TULSA, OK— There weren’t a lot of positives one could pull from the 52-7 loss the TU Golden Hurricane suffered at the hands of the fourth ranked Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday afternoon in H.A. Chapman Stadium on Saturday afternoon, but there were a few.
For one thing, the attendance was just 643 away from a full sellout at 29,357 on a wet and cool pre-fall afternoon, but that is tangential to a few facts about the game that will very likely go unnoticed due to the ridiculously lopsided number of points on the scoreboard.
When a team hangs 52 points on the scoreboard that is the only thing that gets noticed, typically. But while the final total yards gained in the game was similarly lopsided with OU solidly outdistancing TU 580 yards to 324, the majority of the Golden Hurricane’s positive yardage came in the second half where they actually out-gained the Sooners 288-184, and that was when the Sooners gave up the shutout as TU quarterback Dane Evans found AAC Player of the Week Keevin Lucas on a 4-yard strike to put the only points on the board for TU in the game.
Lucas also amassed a second double-digit yardage day in the 2014 season catching 10 passes for 84-yards. Dane Evans threw 23 completions on 43 attempts and two picks for 204-yards.
In the end, though it was a road game, the Oklahoma Sooners owned Chapman Stadium.
Many career days occurred in the game for OU, namely a near 300-passing day by Trevor Knight, who threw two touchdowns, ran for a third, (a 31-yard gallop keeper that put OU ahead 14-7 in the first quarter), and threw 21 completions on 34 attempts for 299 yards. Sterling Shepherd was also nearly flawless on Saturday, grabbing 8 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown.
The Sooners showed what made them the #4 ranked team in the country several times. One of the backbreakers that OU performed on the Golden Hurricane occurred near the end of the first half when a TU drive was stopped by a fumble on the Oklahoma 10-yard line, on the ensuing possession Alex Ford raced some 82 yards into the end zone to give the visitors a commanding 31-0 lead at the half. OU’s first half domination extended beyond the score total as they had amassed 396 yards to TU’s 95, with 211 through the air and 185 on the ground.
The blowout loss was a kick in the gut, but one that showed the gap between big programs and small programs in college football. Still, the Golden Hurricane’s head coach saw the game as a learning experience.
“You have to give credit where credit is due.” TU head coach Bill Blankenship said after the game. “Those guys in white are an awfully good football team. Very well coached, very machine-like in the way they approached it. What we had hoped to do we didn’t do very well. You have to start the game with execution, and we didn’t very well. Certainly they took advantage of those mistakes, which good football teams do. We just have to put our hand to the plow and go back to work, and try to win.”
“I think we played better in the second half after things were decided, but what we talked about is that probably for our offense will be the best look that we’re going to get other than practice. We need to go quit looking at the scoreboard and just try to compete. We’ve got to build on the positives and we’ve got to identify the mistakes and correct them. If that’s personnel issues or something else, we’ve got to be willing to make those calls.”
As for Saturday’s game, as far as Coach Blankenship is concerned, it’s in the rear view mirror.
“It’s already out the door. We can’t dwell on it. The better team won today, so now it’s time to move on to FAU. We’ll come back and watch the film tomorrow. After we watch film tomorrow and get the missed assignments fixed, then it’s on to next week. It’s over with and we can’t take it back, so it’s time to move on.”
The Golden Hurricane are headed out on their first road trip of the 2014 season, headed to Boca Raton, Florida to take on the Owls of Florida Atlantic University. The game is set for a 5pm (Tulsa time) kickoff and it will be broadcast on KRMG AM740 and 102.3 FM with Bruce Howard and Rick Couri handling the play-by-play.
Photos by Greg Duke and Mitch Gregory for Tulsa Today.
The NewsOk.com video report follows: