OU Football Club claws its way to first win

The OU Football Club jumped out to an early 17-point lead on the road against UM-Flint and refused to relinquish it en route to a 24-14 win in the university’s first-ever football game on Saturday. 

While the Golden Grizzlies were physically in control the whole game, both sides of the ball experienced the expected season-opener—let alone program-opener—mistakes, particularly in pass coverage. 

“You’re going to have to find things that you’re going to have to do better,” OU head coach Al Manfroni said. “This was a good game for us to build on for the rest of the season. Now we know what mistakes we made, now we can move forward.”

Two first-quarter touchdown runs of 12 and 20 yards by OU quarterback Brandon Tucker had the offense humming early, only to stall for much of the second half. 

UM-Flint’s Shayne Beggs hooked up with Joey Jerisk for a 56-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to pull within three.

“We kind of were like, ‘Oh, we’re in a comfort zone.’ We can’t do that,” Tucker said. “You see how it changed fast. What was it, we were up 17-0? Flick of a dime, what was the score again? 17-14. We just got to keep the momentum going the whole game … When we’re focused, we’ll put points on the board.”                                      

The two teams slugged it out until the clock hit zero, but OU running back Marc Wise’s 10-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter proved to be too much for UM-Flint to overcome.

The Football Club is back on the road this Saturday at 3 p.m. against UW-Milwaukee before the Grizzlies’ home debut Oct. 5 at 4 p.m.