2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 3 - OSU at Tulsa
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Sept. 17 Oklahoma State 59 ... at Tulsa 33
CFN Analysis: COMING
(AP) TULSA, Okla. -- Brandon Weeden threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns, Joseph Randle ran for 128 yards and three more scores and No. 8 Oklahoma State waited out a three-hour rain delay before beating Tulsa 59-33 Sunday in a game that didn't start until after midnight.
A change in location, an extended weather delay and a much later than usual start did nothing to change the results for the Cowboys (3-0) in a rematch of a 65-28 win against Tulsa (1-2) last year in Stillwater.
About the only thing missing was a 100-yard receiving game from Justin Blackmon. The Biletnikoff Award winner's NCAA record run of 14 straight games in triple digits was halted. He had a 4-yard TD catch in the fourth quarter but had only 57 yards when the game ended at 3:35 a.m.
The NCAA doesn't keep records showing where the game ranks among the latest to start or finish.
The Cowboys built up a 45-6 lead less than 6 minutes into the second half, then seemed to sleepwalk at times as the Golden Hurricane (1-2) -- with starting quarterback G.J. Kinne injured in the first quarter -- rolled up 365 yards rushing.
And who could blame them?
Coach Mike Gundy said he's usually asleep by 10 p.m., and this game never had a chance of getting over by then.
The teams were prepared to play a little later than usual, with kickoff originally scheduled for 9:10 p.m. Tulsa's band already had played the national anthem and kickoff was only a few minutes away when fans were encouraged to seek shelter on the concourses, at the Reynolds Center basketball arena or in their vehicles because of the approaching storm.
Increasingly heavy rain moved over the stadium soon after, and only one man remained in his seat as the stadium got soaked in what ended up being a 3-hour delay.
Tulsa offensive tackle Stetson Burnett's long brown hair flopped around as he jumped up and down to try and rile up the fans when the players jogged back onto the field for pregame warm-ups a few minutes before midnight. Before the coin flip, referee Randy Smith asked the team captains: "Are you guys ready to finally play some football?"
The kickoff didn't come until 12:16 a.m. -- after one last delay when whistles sounded just as Kevin Fitzpatrick approached the ball and officials reset the play clock to 25 seconds.
After all that, Oklahoma State didn't make the thousands of fans who stuck around wait long to see some excitement.
Shawn Jackson intercepted a tipped pass by Weeden to set up Fitzpatrick's 25-yard field goal for an early 3-0 Tulsa lead, but Justin Gilbert ran the ensuing kickoff back 96 yards to put the Cowboys ahead to stay.
Weeden hooked up with Hubert Anyiam for a 36-yard score on a flea flicker on Oklahoma State's next drive, and Randle took over from there with Blackmon bracketed by defenders.
Randle had scoring runs of 1, 5 and 11 yards in his third straight 100-yard rushing outing and backfield mate Jeremy Smith added a score from 6 yards out to make it 45-6 in the third quarter. Oklahoma State won its fifth straight in the series, but for only the third time in its last eight visits to Tulsa.
Tulsa lost Kinne to an apparent knee injury on the play after Anyiam's flea flicker touchdown, and redshirt freshman Kalen Henderson struggled to settle in while replacing him. He had trouble handling snaps and threw two interceptions before he got the Golden Hurricane offense going in the second half.
Henderson hooked up with Bryan Burnham for a 43-yard touchdown as Tulsa scored twice within 8 seconds midway through the third quarter. Ja'Terian Douglas zoomed down the right sideline for an 80-yard TD run, then Kwame Sexton recovered an Fitzpatrick's pop-up that ended up as an effective onside kick.
By then, though, the Golden Hurricane were still down 45-19 and it was little more than a reward for the few home fans that were still in the stands.
Henderson wound up with 104 yards on 6-for-20 passing with two TD passes to Burnham. Douglas had 173 yards rushing, including another long touchdown run from 42 yards out, and 159 yards rushing with two lost fumbles.
Beyond cancellation, there weren't many options except to wait out the rain and play into the wee hours of the morning.
The teams don't share a weekend off this season, leaving limited options to postpone the game. And both teams face ranked opponents next Saturday. Oklahoma State opens Big 12 conference play at No. 9 Texas A&M while Tulsa is at No. 4 Boise State.
Oklahoma State (2-0) at Tulsa (1-1) Sept. 17, 10:00, FSN
Here’s The Deal … With a national audience on hand last Thursday night, Oklahoma State left no doubts that it’s among the country’s premier teams, swatting Arizona, 37-14. The seventh-ranked Cowboys are beginning to percolate on both sides of the ball. And just at the right time, with a monumental trip to Texas A&M lurking in the on-deck circle. With the Wildcats now in the rear view mirror and the Aggies on the horizon, the Pokes must remain focused on Tulsa, the immediate task at hand.
The Golden Hurricane evened its record on Saturday by decisively beating Tulane, 31-3. It was a nice recovery against a divisional after being obliterated on opening day by Oklahoma in Norman. Tulsa is adapting on the fly to life without star playmaker Damaris Johnson, who was suspended indefinitely after being arrested for felony embezzlement.
Why Oklahoma State Might Win: The prolific offense continues to be the calling card in Stillwater. Few opponents are going to slow down the Cowboys, especially a Tulsa team with myriad holes on defense. Not only is Oklahoma State averaging 630 yards a game, but it’ll hurt defenses in a number of different ways. The Brandon Weeden to Justin Blackmon connection is among the best in America, already hooking up 20 times for 272 yards and two touchdowns. The hidden gem, at least for now, is RB Joseph Randle. The sophomore has exploded out of the gate in his starting debut, rushing 37 times for 250 yards and four touchdowns. Weeden will have ample time to survey the field behind an air-tight front wall.
Why Tulsa Might Win: The Golden Hurricane is one of the few teams around with enough firepower to stay close to Oklahoma State. QB G.J. Kinne is an all-around catalyst, who actually his career in the Big 12 as a member of Texas. While Johnson isn’t available, the senior has developed chemistry with other receivers, such as WR Bryan Burnham and H-back Willie Carter. Burnham set personal highs last weekend, and has already caught 10 passes for 162 yards and three touchdowns. Although the two schools are located in the same state, Oklahoma State might still look past Tulsa and ahead to next week’s showdown in College Station.
What To Watch Out For: Yeah, Oklahoma State gave up a lot of yards through the air to Arizona’s Nick Foles, but the defense played very well in the win. If that effort is a harbinger of things to come, the Cowboys are going to be an extremely tough out this season. The line got off the snap quickly, and safeties Markelle Martin and Daytawion Lowe did a nice job of pressing up to consolidate the field. With so many high-powered offenses on the schedule, the development of the defense will determine if OSU is championship timber.
What Will Happen: Too much offense. Oklahoma State is on the verge of becoming a machine with the ball, scoring points in bunches. Its balance is particularly troublesome for a mediocre defense, such as Tulsa’s. In light of next weekend’s game at Texas A&M, the Cowboys might become a little lackadaisical and unfocused at times, permitting the Hurricane to remain within shouting distance. In the end, though, it’ll be too much Weeden, too much Blackmon and too much Randle for the home team to contain.
CFN Prediction: Oklahoma State 54 … Tulsa 20
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Oklahoma State -13.5 O/U: 61
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