Recap: OU underwhelms in 40-35 win over Tulane

September 4, 2021
NCAA Football: Tulane at Oklahoma
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Sooners survived, but it wasn’t pretty.

On a toasty Saturday afternoon, the No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners survived a mega upset bid by the Tulane Green Wave after narrowly escaping with a 40-35 season opening victory. With the win, OU extends its overall winning streak to nine games and starts the 2021 campaign, 1-0. Still, this team clearly has a lot of soul searching ahead of them.

A bad decision from Spencer Rattler resulted in an interception on the first drive of the game, but the redshirt sophomore rebounded for a respectable half. In total, it wasn’t the best showing for the Heisman hopeful, as he ultimately finished the contest completing 30 of 39 passes (76.9%) for 304 yards, one touchdown and two INTs.

It was an inauspicious start for the Sooners, who opened the game with a negative play and a turnover. Meanwhile, Tulane took advantage of the opportunity with consecutive touchdown drives to take an early 14-7 lead. Oklahoma would eventually assert its dominance, scoring 30 straight points to close the first half.

In the second half, OU looked lost once again, except this time the issues spread to both sides of the ball. The defense consistently gave up plays across the middle, and showed poor tackling effort from start to finish. On offense, Tulane smothered Rattler and company, and simply looked like the more ready, more prepared team. Shockingly enough, the Green Wave outscored the Sooners, 21-3 over the final two quarters, and if it wasn’t for a miraculous stop on fourth down, Oklahoma could have very well opened the season with a gut-wrenching loss.

The lone bright spot on Saturday for Lincoln Riley’s squad was redshirt junior placekicker Gabe Brkic showed why he’s a two-time Lou Groza Award semifinalist. On the day, the Chardon, Ohio product made four of his five field goal attempts, with three of his makes good from beyond 50 yards out.

Up next, Oklahoma welcomes the Western Carolina Catamounts to Norman on Saturday, Sept. 11. Kick-off is set for 6 p.m. CT, and the game will only be available on pay-per-view via FOX Sports.

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