Running backs Keith Ford (nine carries for 51 yards and 2 touchdowns), Alex Ross (11-36-2) and Samaje Perine (13-77-1) led a ground attack that rolled off 185 yards, nearly a five-yard per carry average and scored the most rushing touchdowns since 2012 against Texas.
In the first game since its Sugar Bowl victory against Alabama and after a tumultuous offseason, Oklahoma (1-0) wasted no time forcing its will upon Louisiana Tech (0-1), which totaled just 89 yards in the first half and 56 on its final drive of the second quarter.
Knight, out to prove that the Sugar Bowl wasn’t a fluke, wasn’t perfect, but he was strong enough in the majority of the Sooners’ first-half drives to prove that he can be a playmaker – or a distributor – for the Sooners. Knight also rushed for 17 yards.
Knight, who surprisingly played the entire game with back-up Cody Thomas suffering from a muscle strain, hit seven different receivers Saturday night, and the Sooners finished the game with 438 total yards.
Oklahoma’s defense, which played much of the game without starting middle linebacker Jordan Evans after a targeting disqualification, held Louisiana Tech to four three-and-outs on their seven possessions. One of those three possessions ended with a Zack Sanchez interception. Sanchez also blocked a field goal in the first half that led to the Sooners’ third touchdown.
By halftime, Oklahoma had more points (31) than Louisiana Tech had plays (30).
The Sooners dominated the first half on both sides of the ball and didn’t allow Louisiana Tech to score until six seconds remained in the second quarter – on an 36-yard field goal.
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who had four catches for 49 yards and a touchdown, passed his father in career receiving yards during the first half.