1. Underachieving Tulsa Squad - The 2013 rendition of the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes seems to be a mixed bag, as they lost their first game in horrible fashion and barely squeaked by their second game against Colorado State, so some of the high pre-season accolades seem to be off-base at least at this point. Thier offensive line does not seem to be gelling and that is a good sign for the Sooners surging 3-3-5 defensive scheme. Tapper, Grissom and Stryker should create a great deal of pressure on thier shaky quarterback Cody Green, which should translate into several turnovers and big points on the board for the Sooners..
2. Blake Bell Starts - Bell should be able to utilize a feisty Sooner offensive line that has been strong in opening up the running game and providing lanes for a resurgent Brennan Clay and a committed Damien Williams. Yes, Bell will throw the ball and should complete lots of short controlled passes that will build confidence for a receiving corp that has only amassed a little over 200 total receiving yards in the first two outings. But, utilizing the zone-read and focusing n a strong running attack, expect big yards and several big running plays that will quickly put this game out of reach.
3. Kendall Thompson Returns - Thompson is back fro his injury and has been fully cleared to play this week. Remember, Thompson was a legitimate contender for the starting position until his injury occurred. He is still a strong threat and is better suited to the zone-read scheme. So, if for some reason Bell struggles or get injured expect a fired-up Thompson to enter the game intent on doing what it takes to become the starter.
4. The Sooner Edge - The home crowd at Memorial Stadium can be a difference-maker and the loud noise that has been generated this season tells it all. The Sooner Nation’s expectations are high and you can expect another raucous crowd this Saturday to greet the Golden Hurricane and cheer on the Sooners.
5. Improved Special Teams - The underrated Sooner’s special team squad this year have really responded to having a special teams coach and are making a difference on the score board. After several years of special teams gaffes and drama their strong performance has been one of the 2013 season’s most pleasant surprises. Expect more of the same this Saturday and the sky is the limit for this vastly improved group.
The Sooners have simply too much talent and home-field tradition for the Golden Hurricanes and they will wilt as the game moves along. The Sooners should have another 300-yard game against Tulsa making it three in a row for the first time since 1988. Bell will likely make a strong impression and give a strong effort giving him the edge going into the rest of the season. Expect a big win that will get out of hand early.
Sooner4OU Prediction: OU 52 – Tulsa 10
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