Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

September 3, 2012

OU NOTEBOOK: Stopping the big play

NORMAN — One thing Oklahoma can hang its hat on after Saturday’s 24-7 victory over UTEP was the play of the secondary. It held the Miners to 48 passing yards on Saturday.

“I thought all of them played good,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “The corners were excellent all night. The whole secondary competed, which was a positive sign for us. So to limit someone to 48 yards passing is hard to do … We have to feed off of that.”

To put it into context, the Sooners gave up an average of 241.5 passing yards a game last season and allowed over 400 yards twice last season.

UTEP quarterback Nick Lamaison was just 6-for-23. He was making his ninth career start and threw for 1,1718 yards in 2011.

Freshmen impact: A lot was made of OU’s freshmen class, but they didn’t have much of an impact against UTEP. Only four true freshmen played in the game. Wide receiver Trey Metoyer was the only starter. Tight end Taylor McNamara played a significant amount of plays, but didn’t have a catch. Wide receivers Durron Neal and Sterling Shepard were on the field for a handful of plays, but neither had a reception and linebacker Eric Striker played on special teams, but didn’t have a tackle.

Moving into the top 10: Wide receiver Kenny Stills moved into OU’s top 10 in two career categories on Saturday. His 68-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter game gave him 14 for his career, tying him with Brandon Jones for 10th-most in OU history. Stills now has 128 receptions in his career, passing Eddie Hinton (123) for 10th-best in the program’s history.

Extending the lead: OU leads the all-time series with UTEP, 3-0. Saturday marked the second time that OU has played its season opener against UTEP and the second in Stoops’ tenure. The Sooners have outscored the Miners 123-14 in the three meetings.

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