As the Oklahoma Sooners return home, they’ll have a unique challenge ahead with the Tulane Green Wave. From a defensive stand point, it will be assignment football. Here are three key defensive players come Saturday.

3 Key Defensive Players

Parnell Motley

Against the Ohio State Buckeyes in week two, Will Johnson’s status was put up in the air. Leaving the game with an injury, Johnson remains a game time decision. Joining him, ¬†fans have yet to receive an update on safety Robert Barnes. That leaves OU three short on the depth chart with the inclusion of Jordan Parker. However, Tulane’s star quarterback in Jonathan Banks suffered an injury against Navy.

Despite the current situation under center, the Green Wave possesses two other viable options assuming Banks is unavailable. Regardless of who steps onto the field, the offense will challenge the secondary every now and then. Oklahoma’s player to watch is Parnell Motley as he attempts to continue the success opposite of Jordan Thomas.

Kenneth Murray

Running a triple option, the Sooners must prepare to play assignment football as mentioned above. As one of two true freshman starting this season, Kenneth Murray finds himself in a position of responsibility. The Green Wave will bring something to the table no other program Oklahoma faces will in the zone read and triple option attack.

Employing playmakers on the edges, Tulane hopes to spread the defense out while giving the running back room to work. This single fact marks Murray as one player who must refuse to make mistakes. All eyes will be on the youngster in the middle this weekend.

D.J. Ward

Fans know what a player like Ogbo Okoronkwo brings to the table as a pass rusher. Much of his skill set has overshadowed a high profile player on the opposite side of the line in Ward. Asked to contain a potent rushing attack, Ward becomes a key factor as the Green Wave will attempt the zone read for most of the night. One mistake could lead to a big play. However, the athleticism and speed of the defensive ends should be able to make up for minor issues.