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Oklahoma football: Sooner defense strong enough to make Knight debut a winner

OKLAHOMA 34, LOUSIANA-MONROE 0 — The Sooners notched their first shutout since 2010, covering for a slow start by freshman quarterback Trevor Knight.
by Jenni Carlson Published: August 31, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma's Trevor Knight (9) walks off the field after the 34-0 win over Louisiana Monroe during the college football game between the University of Okahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Louisiana Monroe Warhawks (ULM) at the Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013 in Norman, Okla.  Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Trevor Knight (9) walks off the field after the 34-0 win over Louisiana Monroe during the college football game between the University of Okahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Louisiana Monroe Warhawks (ULM) at the Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

“Defensively, it's one of the better games we've had in a long, long time where all the assignments, the communication was as clean and sharp as maybe any that we've had,” Bob Stoops said.

Even though Louisiana-Monroe is a mid-major program, it upset Arkansas last season and came within a touchdown of doing the same to Auburn and Baylor. It scored at least 28 points in all three of those games.

Saturday, Louisiana-Monroe managed to get into the red zone only once.

“They give you a lot to work on with all the formations, the personnel groupings, the empty sets,” Bob Stoops said. “I thought our guys really did a great job of handling that.”

More good news for the Sooners: Knight settled down in the second half.

Knight, who became only the fourth freshman to start at quarterback for OU in a season opener, connected on only three of his first 10 pass attempts, and he was just 7 of 21 for 42 yards at halftime. But after the Sooners established a strong running game -- they finished with 305 rushing yards -- the redshirt freshman from San Antonio was 4 of 6 for 44 yards and two touchdowns in the third quarter.

“It took us a little while,” Knight said, “but we got it going.”

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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