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OU football: Sooners' 24-7 win at UTEP was shaky, but cause for panic?

COMMENTARY — Three missed UTEP field goals and a late drive help spare Oklahoma an embarrassing season-opening loss in the desert.
by Berry Tramel Published: September 2, 2012

And in the fourth quarter, Landry hit third-team tight end Brannon Green for an 18-yard touchdown pass to put away the game.

A 10-point lead with 10 minutes left isn't at all safe in college football, but it was this night. This is not your father's Mike Price offense.

Price at Washington State and even at UTEP has produced some scary-good, quarterback-driven offenses. But Miners Nick Lamaison and Carson Meger combined to complete just seven of 26 passes.

Juco transfer Damien Williams reeled off a 65-yard touchdown run in the waning minutes to make the score look much more presentable, but the Sooners could have used such fireworks earlier.

Jeffery aside, it was a great return for Mike Stoops as his big brother's defensive coordinator. UTEP never got closer to the end zone than the OU 13-yard line.

"I'm disappointed we didn't play the run game better," said Mike Stoops. "We bent a little, but we didn't give up any points. It's good to be tested. We don't have to hear everybody telling us how good we are."

The Sooner D should dominate the Miners, and did. Of course, the Sooner offense should have dominated, too, but didn't.

Sort of like Tulsa 2002, Bowling Green 2004, TCU 2005, Alabama-Birmingham 2006 and Utah State 2010, it was a shaky season debut. But four of those six Sooner teams went on to win Big 12 titles, so improvement generally comes with the territory.

That better be the case.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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