🏈 Wrapping up OU-Tulane and a weird Week 1
An update on Theo Wease and our first Big 12 power rankings of the season
✌🏽 Happy Labor Day, friends. Let’s ride.
🤔 Trivia: Which OU football player holds the school record for most sacks recorded in a single game?[Answer in footnotes]
🤔 Postgame thoughts
An Oklahoma blowout nearly turned into a Week 1 nightmare this past Saturday.
The second-ranked Sooners were pushed around in the second half against Tulane but held on for a 40-35 win.
In my postgame column, a few thoughts on Spencer Rattler’s day, some grace for the defense and the team’s growing inability to put away teams after building a big lead. [👉🏽 For paying subscribes, click here to read]
🔋 Big 12 Power Rankings
Only one Big 12 team lost this past weekend, but there were plenty of uninspiring Week 1 performances to go around.
Oklahoma (1-0): The Sooners’ second-half collapses remain a puzzling part to the Lincoln Riley experience. Still, OU preserved its season against a Tulane team it has to hope ages into a quality win.
Texas (1-0): The Longhorns beat Louisiana, a solid mid-major program, at home behind 224 passing yards and two touchdowns from its new starting quarterback Hudson Card. Texas’ next obstacle is a trip to Arkansas in Week 2.
Kansas State (1-0): While it’s not the Stanford of past, give Kansas State credit for nearly winning 24-0 before a late Cardinal score made it 24-7. Deuce Vaughn rushed for 124 yards on 13 carries, including a 59-yard sprint to the end zone [👉🏽 Click here to watch].
Iowa State (1-0): Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised the Cyclones struggled against Northern Iowa, which had a chance to win the game late. Coach Matt Campbell’s teams have notoriously stumbled out of the gate (and against mostly inferior opponents), but the Cyclones also haven’t had preseason top 10 expectations before.
Texas Tech (1-0): They didn’t start well but the Red Raiders bounced back from a 14-point deficit in the first half to holding Houston scoreless in the final two periods. The 38-21 win positions the Red Raiders to enter Big 12 play undefeated with its toughest nonconference test out of the way.
TCU (1-0): The Horned Frogs beat up on Duquesne, winning 45-3 in Week 1. A bigger challenge awaits as Cal visits Fort Worth next Saturday.
Oklahoma State (1-0): A shorthanded Cowboys team nearly let FCS Missouri State drive on them late — twice — to force overtime. Oklahoma State was without starting quarterback Spencer Sanders (who will be back next week), defensive end Trace Ford (who is reportedly out for the season) and several others.
West Virginia (0-1): The Mountaineers lost 30-24 to Maryland, which received a 332-yard and 3-touchdown passing performance from quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa. A respectable loss but a miss on West Virginia’s part to build early-season momentum.
Baylor (1-0): The Bears topped Texas State 29-20. It will be a few weeks before we truly get a good read on Year 2 of the Dave Aranda era in Waco.
Kansas (1-0): The Jayhawks barely prevailed against FCS South Dakota, but it counts all the same for a program that doesn’t win all that often.
🤕 Wease update
OU receiver Theo Wease (lower body) will miss the first half of the team’s season, coach Lincoln Riley announced on Saturday.
What this means: The Sooners aren’t struggling for depth at receiver, but losing one of your best receivers from a year ago definitely stings. Wease, a former five-star prospect, had a team-high 37 receptions last season and ranked second on the squad with 530 receiving yards. He also had four touchdown receptions, including two against Oklahoma State on Nov. 21.
So when will Wease be back?: If Riley’s assessment is accurate, Wease would likely be available around the time OU plays TCU on Oct. 16. That game is sandwiched by OU's tilt with Texas on Oct. 9 and a trip to Kansas on Oct. 23.
📖 Read options
We don’t talk enough about how good OU has it with kicker Gabe Brkic. He was fantastic for the Sooners on Saturday, nailing 4-of-5 field-goal attempts and drilling a 56-yarder. A solid read from The Oklahoman’s Justin Martinez on Brkic’s day. [👉🏽 Click here to read]
OU’s coaches and players were quick to take the blame for the team’s close call against Tulane. SoonerScoop.com’s Bob Przybylo did a good job of capturing the pulse of the locker room, which included this quote from Spencer Rattler: “That was one of the hardest hitting teams, one of the most physical teams I've played. They came out there, and they played great, better than us, for sure. They wanted to win more than us. You could tell it.” [👉🏽 Click here to read]
OU running back Kennedy Brooks looked like he never left the team on Saturday. Brooks, who opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns, was one of the brighter spots for the Sooners against Tulane. More on Brooks’ day from SI Sooners. [👉🏽 Click here to read]
📺 How to purchase pay-per-view
Yes, this week’s game will only be available on pay-per-view, starting at 6 p.m. Saturday.
How much does it cost?: Pricing will vary by television provider but the game will be available on SoonerSports.TV for $54.99 [👉🏽 Click here to order]
Providers offering pay-per-view: DirecTV, Cox, U-Verse and Vyve
Providers unavailable to offer pay-per-view: DISH and Sling
Devices/apps unavailable to show pay-per-view: Roku, Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV Cube
⏰ On this day
On Sept. 6, 2003, OU went into Tuscaloosa and beat the Alabama Crimson Tide 20-13. The meeting marked OU's first and only trip to Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Cedric Jones. He had five sacks against Texas Tech in the Sooners' game against the Red Raiders in 1994.