Norman, Okla. — New Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts passed for three touchdowns and ran for three more, and the fourth-ranked Sooners rolled past Houston 49-31 on Sunday night.
It was Hurts’ first game for Oklahoma since he transferred from Alabama. He put on a show as his predecessor, 2018 Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, watched. He posted 508 total yards, the fifth-most in school history.
It wasn’t enough for him.
“I’ve got to go talk to my boys,” he said. “We’ve got to get right. We’ve got to get better.”
Hurts had a nearly flawless first half. He completed 13 of 15 passes for 174 yards and rushed 11 times for 128 yards to help the Sooners lead 21-10 at the break.
Overall, the Sooners gained 686 total yards. Hurts completed 20 of 23 passes for 332 and ran for 176 yards on 16 carries.
Charleston Rambo caught three passes for 105 yards and a touchdown and Trey Sermon ran for 91 yards for Oklahoma.
Oklahoma’s defense was sharp too, constantly pressuring Houston quarterback D’Eriq King and limiting him to 87 yards passing in the first half. King, one of the nation’s top quarterbacks last season, finished with just 167 yards passing in former West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen’s debut for the Cougars.
Houston gained 408 total yards. Though King did rush for 103 yards, Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley felt the Sooners kept the Cougars under control.
“I thought our defense flew around, was extremely active, extremely disruptive for the majority of the game,” Riley said.
Houston never fully recovered from its rough start.
“We kept fighting,” Holgorsen said. “I was proud of them. We kept fighting. I thought we were a little wide eyed early.”
USC quarterback out
Southern California quarterback J.T. Daniels will miss the rest of the season after tearing a ligament and the meniscus in his right knee during the Trojans’ opener.
Coach Clay Helton confirmed the severity of his sophomore starter’s injury. USC (1-0) plans to start freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis against Stanford (1-0) at the Coliseum on Saturday.
Daniels will redshirt this season, Helton said. With an estimated nine to 12 months of recovery from surgery, Daniels could be ready for camp next year.
“He will be missed, but we will have to move forward, and we wish him nothing but the best,” Helton said. “We know he’s going to be back.”
Daniels was hurt when his leg twisted while he was being tackled on a blitz with 27 seconds left in the first half of USC’s 31-23 victory over Fresno State. Daniels started 11 games last season for USC’s first losing team since 2000, and he won a four-way competition for the starting job last month in camp.
Rodgers could play
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said there was a chance injured starting receiver Amari Rodgers could play Saturday when the top-ranked Tigers take on No. 12 Texas A&M.
Rodgers is a 5-foot-10, 210-pound junior from Knoxville, Tennessee, who tore his ACL during spring practice. Rodgers had an operation and was expected to miss much of the season as he recovered.
But Swinney said Rodgers is “well ahead of schedule” in his recovery and could see the field against the Aggies this week.
Rodgers, the son former Tennessee national championship quarterback Tee Martin, had 55 catches for 575 yards and four touchdowns last season. Rodgers went through pregame warmups with the Tigers before their 52-14 win over Georgia Tech, but did not play.