TULSA, Okla. – D’Angelo Brewer’s mindset at Oklahoma State on Aug. 31 was to prove that he was one of the best running backs in the country.
Oklahoma State’s defense silenced the Tulsa native from making his voice heard in college football’s opening week, limiting Brewer to 33 yards on 22 carries.
While the door closed for Brewer’s opening week goal, his performance fueled him to motivate himself and his team to wash the foul taste out of their mouths.
“It was a tough game for me,” Brewer said. “They came out with a great game plan and it was a game that I wanted to come out and show the world the type of talent that I had with my team. But we didn’t get it done, so that next day we tried to tell the guys that we had to get that taste out of our mouths and bounce back. That starts with the first day of practice.”
Throughout Tulsa’s practice preparation, Brewer pushed himself to finish runs while pushing the lineman to complete blocks. Tulsa’s offensive line executed their set blocks in Saturday’s home opener against Louisiana, opening holes for the Golden Hurricane’s running game.
Wanting to reward his offensive line for powering through the Ragin’ Cajuns’ defense, Brewer blasted through Louisiana by putting up a career-high of 262 yards with three touchdowns, the third most rushing yards in Tulsa history. The 5 foot 9 inch senior darted through the Louisiana secondary for a 50-yard that resulted in the game’s first touchdown and allowed Tulsa to carry the momentum for most of the game.
Brewer answered the bell later in the third quarter with a career-long 60-yard run, setting up Corey Taylor II with his second rushing touchdown of the game to put the Golden Hurricane up by double digits nearing the end of the third quarter.
“I say it every time they ask me. We have one of the best O-line in the country,” Brewer said. “They really dedicate themselves on opening up holes and making the running backs look good. I try to learn all the blocking schemes, so whenever they open it up, I can be right there [in the end zone] for my big guys.”
The leader in Tulsa’s offensive attack, who’s 672 yards of total offense was the most in 28 games under head coach Philip Montgomery, was not the only one motivated by the opening week failure. Linebacker Cooper Edmiston said that the defense wanted to have Brewer’s and the offense’s back after giving up 59 points to Oklahoma State.
Despite giving up 42 points and almost 600 yards of total offense to UL-Lafayette, the Golden Hurricane protected the lead the offense worked tirelessly to obtain. Safety Manny Bunch came down with an interception where the Ragin’ Cajuns had possession on Tulsa’s 36-yard line and Edmiston picked off Jordan Davis’ pass on Louisiana’s following possession.
“We have each other’s back,” Edmiston said. “The offense did great for us today. They obviously proved that. The defense is going to have to step it up now because we can’t rely on the offense to score 66 points [every game]. Heck of a job for them and as a group for the defense, we just have to get better overall.”
Quarterback Chad President used four different receivers to compile a career-high of 243 yards while completing 14-for-20 passes. Freshman Shamari Brooks added 79 rushing yards in his first collegiate game with a touchdown while Taylor and President added two rushing touchdowns each.
Whenever the offense made plays, the defense’s motivation turned to responding with stops. With Davis hauling 309 passing yards and scoring a total of four times, the Golden Hurricane strung together a season-high three turnovers that prevented Louisiana from spoiling the party at H.A. Chapman Stadium.
“We try to feed off of each other once somebody makes a play,” Bunch said. “We get pumped up and then you’re like, ‘I’m going to go make a play.’”
Tulsa (1-1) travels to Toledo for their final non-conference road game on Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. central time.