Sooners dominate first half, shutout Red Wolves in season opener

Sep. 2—Oklahoma started fast, scoring on its first 10 possessions on its way to a dominant 73-0 win over Arkansas State.

Quarterback Dillon Gabriel completed 19 of 22 passes for 308 yards and scored three times before sitting out the entire second half. After a five-play, 70-yard touchdown drive to open the game, Gavin Freeman put the Sooners up 14-0 on an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown.

The 73 points the Sooners scored on Saturday were the fourth-most by an Oklahoma team since 2000 and the most since beating Western Carolina 76-0 in 2021. It was the team's first shutout under head coach Brent Venables.

Freshman backup quarterback Jackson Arnold took over the offense to start the second half. In his first career start, Arnold was a perfect 11-11 for 114 yards.

The former consensus five-star recruit scored his first touchdown on a 21-yard pass to Jayden Gibson. On the Sooners' next possession, Arnold kept it on a designed run and scored from seven yards out.

The Sooners finished with 642 yards of total offense. They had 437 yards of offense in the first half alone and led 45-0.

It was the second-most first-half yards for a season opener in program history and the third-most points scored in the first half of a season opener. The Sooners averaged 8.9 yards per play in the first half and were seven for eight on third down attempts.

Oklahoma didn't punt until there was just under three minutes remaining in the game. The Sooners were held to a field goal on their final possession of the first half.

Arkansas State came away with just 208 yards of total offense with 102 of those yards coming in the second half. The Sooners allowed 48 yards on the ground (2.1 yards per carry) and forced their first turnover of the season when Kani Walker ripped the ball away from ASU's Tennel Bryant.