Tulsa, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - Intrastate rivals collide on Saturday, as the fourth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners pay a visit to the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.
Both teams are 1-0 on the young season, as Oklahoma routed Louisiana Tech in its opener (48-16), while Tulsa slipped past Tulane in double-overtime (38-31) to lift the lid on its campaign.
The Sooners, who improved to 20-0 all-time against teams from Conference USA with the victory, made head coach Bob Stoops a winner for the 161st time in his 200th game on the sidelines.
Oklahoma returns home next week to take on SEC foe Tennessee before kicking off Big 12 Conference play at West Virginia on Sept. 20.
Tulsa's narrow win over Tulane was not only a positive to begin the season, but also got the Golden Hurricane off on the right foot with regard to its inaugural run through the American Athletic Conference.
TU plays at Florida Atlantic next, then has a bye before returning home to tangle with Texas State on Sept. 27.
Oklahoma owns an 18-7-1 edge in the all-time series with Tulsa, which includes a perfect 7-0 mark under Stoops. In those games, the average margin of victory has been a whopping 37.3 points.
Oklahoma jumped all over Louisiana Tech in last week's opener, scoring 21 points in the first quarter and taking a 31-3 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Sooners eased off the gas after the break, but still managed to post a convincing 32-point victory.
Quarterback Trevor Knight was effective in throwing for 253 yards with a touchdown and an interception, hitting Keith Ford and Sterling Shepard four times each in the process. The duo finished with 114 receiving yards, with Shepard pulling down Knight's lone scoring strike.
The OU run game, which accounted for 183 yards and five scores, was led by freshman Samaje Perine (13 carries, 77 yards, one TD). Ford and Alex Ross both had a pair of scoring jaunts, and the OU offense finished with 436 total yards, compared to only 245 for the Bulldogs.
The Sooners came away with points on 6-of-7 trips to the red zone, five of which were touchdowns, and they were an impressive 4-of-4 on fourth-down conversion attempts.
The Sooners' greatest strength on defense last week came against the run, as LA Tech was limited to a mere 54 yards on 29 attempts (1.9 ypc). They allowed only 5-of-15 third downs to be converted successfully, while permitting the Bulldogs access to the red zone only twice.
Oklahoma recorded six TFL, including two sacks, and Zack Sanchez came up with the only turnover for the club on an interception in the first half. Aaron Franklin led the Sooners with six tackles.
Stoops was generally pleased with all aspects of the game last week.
"It was a good win today. I am pleased with the overall effort of the team and how they played. I thought they really played well in particular in the first half. I was really pleased with the number one defense when they were all out there together."
Better late than never, as Tulsa didn't take its first lead until the second overtime session last week against Tulane. Both teams generated more than 500 yards of total offense, with the Golden Hurricane finishing closer to 600 (154 rushing, 438 passing).
Sophomore quarterback Dane Evans had a monster outing, completing 31-of-53 passes with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Keevan Lucas was the primary beneficiary of Evans' aerial exploits, hauling in 13 balls for 233 yards and three scores -- all career highs. Josh Atkinson and Keyarris Garrett combined for 12 grabs for 157 yards.
As for the TU rushing attack, Tavarreon Dickerson led the way with 84 yards on 15 carries (5.6 ypc).
Defensively, the Golden Hurricane were manhandled on the ground, as Tulane averaged 8.5 yards per carry in amassing 254 rushing yards on the day. The Green Wave were successful on half of their 16 third-down conversion attempts, but turned the ball over twice (one fumble, one interception).
Trent Martin (12) and Michael Mudoh (10) both finished with double-digit tackles for Tulsa, which wound up with only one sack and four stops behind the line of scrimmage.
Tulsa head coach Bill Blankenship thought the team showed some moxie following an uneven start.
"This was obviously a great win to come from behind and fight through a lot of adversity that we had early in the game. I think what we did this fall in camp really paid off. I thought we were conditioned well at the end. In the end the guys were light on their stuff. They just started playing football. Kind of got out of our jumpiness early and started playing some ball."