Offense shines as OU defeats Tulsa, 52-38

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OU running back Samaje Perine is stopped for no gain by TU’s defense.

Many observers figured offense would be on display Saturday when the Tulsa Golden Hurricane squared off with the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday in Bob Stoops’ 100th home game at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, and no one was disappointed, except possibly the defensive coaches for both teams.

The two teams combined for 70 first downs and 1,376 total yards, 863 coming in the first half.

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OU running back Daniel Brooks #34 looks for running room against TU Saturday in Norman.

This game featured its fair share of big plays and on OU’s first offensive play, quarterback Baker Mayfield hit Dede Westbrook with a 39-yard strike as he streaked down the sideline, then found Durron Neal for 22 yards to the TU one-yard line, but they had to settle for a 20-yard field goal by Austin Seibert. TU knotted the score soon after when Redford Jones booted a 23-yarder of his own.

OU quarterback Baker Mayfield breaks free in the open field.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield breaks free in open field.

The Sooners upped the score to 10-3 when Mayfield, operating with an empty backfield, took the snap and sprinted 39 yards through a wide open middle of the field. With just over a minute left in the first quarter, Mayfield connected with Joe Mixon with a ten yard scoring strike and OU found themselves up 17-3.

Mayfield then opened the second quarter scoring by once again using his legs to find the end zone with his second rushing touchdown of the contest. The Golden Hurricane struck back as quarterback Dane Evans guided them down the field, culminating in an 18-yard touchdown pass to Josh Atkinson. Sooner tight end Mark Andrews found the end zone for the first time as a Sooner when Mayfield found him all alone for a 61-yard scoring strike.

Quarterback Dane Evans and the TU offense scorched the OU defense with 603 total yards Saturday.

Quarterback Dane Evans and the TU offense scorched the OU defense with 603 total yards Saturday.

Then things got interesting. Following an OU turnover, Evans guided the TU offense down the field and, with 13 ticks on the clock before halftime, hooked up with sure-handed receiver Keevan Lucas for a 28-yard touchdown pass. On the ensuing kickoff, TU chose to squib kick, presumably to not let dangerous OU return man Alex Ross an opportunity for a big return. However, the ball hit one of the Sooner special teams members and TU pounced on the ball. With one second on the game clock, Evans’ 43-yard Hail Mary pass was hauled in by Keyarris Garrett in the end zone and suddenly the Golden Hurricane was within striking distance.

Midway through the third stanza, OU receiver Jarvis Baxter joined the scoring parade by hauling in a 29-yard touchdown toss from Mayfield. A little over two and a half minutes later, TU running back Zack Langer punched it in from one yard out.
The Sooners’ next tally was a play for the ages, showcasing Mayfield’s escapeability. For a moment it appeared the young quarterback was going to be sacked but he slipped between two Tulsa defenders and somehow found a way out of the grasp of defensive tackle Derrick Luetjen, who had hold of Mayfield’s leg. While running to his left and with more TU defenders coming, he suddenly dropped back and launched a pass off his back foot, finding Andrews with a 17-yard scoring strike.

Samaje Perine had 152 yards rushing in Saturday's win over Tulsa.

Perine had 152 yards rushing in win over Tulsa.

OU running back Samaje Perine, who finished the game with 152 rushing yards capped off the OU scoring with a touchdown run of 20 yards and TU closed out the points-fest when Evans and Lucas hooked up again, this time from 40 yards.

For the game, Mayfield was 32-38 passing for 487 yards, with four touchdowns and no interceptions, while Evans was 34-51 for 427 yards, also with four touchdowns and no picks.

Following an open date the Sooners will begin conference play when West Virginia comes to Norman, while the Golden Hurricane will host Houston on October 3.

Photos also by Greg Duke, Tulsa Today.