Mike Stoops coming out of the locker room after halftime and said the conversation revolved around stepping up the run defense and doing a better job of keeping the offense on the field. Stoops was pleased with the pass defense.
| Second Half
The Sooners open the second half with the ball. Let's play Oklahoma football and grind out a drive for a score! A crowd of 40,137 has just been announced by the press box PA.
| Price at the Half
UTEP head coach Mike Price on the first half via the TV broadcast: "I really like our defense. We're able to run the ball from tackle to tackle and then they put eight in the box and made us throw it. We've just been playing a chess game like that. I'm really proud of the job we've done so far."
| UTEP's QBs
UTEP is toggling quarterbacks, also using junior Carson Meger. According to FSN sideline reporter Laura McKeenan, the Miners are looking for more creativity with a mobile QB and will play Meger in spots. Meger had one rush for 10 yards in the first half.
We'll just say that was a challenging opening half to the season for the Sooners. The game is tied, 7-7, as the teams head for the locker rooms.
Miners' crowd giving the OU team an earful as the Sooners trot off the field. Stick with us...
| Stills Ties Hinton
This is now Kenny Stills' fourth career game with over 100 receiving yards. Stills moves into a tie with Eddie Hinton for No. 5 on OU's all-time receiving records.
| Not Special
A negative for the special teams as UTEP blocks OU's 44-yard field goal attempt. OU suffered a blocked kick for the first time since the Bedlam Game on November 28, 2009.
| Hurst Locks Down
UTEP's missed field goal was set up by lockdown defense from DB Demontre Hurst. A third-down pass intended for Miners' WR Michael Edwards, who was looking for the flag, went incomplete. The FSN announcers agreed with the no-call. Hurst has a pair of tackles and a PBU.
Here's a visual series of "firsts" for the Sooner football team for the 2012 season. First kickoff and play, first defensive formation and first offensive possession:
| Wide Right
UTEP's second missed field goal of the evening goes wide right and the score remains knotted at 7-7 with 9:29 remaining in the second quarter. Sooners up next with the ball.
| Hand Signs
We're pretty sure it's a law in Texas that every college football team must have a hand sign. The UTEP fans extend their thumb and pinky to resemble a pickaxe for the Miners.
We've been treated to plenty of the sign from fans shown on the big board.
| Frenzied Crowd
The crowd at the Sun Bowl has been in a frenzy so far. Mike Morgan on the FSN broadcast: "They were talking about this game all off-season. UTEP doesn't get a lot of opportunities to host the number four team in the nation."
| Remember Chuka
Much has been made of who would step up behind David King and R.J. Washington. From the TV broadcast, Mike Morgan has been impressed with Chuka Ndulue thus far: "Ndulue has made a statement in this first-half playing some very good football." Ndulue is currently tied for the team lead with four tackles.
| Going Long
Going back to that 68-yard TD bomb, it was Oklahoma's longest play from scrimmage since a 86-yard TD from Landry Jones to Cameron Kenney at Oklahoma State on November 27, 2010.
| Dialed Up
J.C. Pearson on conversation with UTEP head coach Mike Price: "They know that they can't line up and just go toe-to-toe with Oklahoma. They have to make some big plays. (Price) said in special teams, 'We have a lot of things dialed up. If we get the right look, we're not afraid to use anything at any time tonight.'"
| Brown Return
Justin Brown's first punt return for the Sooners went for 26 yards as he weaved his way through the Miners.
| Jones' Progressions
From the TV broadcast, J.C. Pearson on OU's touchdown play: "There you see some of the things Landry Jones worked on this offseason. He moved his feet, slid in the pocket, worked through his progressions and came all the way back to the other side of the field where Kenny Stills was one-on-one."
Landry Jones let's loose on a 68-yard bomb to Kenny Stills for Oklahoma's first touchdown of the 2012 season. It was Stills' longest catch of his career (59 yards vs. Tech in 2010 was previous long). Stills ties Brandon Jones for No. 10 on the OU career TD receptions list with 14. How about that arm strength from Landry? Jones now has 94 career TD passes.
| Special Teams Gaffe
UTEP blocks the punt and returns the ball for the score. The Miners take the 7-0 lead here early in the Sun Bowl.
It's the first blocked punt returned for a TD against OU since Alabama did it to the Sooners in Norman back in 2002.
| First Offense
Dominique Whaley gets the first carry in the first play for the
Sooner offense of the 2012 season. First pass of the season goes complete to Trey Millard. Starters on offense for the Sooners included: Johnson, Shead, Ikard, Williams, Irwin, Jones, Whaley, Millard, Stills, Metoyer, Brown.
| Stoops Pregame
FSN sideline reporter Laura McKeeman asked head coach Bob Stoops before the game about the statement Landry Jones needs to make tonight. Stoops responded, "I think more than Landry, it's the guys around him. Are they going to step up and make plays? That position always needs supported."
| King With Sack
David King and Chuka Ndulue split the first sack of the 2012 season, forcing a field goal try of 45 yards by UTEP.
It's wide left and the Sooners will take over on offense for the first time this season. That's the first sack of Ndulue's career and five and a half for King.
| Strength of the Offense
Previewing tonight's game in the inaugural edition of "OU Sooner Sports Game Day," on FSN, former OU assistant coach Chuck Long and former Sooner QB Steve Davis agree that the wide receiving corps will be the strength of the offense in 2012. Davis: "There's a lot of young talent there and I think they'll play big." Long picked the Sooners to win by 30.
Patrick O'Hara kicks off the game and the season as the Sooners open 2012 in El Paso.
