Oklahoma football: Sooners’ tidal wave topples Tulane

NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 16: Running back Trey Sermon
NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 16: Running back Trey Sermon /

The third week of the Oklahoma football season started off slow, but the Sooners regrouped on defense after the opening quarter and the OU offense was far too explosive for Tulane to contain.

The second-ranked Sooners finally achieved consistency on both sides of the ball midway through the second quarter and from there marched to a convincing 56-14 home win over the gritty bunch from New Orleans. It was Oklahoma’s 13th consecutive victory.

Tulane drove 65 yards on its opening possession to take a 7-0 lead and followed that up with another score in its second possession, going 75 yards in nine plays, mostly on the ground.

The Sooners lost a fumble on their first possession but scored on their next two, the first coming on an 82-yard pass from Baker Mayfield to true freshman CeeDee Lamb. The first quarter ended with the two teams tied at 14-all.

The opening 15 minutes found the Oklahoma front seven struggling to find a way to stop the Tulane option attack and get the Green Wave offense off the field.

That’s when the flow of the game and the momentum dramatically shifted to the home-team Sooners. Tulane was on the move again on its third possession of the game, driving 48 yards on 12 plays to the OU 27-yard line. On the 13th play of the drive, however, Tulane quarterback Jonathan Brantley was intercepted by Oklahoma sophomore cornerback Parnell Motley, who returned it 77 yards for a Sooner touchdown that put OU on top 21-14. That play changed the whole course of the game.

Oklahoma Sooners Football
Oklahoma Sooners Football /

Oklahoma Sooners Football

The Oklahoma defense made adjustments and shut down the Tulane offense from the second quarter on. Meanwhile, Mayfield and the OU offense kept its foot on the gas pedal, rolling up 631 yards of total offense, 434 of that coming through the air on 17 of 27 passing and four touchdowns thrown by Mayfield. Backup Sooner QB Kyler Murray completed all three of his passes for 103 yards, including an 87-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter for Oklahoma’s final score.

The Sooners allowed Tulane just 67 yards of offense in the second half after giving up 224 yards in the opening half. Senior running back Dontrell Hillard had 19 carries for 104 yards rushing, and Brantley added 60 more on the ground.

Junior-college transfer Marquise Brown and Lamb each caught four passes, Brown for 155 yards and an average of 25.8 yards per catch and Lamb for 131 yards and 32.8 yards per reception,

It took a little while to get it ground game going, but the yards started to pile up over the final 30 minutes, during which the Sooners outscored the Green Wave 28-0, doubling their halftime scoring level.

Sophomore Abdul Adams ended up with 93 rushing yards, 11.6 yards per carry, to lead Oklahoma on the ground. Junior-college transfer Marcelias Sutton contributed 63 yards on six carries, an average of 10.5 yards per carry.

Tulane held the ball for 14 minutes longer than the Sooners, but OU was more productive with its offensive possessions.

A week ago in Oklahoma’s giant win over Ohio State, the Sooners punted just once the entire game. They punted two times against Tulane, and scored seven touchdowns in 11 offensive possessions.

The Sooners completed the nonconference portion of their 2017 schedule, going a perfect 3-0. Next weekend OU travels to Baylor (0-3) for its Big 12 opener.