Jamar Smith makes his Division 1 debut in front of 86,076 Sooner fans

The biggest crowd Jamar Smith had played in front of prior to September 7, 2017 was probably around 6,000 spectators when the Toombs County Bulldogs and the Vidalia Indians met in their games in Booster Stadium or Buck Cravey Field. After playing two seasons, usually on Thursday nights for Holmes Community College in Mississippi, Smith made his Division 1 debut as his UTEP Miners played at the University of Oklahoma. The announced crowd of 86,076 was roughly 80,000 more than show up for the yearly battle of Toombs County.

The seventh ranked Sooners appeared to be highly motivated against the Miners who entered the game as 45-point underdogs. After all. new head coach Lincoln Riley was making his debut replacing “Big Game” Bob Stoops, who retired after 18 seasons and 197 wins. Heisman Trophy candidate Baker Mayfield, who finished fourth and third in the voting for that award the past two years, opened his senior season by completing his first 16 passes. He only played the first half and he completed 19-of-20 passes for 329 yards and three touchdowns as the Sooners ran away with a 56-7 victory in a nationally televised game on Fox.

Jamar Smith’s (#45) first Division 1 tackle
When Jamar Smith gets you he doesn’t let go
Jamar Smith looks down at an Oklahoma Sooner who he tackled in the fourth quarter on Fox TV

Jamar didn’t start the game at linebacker, but he did hit the field on Oklahoma’s second offensive possession and his first tackle was a one-on-one touchdown saving stop at the Miner 5-yard line. Smith was credited with five solo tackles including three on one Oklahoma drive in the fourth quarter.

First Quarter

(First Tackle) 1-10 at Utep12 Mayfield, Baker pass complete to Anderson, R. for 9 yards to the UTEP3 (SMITH, Jamar).

Third Quarter

(Second Tackle) 2-6 at Utep24 Sermon, Trey rush for 6 yards to the UTEP18, 1ST DOWN OU (SMITH, Jamar).

Fourth Quarter 

(Third Tackle) 2-5 at Ou20 Murray, Kyler pass complete to Sutton, M. for 8 yards to the OU28, 1ST DOWN OU (SMITH, Kahani;LOGAN, Sky).

Fourth Tackle) Ou 1-10 at Ou28 Sutton, M. rush for 5 yards to the OU33 (SMITH, Jamar).

(Fifth Tackle) 1-10 at Utep20 Murray, Kyler pass complete to Badet, Jeff for 6 yards to the UTEP14 (SMITH, Jamar).

UTEP’S one shining moment in the game came on an eight play, 78-yard drive in which the Miners tied the game at 7 on a 17-yard touchdown run by Walter Dawn Junior with 8:22 to play in the first quarter.
“I didn’t think the kids quit competing, I think we were outmatched,” UTEP head coach Sean Kugler said.  “Sometimes you’ve got to acknowledge that and move on.  We have a conference game coming up this week, and that’s what our sole focus is going to be.  We can’t spend one second dwelling on this game.  The first one is in the books and not in our favor, but there’s a long season ahead of us.”
UTEP will play host to Rice on Saturday, September 9 at 8 p.m. and the Miners will be back on national television on Friday, September 15 at 10 p.m. when they play host to Arizona on ESPN. That will be the same night the Bulldogs will be playing at Bryan County. In 2012 Jamar scored two touchdowns on fourth down runs in Toombs County’s 19-0 win over the Redskins.
Brandon Sharpe sacks Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones in 2009
Jamar isn’t the first former Toombs County Bulldog to play the Sooners. In 2009 Brandon Sharpe had 2.5 sacks against Oklahoma in Texas Tech’s 41-13 home win over Oklahoma. Brandon had the most sacks of any player in that game. He had three solo tackles and one assist.  Watch highlights