Oklahoma vs. Tulsa
When: 11 a.m. Saturday
Where: H.A. Chapman Stadium, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Records: Oklahoma 1-0, Tulsa 1-0
Last Meeting: Oklahoma 51, Tulsa 20 on Sept. 14, 2013
TV: Ch. 8
What’s on the line
Oklahoma has never lost to Tulsa under head coach Bob Stoops. The No. 4 Sooners are riding a seven-game winning streak against TU that will be put to the test on the road. The Sooners haven’t had much trouble in Tulsa, especially since much of H.A. Chapman Stadium is filled with crimson and cream when the Sooners come to town. The last time Oklahoma lost to the Hurricane in Tulsa? An October game in 1942 in which Tulsa shut out the Sooners 23-0. There are 12 players on the OU roster from the Tulsa metro area, all of which I’m sure would not like to see that streak end on their watch.
When Oklahoma has the ball
In last year’s meeting in Norman, OU totaled 607 yards on offense, 413 of those through the air by Blake Bell. Expect Bell to be involved, but catching the ball this time as OU tries to work the tight ends into a more prominent role in the offense. We didn’t see that last week, but this might be a good chance to get that part of the offense working. OU will get the chance to try some new things if their runners can help build an early lead. TU allowed 254 yards on the ground last week, meaning the new trio of Keith Ford, Alex Ross and Samaje Perine is primed for another big day after a 183-yard combined performance last week.
When Tulsa has the ball
Expect the Golden Hurricane to attack the Sooners through the air. Dane Evans had an impressive debut against Tulane, throwing for 438 yards on 31-of-53 passing and four touchdowns. Sophomore receiver Keevan Lucas will be a tough matchup after his 13-catch, 233-yard game last week, but Keyarris Garrett is still TU’s top pass catcher. Garrett, at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, is the antithesis to Lucas, who is just 5-10, 198. Both will be a handful for corners Zack Sanchez and Julian Wilson, and expect Tulsa to challenge OU’s young free safeties deep in the middle of the field.
Oklahoma’s running game works early in often as Keith Ford and Samaje Perine carry most of the load. Along with runs from Alex Ross and a few option keepers by Trevor Knight, the Sooners easily break the 200-yard rushing barrier and finish closer to 300 yards. Knight will make his throws and shouldn’t be forced into too many bad situations, allowing him to get some in-game work with newer pass targets. The strong run game allows OU to control the clock and the ball, forcing Tulsa to take some chances in the passing game. OU’s secondary lets a few by, but also forces a turnover or two and keeps the Hurricane largely in their one half of the field. Tulsa will get some scores with all the talent they have outside, but it won’t be enough for this game to be close.
Score: Oklahoma 48, Tulsa 17