Oklahoma Sooners Trash Tulsa to Open 2011 Season

By Luke McConnell

There weren’t a ton of surprises in the opening game for the Oklahoma Sooners.

First, it was no surprise that Oklahoma won and won big as they routed the Golden Hurricane 47-14.

Second, it was no surprise that the offense would be wildly productive. The Sooners racked up over 660 yards of offense and averaged over six yards a play.

Third, it was no surprise that the defense would overmatched a good, but smaller Tulsa offense.

However, there were some surprises and the biggest one came at running back.

Junior Dominique Whaley, a walk-on from Lawton, Okla. was listed as the starting running back on the depth chart released last Monday. Everyone was skeptical about it, going as far to guess that Stoops was simply using it as a ploy to motivate the other running backs on the roster that were seemingly more talented than Whaley.

One of the first questions after the game was from a reporter that asked if Stoops was surprised by Whaley’s performance.

Stoops responded with a “No” and added, “I told you guys he was good.”

Of course he did.

Whaley put on a clinic, rushing for 131 yards on 18 carries and scored four touchdowns. It was the second highest number of touchdowns by a player in their first collegiate game behind former Sooner DeMarco Murray’s five touchdowns in 2007.

For a roster that has a stable of blue chip running backs, it’s unfathomable that a walk-on would even see the field, much less have a game like the one Whaley had Saturday night. It’s an incredible story.

Overall, it was a solid performance from the No. 1 team in the country.

Was it perfect? Of course not. It was the first game of the season. If any No. 1 had a perfect game to start the season, they should be awarded the national championship on the spot to avoid a lot of pain and hard work by other teams across the country.

There is plenty for the Sooners to work on as the huge matchup in Tallahassee against Florida State looms in two weeks. However, there was no surprise that the Sooners dominated Saturday night.

It was just a bit surprising who dominated.

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