Oklahoma football 2017 kickoff preview: Part I

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 02: Baker Mayfield
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 02: Baker Mayfield /
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NEW ORLEANS, LA – OCTOBER 29: Terren Encalade
NEW ORLEANS, LA – OCTOBER 29: Terren Encalade /

September 16 – The Green Wave flood Norman

Oklahoma and Tulane will meet for the first time on Sept. 16 in Norman, the beginning of a three -game series between both schools. This will also be the last out-of-conference opponent in 2017 for the Sooners, who will be hoping to enter this game on a two game winning streak.

On paper, it’s fairly obvious that Oklahoma represents a substantial mismatch for Tulane. The Green Wave limped to a 4-8 record in 2016, including a six-game losing streak from October through November. So for the Sooners this game doesn’t mean much beyond a final tune-up before commencing Big 12 play.

A key for this game will be Oklahoma’s mindset, especially if the Sooners enter the game after a loss to Ohio State the prior week. During the Bob Stoops era, Sooner teams tended to recover nicely after losses, so there’s no reason to believe this trend shouldn’t continue under Lincoln Riley. In this scenario, it will be interesting to see how Riley manages the team after a setback, if that indeed is the case.

If the Sooners enter this one flying high after a victory in Columbus, then the key will be to continue building momentum for a playoff run and enter Big 12 play on a high note, with no significant injury losses.

Either way, the Sooners should win this one easily, setting the stage for the start of conference play.

Prediction: Sooners 52, Green Wave 10