Tulsa-Oklahoma Preview

Tulsa (1-1) at No. 14 Oklahoma (2-0), 11 a.m. (ESPN2)

Line: Oklahoma by 24½

Series record: Oklahoma leads 17-7-1

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Oklahoma wants to maintain momentum heading into a difficult three-game stretch following Saturday's game, with contests at Notre Dame, at home against TCU and in Dallas against Texas. Tulsa, often an afterthought in a state with two Big 12 Conference teams, wants to strike a blow for the little guy. A win by the Golden Hurricane would help ease the sting of an embarrassing lopsided loss to Bowling Green in the opener and could cement their status as perhaps the team to beat in Conference USA.

KEY MATCHUP

Oklahoma's offense has relied heavily on the run in wins over Louisiana-Monroe (34-0) and West Virginia (16-7), rushing for more than 300 yards in back-to-back games for the first time since doing so against Texas and Baylor in October 1997 - when John Blake was coaching the Sooners. The Sooners will debut a new starting quarterback in Blake Bell, who is known as a power runner. Will Tulsa's defense, which held Colorado State to minus-3 yards in the fourth quarter of a 30-27 win, be up to the task of stopping the Sooners' powerful ground game?

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Tulsa: LB Shawn Jackson, who is on the verge of breaking two school career records. Jackson needs 1½ tackles for loss to tie the school mark in that category and two sacks to match the school record of 20 (a mark now co-held by former NFL lineman Dennis Byrd). Last season, despite missing three games due to suspension, he led a defense that recorded 53 sacks, second-best in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Oklahoma: QB Blake Bell, who will be making his first career start. Bell saw plenty of action the past two seasons in Oklahoma's "Belldozer" power-running package but lost a preseason competition to Trevor Knight for the starting job. Knight is out with a bruised knee, opening the door for Bell to state his case as a starter.

FACTS AND FIGURES

Tulsa hasn't won in Norman since 1996 and is 3-11-1 in the series when playing at Oklahoma. . The Golden Hurricane haven't beaten a top-20 team since Sept. 21, 1996, a 27-20 win over then-No. 19 Iowa, and it's been since 1991 that Tulsa beat a top-15 team (35-34 over then-No. 15 Texas A&M). . Tulsa senior running back Trey Watts is the son of former Oklahoma quarterback (and former U.S. Rep.) J.C. Watts . Oklahoma freshman linebacker Dominique Alexander's older brother is Tulsa junior defensive end Derrick Alexander. . No other FBS team has faced two other FBS opponents this season and allowed fewer total points than Oklahoma, which has given up seven points.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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