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[2023] Big XII Network Week 0 Saturday Afternoon Preview

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Saturday Afternoon

 

#4 Oklahoma (0-0) at Tulsa (0-0) (+21)

 

Oklahoma will be the fifth Big XII program to open their season away from home (including West Virginia at a neutral site), with Oklahoma State this week and Texas next week still to join them. This will be the first time either of the two Big XII schools from Oklahoma have faced their AAC in-state foe, who themselves are coming off of a 10-win season and a conference championship game appearance. They return a lot from that team, including starting quarterback Charles Palmer (63.8% passing for 3725 yards, 32 TD, 8 INT and a 143.4 passer rating last season), wide receiver Arona Seau (80 catches for 1120 yards and 10 TD), and two other 600-yard receivers on the offensive end. An already mediocre run game will take a step back with Victor Colbert's graduation and replacement with Timothy Lima. Their biggest loss on offense is tight end Charles Newsome (56 for 682 yards, 7 TD, all second or tied for second on the team) who declared early for the NFL draft. They'll have to throw this year, and against Oklahoma their best chance is to try and buzz the tower against freshman safeties Ian Willis and Sebastian Graham. They want to get the ball to Arona Seau while he's outside of Elijah Williams's zone, because Elijah Williams is one of the best corners in the country and will not allow much to happen in that zone. Oklahoma's linebackers are also adept at defending the pass, and lacking a good tight end to match up with that group will be more trouble for Tulsa. They have a solid enough offensive line, but solid enough to buy time against Jeremiah Melvin (10.5 sacks, 6 TFL, 2 FF, 1 FR last year), David Kaiser (6.5 sacks, 9 TFL, 1 FR), and Max Abel (6.0 sacks, 4 TFL)? This is a defense that has the recipe to make any pass-first team struggle, and Tulsa fits the bill. Can Tulsa impose the same difficulties on Oklahoma's new-look offense with Nick Brohm and Jaiden Douglas at the helm? Lardarius Rucker had a productive true freshman season with 8 sacks and 9 tackles for loss, and Kilohana Lealofioa'ana figures to improve from 3.5 sacks and 4 TFL heading into his junior year. But that won't help if Oklahoma gets the ball to their receivers in space without getting the safeties involved and without giving Tulsa's pass rush time to get home. Tulsa didn't have anyone with more than two interceptions last year, and the safeties are the only potential ballhawks on the team. I think Brohm will look to connect with Lucas Dykes as often as possible, but Chase Reardon, Aiden Caldwell, and Tion Sproles will all test the Tulsa secondary and I don't think they have an answer for that. If the new backfield struggles, this game might be close for a while. But this ought to be a comfortable Sooner win.

 

:ou: #4 Oklahoma 35, :tulsa: Tulsa 17

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I'd like to hire whoever got Oklahoma to travel to Tulsa.

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3 minutes ago, Rome said:

I'd like to hire whoever got Oklahoma to travel to Tulsa.

 

Probably something the state legislature made them do 

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1 hour ago, Rome said:

I'd like to hire whoever got Oklahoma to travel to Tulsa.

 

We consider it an honor to visit our in-state rivals.  Tulsa has a fine football program and facility.  I wish Oklahoma State was on par with their facilities.

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