NORMAN, Okla. (9/2/23) – Arkansas State football dropped a 73-0 season-opening decision at 20th-ranked Oklahoma Saturday afternoon at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
Melique Straker and Javante Mackey led A-State (0-1) with 11 tackles apiece, marking Straker’s fourth straight outing with 10 or more tackles and sixth of his career. The Sooners (1-0) outgained the Red Wolves 642-208 and recorded 36 first downs while going 11-for-14 on third down.
Dillon Gabriel tossed a pair of touchdowns for OU, completing 19 of 22 passes for 308 yards. In the second half, Jackson Arnold completed all 11 of his pass attempts for 114 yards and a score.
Oklahoma scored six rushing touchdowns, including two by Tawee Walker. Arnold and Gabriel also scored on the ground, as did Marcus Major and Kalib Hicks.
The Sooners got off to a fast start, scoring twice within the first three minutes on a 10-yard strike from Gabriel to Drake Stoops and an 82-yard punt return by Gavin Freeman. Oklahoma then added a two-yard rushing score by Major to give the hosts a 21-0 lead midway through the first.
Freeman found the endzone again with 31 seconds remaining in the first, hauling in a 7-yard pass from Gabriel to give OU a 28-0 lead after one. The Sooners tacked on rushing scores by Walker (1 yard) and Gabriel (5 yards), and a 21-yard field goal by Zach Schmit to lead 45-0 at the half.
The Red Wolves drove deep into Sooner territory twice in the first half, aided by receptions of 28 yards and 47 yards by Corey Rucker and Jackson, but could not convert a pair of field-goal tries.
Oklahoma added to its lead in the third quarter with rushing scores by Walker and Arnold, which book ended a 21-yard strike from Arnold to Jayden Gibson and handed the Sooners a 66-0 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Hicks found the end zone for OU’s final score of the day with 9:43 remaining, a 6-yard rushing touchdown to cap an 11-play drive that took nearly seven and a half minutes off the clock.
A-State returns home for three consecutive games inside Centennial Bank Stadium, beginning Saturday, Sept. 9, against Memphis. Kickoff against the Tigers is set for 6 p.m. on ESPN+, while the radio broadcast can be heard on the EAB Red Wolves Sports Network as well as on the A-State Red Wolves mobile app.
Red Wolves Drop Season Opener at #20 Oklahoma. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council