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Sooners: Instant Analysis of 52-38 Win Over Tulsa

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OU finishes non-conference play with a 3-0 record after a 52-38 win over Tulsa. Here’s instant analysis of what happened.

How the Sooners won..

In the first two games of the season, OU struggled to get in any type of offensive rhythm early in the game. That definitely wasn’t the case against Tulsa on Saturday. Oklahoma totaled 773 yards of total offense while racking up 38 first downs, with 466 of those yards coming in the first half. Did I mention OU scored on its first four drives?

That production early in the game lifted the Sooners throughout, and the OU offense was leaking confidence.

The electric start by OU could’ve been even better.  If it weren’t for crucial fumbles by Semaje Perine and Joe Mixon in the redzone, and a failed fourth down conversion at midfield, the Sooners likely would’ve capped off every first half drive with points.   

Who stepped up..

It was only a week ago when Baker Mayfield and Sterling Shepard were busy saving the day for the Sooners with incredible second half performances against Tennessee. Now against Tulsa, the duo picked up right where they left off.

Mayfield accounted for six total touchdowns, while also rushing for a career high 85 yards. The Sooner quarterback was phenomenal yet again, and it appeared his confidence was rubbing off on his offensive teammates. Shepard was busy making play after play as well with 144 total receiving yards, 112 of them coming in the first half.

Who could’ve played better..

It would be easy to pinpoint the offensive line yet again, but against Tulsa, it was the secondary that had some trouble.

Tulsa has one of the best offenses in all of college football, and quarterback Dane Evans had his way against the OU defensive backs on Saturday. OU cornerback Zach Sanchez struggled throughout the game to stay in front of receiver Keyarris Garrett, who totaled a whopping 189 receiving yards. Garrett’s highlight play came at the end of the first half when he caught a hail mary touchdown to bring the Golden Hurricane within one touchdown going into intermission. OU gave up 427passing yards in the game.

One of the reasons for OU’s struggles in the secondary could’ve been the absence of starting cornerback Jordan Thomas. The sophomore was suspended for the game due to violation of team rules, and freshman P.J. Mbanasor struggled throughout the game while filling in. Mbanasor was pulled in the fourth quarter and replaced by Marcus Green.

Injuries a factor

After fumbling in the first half, Perine ran off the field holding his wrist and was evaluated by team doctors on the OU sideline. Perine later jogged to the locker room for x-rays, which raised concern throughout Sooner Nation. Perine later came back to play in the second half and rush for 152 yards, but it’s something to keep an eye on.

Defensive back Steven Parker is another Sooner that was dealing with an injury after suffering a stinger on his shoulder in the second quarter. Parker came back into the game after sitting out a few plays, but TU definitely took notice of the injury. Right when Parker came back out on the field, TU’s quarterback went right at him, connecting with Keevan Lucas for a 28-yard touchdown.

What’s next..

After their first bye week of the season, the Sooners will be back in action on October 3, when they begin conference play and host West Virginia. 

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