Start Time: Saturday, September 16th, 2017 at 5:00pm CST
TV: Pay Per View
Live Coverage: SoonerSports.TV
Location: Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, Oklahoma
The Series: This is the initial meeting between the two programs
Betting Line: OU is a 34 point favorite.
Tulane Green Wave Outlook: The Green Wave is attempting to bounce back after a tough two-point AAC loss to Navy, but they may have to play without starting quarterback Jonathan Banks, who was injured in the second quarter versus Navy and did not return. Backup quarterback Jonathan Brantley played well in a relief effort, accounting for 131 yards of offense and a touchdown. Tulane’s defense played well enough to win, holding Navy to only 326 yards of total offense, including only 194 yards on the ground and generating two turnovers including a fumble return for a touchdown.
The Green Wave offense faces a monumental task in the form of the Oklahoma defense, which features next level talent at every position. Tulane, in all likelihood, will have to take on the challenge with their backup quarterback. Brantley played well in relief of Banks (5-8 58 yards passing & 9 carries 73 yards rushing), leading the offense to two touchdown drives last week. But in order for Tulane to pull the upset, Brantley will have to play mistake free and the Green Wave receivers will have to become much more of a factor in the passing game. So far this season, the only wide receivers to have caught a pass are Terren Encalade, Darnell Mooney and Chris Johnson. Tulane will have to be effective in the play-action passing game to have a chance to pull the upset. Brantley will need to be accurate and the offensive line will have to provide better pass protection than last week while also opening the running lanes for Dontrell Hilliard, Sherman Badie and Darius Bradwell.
The Green Wave defense played well last week against Navy, but they will need to be even better to slow down Oklahoma and Baker Mayfield. Currently, Tulane ranks No. 1 in the AAC and 30th in the country in yards allowed per game and it’s no fluke. But Coach Jack Curtis’ defense knows they have a big challenge this week, and the secondary may be missing one of its top play-makers in safety Rod Teamer, who was injured late versus Navy and has been spotted in a walking boot. True freshman Chase Kuerschen performed well in relief recording eight tackles and forcing a fumble. Tulane’s corners will be tested early and often and the defensive front of Ade Aruna, Sean Wilson and Eldrick Washington will have to generate a lot of penetration in order to hinder the Oklahoma rushing attack. Do that and perhaps the secondary can continue to cause turnovers to keep the Wave in the game.
Oklahoma Sooners Outlook: All the Sooners did last week was go into the Horseshoe and soundly defeat the #2 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. Baker Mayfield and the Sooner offense dominated in the second half and the OU defense pretty much terrified the Buckeye offense for most of the game. The Sooners are riding high as they moved up in the rankings to #2 this week and they will look to crush the Green Wave early.
Prediction: We have a team on the rise in Tulane and a team on the mountaintop in Oklahoma. One team is starting its backup quarterback, while the other will be starting a two-time Heisman trophy finalist and the likely favorite to win the award. Coach Willie Fritz and the Green Wave will have to play flawless football, while the Sooners will need to be overconfident, turnover prone and disinterested until it’s too late for the Green Wave to pull the upset in Norman. Wait…that’s usually how upsets happen!
Tulane 38 – Oklahoma 35