Every play matters but some stick out more than others. Each week Sooners Illustrated will look at the five plays that stood out in Oklahoma’s performance.
OU 48, Louisiana Tech 16
Play No. 1: Knight-to-Flowers on a fourth down conversion
First drive of the game and Bob Stoops was faced with a decision. OU had fourth-and-2 from the La Tech 30 yard line. Kicker Michael Hunnicutt has already shown he has the leg for a 47-yard field goal, but Stoops elected to go for it.
Quarterback Trevor Knight had running back Keith Ford wide open in the flat, but Ford wasn’t the first choice. He extended the play, broke out of the pocket and found a wide open Dimitri Flowers for an eight-yard gain and a first down.
The throw wasn’t pretty, but it didn’t need to be. Flowers sat down and made sure he caught it. OU would score on the very next play on a 22-yard run by Ford.
Knight said the play was huge for Flowers. Maybe a little jittery, Knight said Flowers was full of confidence and ready to roll after that.
OU was a perfect 4-for-4 on fourth downs in the game.
Play No. 2: Sanchez blocks the field goal
OU had already taken a 14-0 lead with three minutes left in the first quarter when Louisiana Tech decided to attempt a 51-yard field goal on fourth-and-8.
“The blocked field goal, I found a crease and fortunately I got my hand on it,” Sanchez said. “Striker made a play and returned it, and it created some momentum for us on offense.”
OU would score seven plays later on Ford’s second touchdown of the quarter.
Play No. 3: Sanchez with the interception
The second quarter started the same way the first one ended with more good plays from the Sooners. La Tech’s Cody Sokol was picked off by Sanchez on the first play of the second quarter.
From the press box, it was clear Sanchez was going to snag it, but it was all because of the pressure off the edge by redshirt freshman Ogbonnia Okoronkwo. Obo came in hard and low on Sokol and forced a short-armed throw that Sanchez was just waiting for.
In his first action, Okoronkwo fared well, even if he was only officially credited with one tackle.
Play No. 4: Ford shows he’s more than just a runner
Coming out of the gate in the second half and up 31-3, OU kept the foot on the gas pedal in the first drive. Knight connected with Ford on a 28-yard strike down the middle of the field.
Ford took a nasty hit from La Tech’s Kentrell Brice but had no problem holding onto the ball.
“They have really good hands,” Stoops said. “They have the hands, and they are better running the ball than about anyone else you can give it to.”
Ford was second on the team with 51 rushing yards, but he was actually the team’s leading receiver with four catches for 65 yards.
The offense utilized the backs in the passing game in a huge way as Alex Ross also had two catches for 31 yards.
Play No. 5: Barnett punts
Under four minutes in the third quarter and somebody had to wake up punter Jed Barnett. The OU offense was so efficient throughout the night, it was the only time he was used.
Barnett’s punt went 43 yards, and he was never seen again. It was already 41-3 at that point as OU made the statement it wanted to on opening night.