Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming OU game, which was moved from Louisiana to Oklahoma, in our Oklahoma vs. Tulane preview and prediction.
Saturday, September 4, 2021; 11:00 am; Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium; Norman, OK
TV: ABC (Dave Pasch and Dusty Dvoracek)
Radio: Sooner Sports Network (Toby Rowland and Teddy Lehman); Tulane IMG Sports Radio Network (Andrew Allegretta)
Spread: OU -27
Fun Fact: This game marks Oklahoma’s 1,300th game in history of Sooner football. The Sooners walloped the Green Wave, 56-14, in 2017—the first meeting between both teams.
RB’s Kennedy Brooks and Eric Gray
QB Spencer Rattler is favored to win the Heisman Trophy, but the Sooners have only two scholarship running backs. Keeping Brooks and Gray injury-free all season will be vital if No. 2-ranked Oklahoma is to win a seventh straight Big 12 title and possible College Playoff bid. Brooks sat out 2020 due to Covid concerns. He rushed for 2,067 yards and 18 TDs in his career. Gray, a transfer from Tennessee, rushed for 1,311 yards and 8 TDs for the Volunteers during the last two years.
Linebacker Nik Bonitto
Bonitto is expected to put up an All-American performance this season. Last year, Bonitto logged 10.5 tackles for loss (56 yards), 8.0 sacks (44 yards), two pass breakups, and a team-high 10 QB hurries. He has one interception, which came against Baylor in 2018 to seal Oklahoma’s win over the Bears.
Tulane Green Wave
OL’s Corey Dublin and Sincere Haynesworth
Dublin and Haynesworth paved the way for Tulane’s running attack that averaged 219 yards a year ago. Left guard Dubline and center Haynesworth combined to help open holes allowing their fellow teammates to rush for a team-high 427 yards and seven touchdowns against Southern Miss in 2020. Both linemen were named to the all-American Athletic Conference team last year. This year, Dublin is on the Outland preseason watch list, and Haynesworth is on the Rimington Trophy watch list.
LB Dorian Williams
As a freshman last year, Williams led the AAC with 98 stops in 2020 and 16.6 tackles for loss (for 46 yards) also was a team-high. He finished the season with 14 tackles against Nevada in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
The Sooners are expected to win their seventh straight Big 12 Championship and a return to the College Football Playoffs. If they’re going to reach the CFP, they’ll have to limit losses to none or one this season. This matchup was initially slated to play in New Orleans, but Hurricane Ida caused widespread damage to New Orleans, home of the Green Wave. Oklahoma will wear white road unis for the first time on Owen Field. OU is 97-23-6 all-time in season openers.
Tulane Green Wave
The Green Wave have been practicing in Birmingham, Alabama, since the Hurricane ravaged their hometown. They will be considered the home team and wear their green home jerseys. Tulane head coach Willie Fritz has built the football program from 12-15 in his first two years to 20-18 in his last three years, including three straight bowl appearances.
Oklahoma 45, Tulane 14
Oklahoma’s defense is expected to be the best in many years. The Sooners’ front seven, led by Bonitto, noseguard Perrion Winfrey, and end Isiah Thomas could get a test with the line duo of Dublin and Haynesworth. OU’s offense should click on all cylinders, with Rattler leading the way. Tulane’s top rusher last year, Stephon Hudson, graduated last year. The Green Wave are looking to open the passing game since their top six receivers return this year. Last year, QB Michael Pratt completed 55 percent of his passes with a TD/Interception ratio of 20/8.