NORMAN, Okla. — — Marvin Mims caught seven passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns to assist No. 7 Oklahoma overcome a sluggish begin in a 33-3 victory over Kent State on Saturday evening.
Dillon Gabriel accomplished 21 of 28 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns, and the Sooners completed with 430 yards of offense. Oklahoma (2-0) has gained 11 straight residence video games and 29 of its final 30.
Oklahoma was scoreless and trailed Kent State (0-2) as late as the ultimate minute of the primary half earlier than Mims performed key roles on landing drives to finish the half and begin the second. That helped the Sooners transfer to 4-0 in opposition to present Mid-American Convention groups.
“We confronted some good adversity tonight,” Brent Venables mentioned after profitable his second sport in two tries as Oklahoma’s coach. “As I instructed (the group) at halftime, there’s nothing much less necessary than the rating at halftime. We had been actually ready for precisely what occurred. We talked about all of it week.
“I used to be eager for some pressure and a problem. There’s not going to be change and growth and enchancment with out a problem. I’m glad that that occurred.”
Collin Schlee handed for 131 yards and rushed for 55 yards for Kent State, which is the one Soccer Bowl Subdivision group this season taking part in three nonconference video games in opposition to opponents from Energy 5 conferences. The Golden Flashes misplaced their opener at Washington and can go to No. 2 Georgia in two weeks.
Kent State performed the Sooners on even phrases within the first half and Oklahoma was lucky to be forward 7-3. The Golden Flashes had 11 first downs to Oklahoma’s seven and restricted the Sooners to solely 7 dashing yards earlier than halftime. To that time, Kent State had transformed on six of 11 Third-down makes an attempt and owned a two-to-one edge in time of possession.
“I assumed our youngsters performed relentlessly onerous within the first half. It was clearly a sport of two halves there,” Kent State coach Sean Lewis mentioned. “We gave up some explosive performs to begin the second half and turnovers proved pricey. The sport received away from us in opposition to a very gifted group … and you may’t put your self in that place. They’re a gifted ball membership and well-coached, and we confirmed that we’re gifted as nicely.”
After a 15-play, 72-yard drive, Andrew Glass gave the Golden Flashes a 3-0 lead, kicking a 37-yard discipline purpose with 8:27 left within the second quarter. With 1:10 left earlier than halftime, Glass pushed a 41-yard try extensive proper.
Out of the blue, Oklahoma’s offense — which principally had been ineffective to that time — got here to life, transferring 76 yards in 5 performs. The ultimate three had been passes from Gabriel to Mims overlaying 13, 14 and 36 yards, the latter for the landing 18 seconds earlier than halftime.
Gabriel focused Mims on the primary two performs of the second half — one a catch, one drawing a pass-interference penalty — and the Sooners once more had been off and rolling. Marcus Main capped that drive with a side-stepping 16-yard landing run to make it 14-3.
It rapidly snowballed for Oklahoma. Billy Bowman recovered a Kent State fumble on the Golden Flashes’ 34 and Zach Schmit subsequently booted a 25-yard discipline purpose to increase Oklahoma’s lead. Gabriel’s 18-yard scoring go to Drake Stoops on Oklahoma’s subsequent possession put the Sooners forward 24-3, with 5:31 nonetheless remaining within the third quarter. Stoops’ rating got here two performs after a 44-yard run by Eric Grey, who had 71 yards on 10 carries.
Oklahoma stopped Kent State on downs on the Sooners’ 18 late within the third quarter, basically ending any hopes of a rally by the Golden Flashes. Mims’ second landing got here subsequent, a 58-yard catch-and-run from Gabriel, capping a 24-point quarter for the Sooners throughout which they’d 99 dashing yards.
Oklahoma picked up a fourth-quarter security when linebacker David Ugwoegbu compelled Schlee out of the tip zone after the quarterback retreated to discipline a excessive snap.
“We had some issues that didn’t go our means on many events, however we buckled down and responded inside drives to both execute and put the ball in the long run zone, or on protection, we discovered a technique to get off the sector and get a cease once we wanted to,” Venables mentioned.
Kent State completed with 295 yards of offense, with Marquez Cooper dashing for 55 yards on 22 carries and Dante Cephas catching 4 passes for 50 yards.
Kent State: The Golden Flashes, picked by Mid-American Convention coaches because the preseason MAC East Division favourite, threw a scare right into a top-10 group as they navigate their early season gauntlet. The robust defensive displaying in opposition to the Sooners within the first half ought to give Kent State confidence going ahead.
Oklahoma: After a fast offensive begin to the season – three touchdowns within the first 9 minutes within the season opener in opposition to Texas-El Paso — the Sooners sputtered considerably on that facet of the soccer, significantly within the run sport, till the third quarter in opposition to Kent State. They’ll need to iron out any offensive points earlier than visiting Nebraska subsequent Saturday.
On a day during which No. 6 Texas A&M (to Appalachian State) and No. 8 Notre Dame (to Marshall) each misplaced at residence, merely surviving and profitable is likely to be sufficient for the Sooners to ease up a spot within the AP High 25.
Mims’ 58-yard landing catch within the third quarter was his 14th profession catch of 40 yards or extra for Oklahoma. The junior had profession highs in catches and receiving yards. It was the fifth time Mims has caught a number of landing passes in a sport. Early within the fourth quarter, he added a 41-yard punt return that arrange the Sooners on the Kent State 48.
“He’s in a position to run actually quick,” Lewis mentioned of Mims. “He received behind us and a gifted quarterback was in a position to throw it deep they usually performed catch and made us pay.”
Kent State: The Golden Flashes will host Lengthy Island of their residence opener subsequent Saturday earlier than visiting Georgia on Sept. 24.
Oklahoma: After renewing their longtime rivalry with Nebraska final season, the Sooners will go to the Cornhuskers subsequent Saturday. Will probably be Oklahoma’s first go to to Lincoln since 2009.