Thulin singled out linebacker Corey Nelson with his eight tackles — two for a loss — and a sack as being a defensive leader.
Lapham also praised the linebacker play. “These guys are flying all over the field,” he said earlier in the game. “Mike Stoops (defensive coordinator) is a prideful guy. He wants the swagger to come back to the Oklahoma defense… Early returns are good.”
After a slow start in his OU debut, quarterback Trevor Knight drew praise for both his legs and arm. After his first touchdown pass to Jalen Saunders, Lapham said, “He put the ball on the money with some serious velocity. Since he is such a threat to run the football, you have to respect that with the pass rush.”
The announcers singled out fullback Trey Millard as the player of the game for his blocking ability and intangibles, and showed a highlight package of his top blocks. “He's a blue-collar outstanding football player with intangibles off the chart.”
Lapham predicted he would excel in the NFL. “He can be a fullback, tight end, H-back. He's going to be around the league for a long time.”
Roy Finch's 21-yard run was the play of the game as he reversed his field several times in eluding defenders. “He probably went 40 yards,” Thulin said. “I think he went 100,” Lapham said. ”He has tremendous vision and change of direction.”
OU's final score came on Knight's 13-yard pass to Trey Metoyer. “He's got the biggest hands,” Lapham said of the wide receiver. “They're like pillows with suction cups on.”
McKee interviewed OU president David Boren, athletic director Joe Castiglione and several OU coaches, but his biggest catch might have been two Louisiana-Monroe fans. Jep and Jessica Robertson discussed reasons for the popularity of their hit A&E show “Duck Dynasty.”
* On ESPN's “College GameDay,” OSU was a unanimous pick to win its opener and analyst Kirk Herbstreit expected it would be “a shootout.” The guest picker was Kansas State alum Eric Stonestreet of ABC's “Modern Family,” who showed up in his purple gear despite the Wildcats' upset loss to North Dakota State on Friday night.
* Although Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was suspended for the first half of the opener against Rice, ESPN almost covered him more than the game with numerous sideline shots.
* Fox Sports Oklahoma will replay the Louisiana-Monroe game at 9 a.m. Monday.