No. 3 Sooners Dominant In Blowout Of Tulsa
TULSA, Oklahoma - Sometimes football can be a lot like playing in traffic…every now and then you get hit by a bus.
That proverbial bus rolled through Tulsa on Saturday in the form of the No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners, and the Golden Hurricane had no answer.
OU dominated from start to finish en route to a 52-7 road win that was played in front of roughly a 75-percent pro-Sooner crowd.
The suspense was over just moments after the opening kickoff. OU quarterback Trevor Knight flipped the ball to his top target, Sterling Shepherd, who took off for 54 yards. Two plays later, Durron Neal cruised in for a 7-yard touchdown and the Sooners grabbed a 7-0 lead less than a minute in.
Later in the quarter, Knight capped a 7-play, 72-yard drive with a 31-yard dash to the house to give OU the 14-0 lead. After Tulsa finally recorded a first down, the Golden Hurricane was forced to punt and the Sooners were right back at it.
OU marched right down the Chapman-Stadium turf and finished off a 12-play, 81-yard drive with a little history. Former starting QB Blake Bell hauled in a 3-yard pass from Knight and recorded his first career receiving touchdown. Bell was moved to tight end in the offseason after Knight became the clear-cut starter at quarterback.
Bell became the first OU player to record a passing, receiving and rushing touchdown in his career since Antwone Savage, who played for the Sooners from 1999-2002.
Trailing 24-0 in the second, Tulsa finally put together a drive. TU began at its own 15 and drove 13 plays all the way to the OU 10. But on first down, Tulsa QB Dane Evans missed an open Keyarris Garrett in the end zone. Two plays later it was still 3rd-and-goal and the wheels officially fell off for TU.
Evans dropped back to pass but the slippery ball popped out of his hands, falling to the turf, and OU defensive lineman Jordan Phillips scooped it up. The 6-foot-6, 325-pound sophomore rumbled and stumbled all the way to the end zone for another Sooner touchdown. However, the return was called back due to a personal foul away from the ball.
OU wasted no time making up for it. On the very next play, Alex Ross took the handoff and sprinted 82 yards to the house and the Sooners took a commanding 31-0 lead.
The third quarter got off to a much better start for the Hurricane. TU took the kickoff and marched 71 yards to the OU 4-yard line. Then on a 4th-and-goal, Evans found Keevan Lucas in the right corner of the end zone and TU was finally on the board.
But that was Tulsa's final bright spot of the day. The Sooners left the starters in until early in the fourth quarter and put the rest of the game in cruise control.
Knight led the Sooners with 299 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns. OU rushed for 261 yards, led by Ross' 90 on just five carries. Keith Ford also ran for 87 yards on 10 tries. Shepherd led the OU air attack with eight grabs for 177 yards and a score. Keith Ford caught six passes for 70 yards.
Evans threw for 204 yards with one touchdown and two picks. The Hurricane struggled to run it all day and collected just 94 yards on the ground. James Flanders led the way with 54 yards on 13 carries. Breakout star Keevan Lucas had another big day for TU. The sophomore receiver caught 10 more balls for 84 yards and a score. Keyarris Garrett chipped in with four catches for 55 yards.
Tulsa is back in action on Saturday at Florida Atlantic. Kickoff against the Owls is set for 6 p.m. CT. The Sooners host Tennessee at 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.