The Oklahoma Sooners will take the field with a new starting quarterback as they host the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. After Trevor Knight was injured during the first half of play, Blake Bell was named the starter moving forward. While some fans applaud the move, others remain skeptical. The most common notion is that the coaching staff must have had good reason to name a redshirt freshman the starter of him.
Through two games, the offense has taken a ground and pound approach with much success. Averaging 310.5 yards per game is a far cry from the Sam Bradford era as well as the Landry Jones era. A quick glance at the transition leads to the conclusion that the passing game is shaky at best. However, the Belldozer is an intimidating runner at quarterback with his size. Defensivebacks are likely to bounce off time and time again as he reaches the secondary.
Defensively, Tulsa is giving up 30.5 points per game and 4.67 yards per rush attempt. It appears that, the Golden Hurricane may run into trouble as they will face one of the top rushing attacks in the nation. Knowing that your opponent is going to run the ball is one thing, stopping it is another.
On the other side of the ball, the Sooner defense has been stellar. Giving up seven points in eight quarters of play ranks this Oklahoma unit fourth in nation in scoring defense. The move to a 3-3-5 utilizes the speed sitting on roster. As Jordan Phillips continues to progress and Charles Tapper gains valuable experience, this 3-man front has the potential to be disruptive on every down.
Although Derek Patterson and Jordan James are averaging over 16 yards per catch while Trey Watts adds another 6.2 on the ground, this is a Tulsa offense that falls in the middle of the pack. The potential to put scoring drives together is there.
On paper, the Sooners have the upper hand. But when you look at the stretch behind the Tulsa game, a potential trap game makes itself known. A road trip to Notre Dame is next on the list following a bye week. Right behind the Fighting Irish are the TCU Horned Frogs and the Texas Longhorns. If there was any game that OU might overlook, it would be this weekend.