Here is everything you need to know about the Sooners upcoming game in our Oklahoma vs. Tulane preview.
Date: September 16th, 2017 | 5 p.m. CT | Norman, Oklahoma, Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
Radio: Flagships KOMA 1520 AM & KRXO 107.7 FM | Sirus 134/XM 200
Tulane Green Wave
Dontrell Hilliard, running back
Hilliard is the senior in the backfield that goes four deep. He has a 5.4 YPC career average. Hilliard had just 36 rushing yards in the opener against Grambling, but also had two receptions for 77 yards, including a touchdown. Hilliard improved in the loss against Navy, rushing for 68 yards and a score on 16 carries.
Parry Nickerson, cornerback
Someone has to try to slow down Baker Mayfield, and Nickerson is the best option for Tulane. He’s a three-year starter who came into the season with 10 career interceptions and earned second-team All-AAC honors last season. He is part of secondary that has four starters back, including last year’s top tacklers Jarrod Franklin and Roderic Teamer.
Trey Sermon, running back
Baker Mayfield is too obvious an answer, so I’ll give you a couple of others ones to look out for. After Abdul Adams fumbled against Ohio State, Sermon became the top back for Lincoln Riley’s offense and had an impressive evening which included scoring a touchdown. Adams is still listed as the starter, but let’s see how the first half plays out this weekend.
Parnell Motley, cornerback
Motley is actually living up the the hype that has carried him around since the spring game this past year. He had a big fourth-quarter interception against J.T. Barrett that helped put the game in the bag for OU last weekend. He’s quickly become the most impressive player in the Sooners secondary.
Don’t get me wrong, Tulane isn’t a good football team. But they certainly aren’t as bad as some of their teams have been in recent years. Willie Fritz has this program on the right track. And while the Sooners could likely still win this game with ease if they happen to sleepwalk through the first half, that’s not what Lincoln Riley wants to see from his guys in front of the home crowd.
Tulane rushing game
When Ohio State fed J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber they were effective, averaging over six yards per carry. The problem is that Kevin Wilson went away from the running game when Ohio State had the lead in the third quarter. It made little sense. Tulane is deep at running back, rushing for nearly 300 yards against Grambling and then well over 200 yards against Navy.
Tulane rushing defense
They have to stop the run to have a chance. They did a solid job last week against a Navy team that loves to (or only) runs the ball, holding the Midshipmen to under 200 yards on the ground. They’ll have to stop the run against a backfield that goes four deep for Lincoln Riley and then try to force Baker Mayfield into some unusual mistakes to even have a chance at a massive upset.
Oklahoma 49, Tulane 17
Lincoln Riley will have his guys up for this game. And even if they are a little slow out of the gates, the Sooners talent will simply overwhelm the Green Wave. Tulane is an improving team, but this Oklahoma team is one of the best in the country. Sooners fans can rest easy.