It wasn’t pretty but it was a win. In the moment 1-0 is all that matters but in the long term Oklahoma has a lot to correct and clean up before they begin the conference slate in three weeks. Frustration is going to be the lead story through the remainder of the weekend and it won’t just be limited to the fanbase either.
Game Defining Moment
This game was ugly throughout but the Sooners got into a solid groove, on both sides of the ball, in the second quarter. After giving up touchdowns on Tulane’s first two possessions the Oklahoma defense forced two punts and three fumbles on the remaining first half possessions for the Green Wave. During that span the Sooner offense produced 166 yards and 23 points to turn a 14-14 tie into a 37-14 lead. The Sooners would need all of that in order to hang on for the win.
If you’re looking for a positive to take away from this game, outside of the Sooners winning, then look no further than Gabe Brkic. Oklahoma’s junior kicker made field goals of 26, 51, 55, and 56 yards.
A Damaging Combo
Yes, it was the first game of the season but this was far more sloppy that expected. The struggles along the offensive line can be directly linked to the struggles in the passing game and the lack of scoring in the second half. The other contributing factor was turnovers.
False start penalties and the lack of a push on running plays haunted Oklahoma throughout the game and stalled out drives. Spencer Rattler’s two interceptions not only stopped drives for the Sooners but they also led to 14 points for the Green Wave.
Either one of these issues in their own right would be frustrating but the combo of the two was significantly damaging.
The Problem Child
We knew coming in that Tulane quarterback Michael Pratt was going to be a handful for the Sooner defense but he was way more than that. The sophomore absorbed blow after blow from defenders to complete 27-of-44 pass attempts for 296 yards and three touchdowns. He did fumble three times but he was undoubtedly the heart and soul of the Green Wave.
In all of our discussions leading up to the game in regards to Oklahoma’s depth at the receiver position I never mentioned, or heard anyone else mention, Brian Darby. The sophomore caught three passes for 26 yards and proved that he can be a factor in the offense.
Also, who had Caleb Williams scoring a touchdown in a game that never made it to garbage time?
Marvin Mims never made it to the end zone on Saturday but the sophomore picked up where he left off after a stellar freshman campaign. Mims caught five passes for 117 yards. Both of those were team highs.
Defensively Delarrin Turner-Yell produced a team best 10 tackles but true freshman Billy Bowman seemed to be all over the place. He recorded four tackles, one for loss, had a pass break up and forced a fumble.
The Sooners will have their official home opener next weekend when they host Western Carolina.
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