The starters on defense for the Sooners: Washington, King, McFarland, Ndulue, Hurst, Colvin, Nelson, Ibiloye, Wort, Jefferson, Harris.
| Classy Move
In a classy move we're used to only hearing in Norman, the UTEP band just belted out the opponent's fight song to welcome us to El Paso. The Boomer Sooner
wasn't quite as robust as the Pride will play but we're impressed by the gesture. We thought only Oklahoma was hospitable like that. Classy move UTEP.
| Landry's Swag?
In a Landry Jones feature on Fox Sports Net's "2012 Oklahoma Sooners Football Preview," the conversation turned lighthearted when talking about Jones' weakness. Kenny Stills: "He struggles in the swag department. I have to tell him 'You can't wear this,' or 'You need some new shoes or a new shirt.' Every once in awhile he'll go on a shopping spree and ask me about his swag." The show will re-air Saturday from 7:30-8 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Net.
| Live Photos
The OU football team has arrived at Sun Bowl Stadium and is warming up on the field. The lights are on here in El Paso. Sooner fans can follow our live photo stream
on Facebook as we update throughout the game. Boomer!
| Rolling to Stadium
The OU football team is preparing to load the team buses for the short trek to Sun Bowl Stadium.
We'll take a break as we roll with the team, then we'll be back up once situated in the press box. Can you feel it? Sooner football is just a few hours away...
| Radio at 7:30 CT
From Hollis to
Miami, Idabel to Boise City and all points in between, Sooner fans are getting ready for tonight's season-opener for Oklahoma football. The Sooner Sports Radio Network goes live at 7:30 p.m. Central on Sirius 92, XM 190
or any of our 32 radio affiliates
across Oklahoma and the region. In addition, Sooner fans can listen to the OU radio broadcast of the game on 88.3 FM inside Sun Bowl Stadium here in El Paso.
| Adrenalin Pump
Let's get that blood flowing a little faster. Listen in
on an exclusive advance of Toby Rowland's intro to tonight's broadcast on the Sooner Sports Radio Network. Need to know the radio affiliate in your area? We've got you covered
| Revving Up
Sooners near and far are checking in on social media voicing their support for Oklahoma. Who have we seen? OU's latest Heisman winner, Sam Bradford, rallies the Sooner faithful from St. Louis. Use the #Sooners
hashtags to join the conversation. The team has completed its walk-through at Sun Bowl Stadium and is back resting in the hotel. Clock is ticking.
| Sooners Ready for Opener
We continue to monitor Instagram and Twitter for your posts with the #Sooners
hashtags. Keep them coming and you might see your pic on SoonerSports.com:
| Oklahoma's Captains
In the preseason, QB Landry Jones, OL Gabe Ikard, FB Trey Millard, DL David King and P Tress Way were elected by their teammates as captains for the 2012 Sooners. Learn more about this honor and the guys the OU players consider their leaders in this video feature from Sooner Sports' Jessica Coody:
| OU Network Info
Sooner Sports TV
will include OU network features, shows, live game action, classic content and more on existing FOX channels plus distribution online via SoonerSports.tv. Learn more here
| Sooner Sports TV
The OU Athletics Department launched Sooner Sports TV this morning with the Sooner Sports Gameday pre-game show. It aired live at 10 a.m. CT and will air again at 8:30 p.m. CT on FS Oklahoma. Fans can also catch all the feature and archived video online at SoonerSports.tv
. We're excited to share more exclusive Sooner programming with our dedicated fans across the nation and around the world. Watch for more information...
| Sooner Nation
We continue to monitor Instagram and Twitter for your posts with the #Sooners
hashtags. Keep them coming and you might see your pic on SoonerSports.com:
| Stepping Up
College football is all about who steps up next. Great players move on and young guys move up the depth chart. Here are a few tweets illustrating the point.
Junior offensive lineman Bronson Irwin
(Mustang, Okla.) is slated to start for the first time in his OU career tonight at the Sun Bowl. Now in the NFL, Travis Lewis and Frank Alexander take time to check in on their Sooners:
| Sooner Reports
We're bringing Sooner fans
even closer to the team they love with daily reports direct from Norman. This week, we had a preview of the season-opener on Monday, video features with Blake Bell, Gabe Lynn, Demontre Hurst, Lane Johnson on Tuesday and Wednesday, a fan FAQ on Thursday and ended with more features on Landry Jones and R.J. Washington on Friday. We'll continue throughout the season on SoonerSports.com:
Monday: Previewing OU's Season-Opener in El Paso
Tuesday: The Waiting Game, Blake Bell and Jordan Phillips
Wednesday: Gabe Lynn's Five Cents, Hurst and Johnson
Thursday: Answers to Fans' Frequently Asked Questions
Friday: Jones Back to El Paso, Washington Ready to Go
| #BeatUTEP on Twitter
Another new feature for this season includes game-specific hashtags for Sooners fans to use each week. If you have a post related to OU's game or looking for conversation surrounding the matchup, watch @SoonerSportscom
for the hashtag to use. We're scanning for your best comments and images on Twitter. Be sure to use #BeatUTEP
today and let's do it tonight!
Check out a sample below of images streaming on our new Instagram feed at "ou_football". Tag your pics #Sooners and we'll feature the best throughout the day. OU Social Media
| Live From El Paso
Good morning Sooner fans and welcome to September! We've officially moved to Gameday mode at SoonerSports.com as we bring you the latest direct from team headquarters in El Paso. The Sooners open the 2012 season against the UTEP Miners tonight at 9:30 CT. FOX Sports Net has the TV broadcast from the Sun Bowl. Sooner Gameday Central
has all the details.