Welcome to week three, and the first actual test for Oklahoma State Football. The offense has been humming along this season with an average of 54 points per game while being led by Spencer Sanders, Tylan Wallace, and Chuba Hubbard.
Usually, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane is known for the offensive output however this season defense is the name of the game. The Golden Hurricane enter this week’s matchup with the 54th total ranked defense in the nation. Will they be able to stop the Cowboy’s new trio on offense?
Looking to previous matchups, the Cowboy’s have scored exactly 59 points each of the last two meetings and been victorious each of the previous two meetups. The all-time series record is 41-27-5 in favor of the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Does anyone remember the last time the Cowboys played in Tulsa? It was 2011 and also the third game of the season. The kickoff was not until 12:30 AM Sunday morning, and the game did not end until 3:39 AM. You might have guessed, but the game was not originally scheduled to be so late. The 8:00 PM kickoff was delayed due to weather. Here is to a standard, non-delayed kickoff time this go around.
- When: SAT, SEP 14 at 2:30 PM CT
- Where: HA Chapman Stadium, Tulsa, OK
- Forecast: Partly Cloudy, High of 85
- Channel: ESPN2
- Stream: WatchESPN
- Betting Line: OSU -14, O/U 64
Tulsa Golden Hurricane (1-1)
The Golden Hurricane have had an expected start to their season. Week one, they were matched up against Michigan State, in a game that no one expected them to compete. However, the Golden Hurricane defense kept Tulsa in the game by only giving up 28 points. However, it was the offense that struggled and snap miscues that saw Tulsa only put up seven points and a grand total of negative 73 rushing yards.
Nonetheless, last week against San Jose State, the Golden Hurricane offense finally found their groove and posted 34 points, along with 256 rushing yards and 283 passing yards.
The Golden Hurricane offense is led by former redshirt junior quarterback Zack Smith who sat out last season after transferring from Baylor mid-semester. The rushing attack is led by junior running back Shamari Brooks who comes into this game with 140 yards on 35 attempts.
The defensive side of the football is where this Tulsa team tries to win games though whereas they do not cause many turnovers, zero. They do not give up many yards, 326 yards per game to be exact.
Oklahoma State Cowboys (2-0)
After seeing the Cowboys handle their business against Oregon State and then McNeese State. It will be welcome to see how Oklahoma State responds to a team that will give them a better challenge.
This game will be a good barometer to see how ready is the defense for the upcoming Big 12 portion of the schedule, especially next week against Texas. Will the defensive line be able to put pressure on Zach Smith and the running backs like Michigan State was able to?
Spencer Sanders has looked tremendous so far this season, will the offensive line be able to keep him upright and get the ball to playmaker Tylan Wallace and put Tulsa away early?
One thing to also keep in mind is how will the Cowboy defense play? Yes, McNeese State is hardly a team to hang your hat on. But, only giving up 14 points is impressive. Going against a Tulsa offensive that has been up and down so far this season. This game will be a good chance for Jim Knowles to see who is ready to contribute the rest of the season and who may need more time in practice.
3 Keys To The Game For Oklahoma State
Score quickly – If Spencer Sanders and Co, can get on the field and score quickly and consistently throughout the game, then the strength of this Tulsa team will be taken off the table. Tulsa will look to control this game by slowing down the Cowboy offense, but by avoiding three-and-outs, the offense will be fine.
Take away the run – When Tulsa was not able to rush the ball well, they struggled to put up points. Last week when they were able to rush for over 250 yards they scored in bunches. The Cowboy defense needs to stop the run and make Tulsa force the passing game.
Force turnovers – This could be a key for any game this season, but it stands true. Forcing turnovers gives the offense more chances to score. It also can help swing momentum. Last week against McNeese State, their first drive ended in a pick-6 for AJ Green, and then another drive almost ended in the same outcome for Phillip Redwine-Bryant. Look for the Cowboy defense to take some chances to put Tulsa away.
Oklahoma State should be able to handle Tulsa. If the previous two meetings held to be accurate, then look for Oklahoma State to score exactly 59 points. Look for Chuba Hubbard to rush the ball to open up the passing game and Tylan Wallace to do Tylan Wallace things. All while keeping everyone healthy and prepared for next weeks matchup against Texas.