NORMAN – The Sooners were sloppy at times, particularly along the offensive line with a rash of holding penalties, but still squashed the South Dakota Coyotes 70-14 Saturday night on Owen Field. Jalen Hurts continued his ridiculous efficiency, completing 14 of 18 passes for 259 yards and three TDs and running for 47 yards on eight carries in just over two quarters of work.
Rhamondre Stevenson led all Sooner rushers with 104 yards and a TD on only six carries in garbage time. Kennedy Brooks had six carries for 69 yards, while Trey Sermon carried nine times for 56 yards and a TD. CeeDee Lamb had a big night with six catches for 144 yards and a TD. 10 different Sooners scored TDs on the night.
The Sooner defense, meanwhile, finally got some takeaways. Bookie Radley-Hiles had a fumble recovery and a pick-six, while Jaden Davis had a pick of his own. It was not until the Sooners were up 49-0 and the reserves were in before South Dakota really started having any success moving the ball consistently.
The game started out inauspiciously enough, as the Sooners took the opening kickoff and went three and out after being hampered by a holding penalty. South Dakota also went three and out and punted into the OU end zone to give the Sooners the ball on the 25 after a penalty on the punt.
Hurts carried for three yards, then hit a bomb to Lamb for 48 and a first down at the USD 24. After a four-yard pass to Charleston Rambo and a four-yard run from Hurts, the Sooners were again set back by a holding penalty. Facing third and 11, Hurts hit Lamb for 20 to the three-yard line. Hurts and Lamb connected again for a three-yard TD pass, and it was 7-0 with 8:30 to play in the first quarter.
USD got a first down on their next possession but couldn’t move further than their own 49 and were forced to punt. The Sooners took over on their own three. Two Sermon carries netted eight and 30 yards to move out to the OU 41. Three plays later, after another holding penalty left the Sooners with third and 22, Hurts hit Lamb for 24 and a first down at the USD 44. Hurts then hit Rambo for 19. Yet another holding penalty hindered the cause, but Hurts connected with Jaden Haselwood for 17 yards, then Sermon ran for six and four to put the ball at the USD 8. Hurts found Jeremiah Hall on a pop pass for the TD, and it was 14-0 with 43 seconds to play in the first quarter.
After a three-and-out from USD, the Sooners started at their own 33. Rambo took a jet sweep for 18 yards, then Hurts ran for 36 and a first down at the USD 13. Brooks carried it in from there, and it was 21-0 with 13:08 to play in the first half.
USD moved deep into Sooner territory on their next possession, but Neville Gallimore forced a fumble that Radley-Hiles recovered at the OU13 for the first takeaway of the season for Alex Grinch’s Speed D. The Sooners couldn’t do anything with it, though, with a bad snap and a sack on consecutive plays forcing a punt. DaShaun White sacked USD QB Austin Simmons on the ensuing possession and the Coyotes were forced into a three-and-out. The punt went out of bounds at the Sooner 18.
Brooks ran for 20 yards, then Hurts connected with Nick Basquine for 12 and a first down at the USD 45. After a false start, Brooks ran for 14, Hurts ran for one, then nine, then Brooks toted it for 12 and seven, and the Sooners had first and goal at the USD seven. Rambo caught a TD pass from there, and the Sooners extended their lead to 28-0 with 41 seconds to play in the first half.
Four plays into the second half it was 35-0 after Radley-Hiles stepped in front of a USD receiver and picked off a pass that he then took 30 yards for a TD. Radley-Hiles dropped at least three pick-sixes last season, so it was good to see him finally hold on to one and take it to the house.
After another three-and-out from USD, the Sooners struck again, this time in only three plays. Lamb returned the USD punt 23 yards to the 50, then Hurts hit Haselwood for what looked like a 50-yard TD pass. However, on replay, Haselwood fumbled the ball before he crossed the goal line, and it looked like it may have gone over the pylon, which would have resulted in a touchback. However, the refs brought the ball back to the three and it stayed with the Sooners. Two plays later, Sermon took it in from a yard TDs. 5-star freshman Spencer Rattler got some run as well, gong 4-4 for 50 yards and a TD and running for 15 yards on a pair of carries. Haselwood, Theo Wease, and Trejan Bridges all had their first TD catches in garbage time, and Stevenson had a 75-yard TD run.
Next Saturday, the Sooners travel to what will surely be a sea of empty seats at the Rose Bowl to face the 0-2 and reeling UCLA Bruins. See you in Pasadena.