Hurts So Good: Sooners Win Season Opener

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Oklahoma's football team got an impressive debut from new starting quarterback Jalen Hurts and cruised to a 49-31 win over Houston in their season opener Sunday night at Owen Field in Norman.

Hurts accounted for 508 total yards of offense, passing for 332 and rushing for 176, the second most by a Sooner quarterback ever in a single game.

Hurts joined Kyler Murray as the only OU quarterbacks to pass for 300 yards and rush for 100 in a single game.

The Sooners began the game on defense and forced a Houston punt after just three plays, capped by a sack from Kenneth Murray.

OU's offense then went to work, with Hurts at quarterback for the first time as a Sooner, and went 61 yards in just three plays to a touchdown.

Hurts passed to Jeremiah Hall for a 14-yard touchdown, with Hall reaching the ball across the pylon just as he got pushed out of bounds, giving OU a 7-0 lead with 12:21 to play in the first quarter.

The Cougars went three and out again on their second series, but Oklahoma couldn't score on their ensuing possession, hindered by a holding penalty, and then a missed 49-yard field goal attempt by Calum Sutherland.

Houston got a 27-yard run by D'Eriq King on their next possession, but were forced to punt again.

The Sooners then marched to the Houston 2-yard line as the first quarter ended.

On the second play of the second quarter, Hurts scored on a one-yard sneak to make it 14-0 with 14:10 to play in the second quarter.

Oklahoma added to the lead on their next possession with the first big pass play of the game, as Hurts found a wide open CeeDee Lamb for a 45-yard touchdown to cap a 77-yard, eight-play drive and it was 21-0 Sooners with 8:09 to play in the second quarter.

Houston finally broke through on offense, with D'Eriq King passing to Kyle Porter for a 23-yard touchdown to cut OU's lead to 21-7 with 4:58 to play in the first half.

Oklahoma was marching to try to respond to the score, but a turnover stopped the drive.

Hurts gained 43 yards on a run, then three plays later on a run, fumbled and the ball was recovered by Damarion Williams at the Houston 30-yard line.

The Cougars converted the fumble into a 34-yard field goal by Dalton Witherspoon to make it 21-10 Sooners with 26 seconds left in the first half.

Oklahoma got into position for a field goal to end the first half, but Sutherland missed a 36-yard attempt and it was 21-10 at halftime.

Hurts rushed for 128 yards in the first half, tying the most in a half by an OU quarterback, set by Jamelle  Holieway in 1985 vs. Kansas.

Oklahoma got the ball to start the second half and marched 75 yards in 5 plays, with Hurts passing to Charleston Rambo, who zipped 56 yards for a touchdown to make it 28-10 Sooners with 12:38 to play in the third quarter.

Rambo had 3 catches for 105 yards.

The Sooners used two big plays on their next drive to go 83 yards in just five plays to another score.

Kennedy Brooks gained 40 yards on a run, then Hurts passed to Jadon Haselwood for a gain of 42 yards to the Houston 3-yard line.

Hurts kept on the next play for a touchdown to make it 35-10 OU with 7:47 to play in the third quarter.

Houston responded on the ensuing possession, getting helped by OU penalties ,and then capping the drive on a 7-yard touchdown run by Mulbah Carr to cut OU's lead to 35-17 with 3:03 to play in the third quarter.

The Sooners answered with a six-play, 79-yard drive, with Hurts running for 24 yards to the Houston 1, then sneaking in on the next play for a touchdown to make it 42-17 Oklahoma on the final play of the third quarter.

Houston went on a nearly six minute drive to start the fourth quarter, and on 4th and goal from the OU 4-yard line, King passed to Marquez Stevenson for a touchdown to trim the Sooners' lead to 42-24 with 9:11 to play in the game.

Oklahoma turned it over on their next possession, as Rhamondre Stevenson was stripped of the ball by Derek Parish and Houston took over at the OU 42.

The Sooners got the ball back on downs, then Tanner Mordecai came on in relief of Hurts, but OU went three and out.

Houston then marched to another score, with King keeping for a 4-yard touchdown to cut Oklahoma's lead to 42-31 with 2:11 to play.

The Sooners weren't done yet, though, as Stevenson scored on a 21-yard touchdown run to make it 49-31 with 1:17 to play.

Hurts finished 20-for-23 for 332 yards passing and three touchdowns, and 176 yards on 16 carries with three touchdowns.

OU outgained Houston in total yards, 686 to 408.

The game was the season opener for OU in their 125th season of football, and was the first Sunday regular season game ever in program history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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