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Game Preview: Clash of Strengths Meet in Tulsa on Saturday

Strength vs. strength and inexperience vs. inexperience



The Cowboys’ Week 3 battle has the chance to be an interesting one.

Oklahoma State will look to remain unbeaten on the season when it takes on Tulsa at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. There are some interesting matchups in this game in OSU’s offense vs. TU’s defense and TU’s offensive line vs. OSU’s defensive line. We’ll detail those in a bit, but let’s start with some stats.

Offensive Stats
Oklahoma State Tulsa
Points Per Game 54 20.5
Total Offense 567.5 309.5
Passing Offense 308 218
Rushing Offense 259.5 91.5
Defensive Stats
Oklahoma State Tulsa
Points Allowed Per Game 25 22
Total Defense 383 325.5
Passing Defense 219 214
Rushing Defense 164 111.5
Strength vs. Strength

It’s no secret to anyone the OSU’s strength is in its offense, and Tulsa has showed its strength to be its defense thus far.

The Golden Hurricane held Michigan State to 28 points in Week 1 despite a woeful offensive outing for the Golden Hurricane. The Big Ten isn’t known for its offense, but the Spartans went on to score 51 points the next week against Western Michigan. Still, OSU’s offense will be a different beast than what Tulsa has seen this season.

“Our defense is excited about stepping on the field and getting better,” TU coach Philip Montgomery said. “They know they’re gonna be challenged in a different way this week. They’re looking forward to the opportunity to kinda continue to measure ourselves and where we’re at each at every week.”

Mike Gundy mentioned TU defensive linemen Jaxon Player and Trevis Gipson in his weekly media luncheon Monday as guys to watch out for. That duo has combined for 15 total tackles, six tackles for loss and two sacks this season.

Inexperience vs. Inexperience

OSU’s defensive line and Tulsa’s offensive line are two groups without a lot of snaps under their belts.

After having -73 rushing yards against Michigan State, Montgomery made two changes to his starting offensive line against San Jose State. Redshirt sophomore Gerard Wheeler came in at center, replacing junior Dylan Couch, and redshirt sophomore Dante Bivens replaced redshirt junior Tiller Bucktrot.

If Tulsa starts the same offensive line against OSU as it did against San Jose State, left tackle Chris Ivy will be the group’s only upperclassman. He’ll work with four guys who have a combined 14 starts entering Saturday. Ivy has 14 starts alone.

So, in total that offensive line would bring in 28 starts (math). OSU left guard Marcus Keyes has started 39 games in his OSU career by himself.

“Those guys gotta continue to gel together,” Montgomery said. “We had a couple of new guys that started off the game the other night. It’s about finding the right combination of those guys and them continuing to grow together in what they have to do.”

Luckily for Tulsa’s offensive line, though, there won’t be much experience lined up across the ball.

Brock Martin, Tyler Lacy, Cameron Murray and Brendon Evers have a combined eight starts heading into Saturday, all having only started the first two games this season.

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