By Carey Phillips
Oklahoma scored on 12 of 13 possessions Saturday, and the fourth-ranked Sooners crushed Western Carolina 76-0 in non-conference football action before 83,538 fans at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium/Owen Field.
It was the largest defeat margin ever for WCU and the second most points allowed in program history.
OU quarterback Spencer Rattler, a Heisman Trophy candidate, completed 20 of 26 passes for 243 yards and five touchdowns. He did not play after halftime.
Eric Gray led the ground game with 74 yards in nine carries.
Western’s Rogan Wells completed 16 of 29 passes for 86 yards. Kenny Benjamin had six receptions for 34 yards.
The Sooners opened the scoring on Rattler’s 7-yard pass to Jadon Haselwood with 10:28 to play in the first quarter. Gabe Brkic, who was six of six on extra points, made it 7-0 with 10:28 to play in the first quarter.
Even when the WCU defense held, OU scored as Brkic kicked a 56-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead with 6:56 remaining in the first quarter.
The Sooners needed just three plays to go 58 yards on their next possession. Rattler’s 20-yard pass to Gray extended the margin to 17-0 with 5:04 to go in the opening stanza.
Kennedy Brooks scored from a yard out on the first play of the second quarter building the lead to 24-0.
Rattler’s 4-yard TD toss to Mike Woods put OU in front 31-0 with 12:58 on the clock.
The Sooners’ longest drive of the game covered 78 yards in 10 plays and was capped by Mario Williams’ 10-yard run giving his team a 38-0 lead at the 8:11 mark.
The halftime margin was 45-0 after a 6-yard TD pass from Rattler to Haselwood with 1:54 on the clock.
Under the direction of reserve quarterback Caleb Williams, Oklahoma drove 75 yards in eight plays after the second half kickoff. Jaden Knowles scored from a yard out. Zach Schmit, who was four of four on extra points, made it 52-0 with 11:52 to play in the third period.
Schmit’s 46-yard field goal increased the lead to 55-0 with 8:15 remaining in the quarter.
The Sooners got the ball back when Brys Washington recovered Calvin Jones’ fumble at midfield.
Knowles scored on a 29-yard run two plays later for a 62-0 advantage with 3:43 left in the third stanza.
The lead reached 69-0 on Todd Hudson’s 6-yard run with 10:42 to go in the game.
The Cats’ best scoring opportunity ended when Carlos Davis fumbled and Shane Whitter recovered at the OU 15.
For the only time in the game the Sooners had to punt, but they got the ball right back when Washington intercepted Davis’ pass and had a 37-yard return to the 25.
Hudson’s 2-yard run completed the scoring with 1:36 on the clock.
The fourth quarter was shortened from 15 to 12 minutes in part due to the lopsided score and also because a bank of lights was out in one corner of the stadium.
Ivan Hogans and Charles Gadie were both in on eight tackles for Western.
Danny Stutsman led Oklahoma with eight.
11 First Downs 31
27-55 Rushes-Yds. 38-277
21-36-1 Passing 27-38-0
123 Passing Yds. 347
8-35. 2Punts-Avg. 1-57
4-2 Fumbles-Lost 1-0
4-30 Penalties-Yds. 6-61
WCU 0 0 0 0 0
OU 17 28 17 14 76