Coming into the 2011 season, Dominique Whaley walked onto the Oklahoma Sooners football program. He earned a spot with the team as a non-scholarship player, Stoops explaining that everyone must earn their spot. In his first game as a Sooner against Tulsa on Sept. 3, Whaley might have earned himself a scholarship as Oklahoma beat Tulsa, 47-14.
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Dominique Whaley finished the game with 131 yards on 12 carries and punched in four touchdowns on the ground for the Sooners in the big win over Tulsa. It was the first time that a walk on player at Oklahoma has ever scored four touchdowns and if he doesn’t earn a scholarship after this performance, it makes one wonder what it will take.
The Oklahoma Sooners came into the game with the Tulsa Golden Hurricane and fans expected Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles to light up the scoreboard. However, Whaley, the junior walk-on running back from Langston University, outrushed all five of the Sooners other running backs, 131-115. He also outscored the entire Tulsa Golden Hurricane offense, 24-14.
That is not to say that Ryan Broyles was a wash in this game. Broyles finished the contest with 14 receptions for 158 yards and a touchdown. In the race to determine the best wide receiver in the country, Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon finished his game with eight catches for 144 yards and no touchdowns.
Tulsa stopped Oklahoma on the Sooners first two scoring drives of the game, limiting them to only a field goal but Whaley scored the first touchdown of the Sooners season on their third drive with a two-yard touchdown run. He added his second touchdown at the start of the second quarter, scored on a six-yard run later in the quarter and then topped it off with a 32 yard touchdown scamper at the end of the third quarter. After that, Stoops pulled his starters out of the game and let the backups get some work in.
Oklahoma also picked up three turnovers in the game, the first on a Frank Alexander interception and the second on an Aaron Colvin fumble recovery which led to Ryan Broyles’ sole touchdown of the game. The third turnover came in the third quarter on another fumble recovery while Tulsa was driving and led to Whaley’s big fourth touchdown run.
Oklahoma’s defense did give up two scores, both on big plays. Tulsa put their first points on the board towards the end of the first half on a 26 yard touchdown pass from G.J. Kinne to Bryan Burnham. The second Tulsa score came in the fourth quarter when Kinne hooked up with Trey Watts, son of former Oklahoma Sooners star quarterback J.C. Watts, for a 24-yard catch and run.
The kicking game, which has been an Achilles heel for the Sooners in recent years, was decent, with one mishap. Jimmy Stevens went 1/1 on field goal attempts but missed one of his five PAT attempts. Michael Hunnicutt got some game action towards the end of the game and hit a 27-yard FG and made his sole PAT attempt.
In the fourth quarter, Stoops allowed his reserves to get some work in. Drew Allen, who won the backup quarterback job from Blake Bell, came in and went 4-7 for 42 yards in mop up action while Jonathan Miller carried the ball seven times for 20 yards to close out the game.
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