Updated: Sep 2, 2021
The first full week of college football is finally here! Many teams across the nation will kick their season off this week with non-conference games, a welcome comeback that was not very prevalent in 2020. But there is a lot to talk about this week, so we’ll jump right into the main attraction. The Oklahoma Sooners vs. The Tulane Green Wave.
Oklahoma vs. Tulane
Location: Norman, OK
Time: 11 am
This game has been the talk of the college football world over the past few days with Tulane University and the greater New Orleans area being devastated by Hurricane Ida. It was announced on Monday that the game would be moved to Norman while keeping the same time and TV schedule. Tulane will be treated as the home team, and Oklahoma will donate all ticket sales to Tulane. This was a great move by the Oklahoma Athletic Department, and I am very happy that the University is taking these steps to help the Tulane community.
On to the actual game, the Sooners look to continue their successes towards the end of the year of 2020. Head coach Lincoln Riley and quarterback Spencer Rattler enter their second year together as a HC-QB duo, and the sky is the limit. Rattler is coming off a 3031 yard and 28 TD season and is looking to improve those numbers with targets such as Marvin Mims, Jason Haselwood, Theo Weise, and a variety of others coming back this season to help propel the Sooner Offense to new heights.
Between transfers, academics, and off field altercations, the shrinking RB depth chart has left many fans concerned. Eric Gray and Kennedy Brooks will be leading the way, but expect to see Jeremiah Hall, Jaden Knowles, and Todd Hudson to get on some runs as well to help round out the run game.
The defense is poised to be one of the best under the Grinch era, and it will hopefully start with a dominant performance over the Green Wave. Watch out for Nik Bonito and Isaiah Thomas to put lots of pressure on the quarterback, as well as Woodi Washington, Pat Fields, and Delarrin Turner-Yell to shutdown the air game in the secondary. The defense will be fun to watch lineup against opposing offenses this year.
Moving on to Tulane, last season they finished the year 6-6, including a Bowl Loss to Nevada in the Idaho Potato Bowl. This season will be met with some uncertainty, which I will discuss later, but there is little doubt that they will come out swinging and playing hard. Their home in New Orleans was recently devastated by Hurricane Ida, forcing the game to be moved to Norman as the area still recovers. They will be playing for their community and will be carrying all the emotions that come with it. I call on all Sooner fans to welcome any Tulane fans to tailgates, conversations, and just overall making them feel as welcome as possible in Norman. Stay on the lookout for donation options in the future.
As for the team itself, the offense for the Green Wave looks to continue improving off last season, however this time it will be under new offensive coordinator Chip Long. Regardless, a lot of pieces will be back, including QB Michael Pratt who threw for 1,806 yards and 20 TDs last season, his top four receivers, and an offensive line who is looking to be one of Tulane’s strongest in recent memory.
The defense will be led by Chris Hampton after Tulane fired Jack Curtis for what one could call a disappointing 2020 season. The Green Wave lost a lot of their top players from 2020, but incoming transfers Derrion Rakestraw (Colorado), Joseph Dorceus (Memphis), and Lance Robinson (Kansas State) should help give the Green Wave a boost they desperately need.
Between the combination of the game now being played in Norman, OU’s excellent offense and defense returning for another year, and with Tulane’s changes in the coaching staff and roster, I see Oklahoma pulling away early after Tulane hangs around for a possession or two. I am predicting a big win for the Sooners on a hot September afternoon
Oklahoma Sooners – 56
Tulane Green Wave – 17
Games around the College Football World
There are plenty of great matchups going on around the country that if you are a Sooner Fan, you need to keep an eye on. Let’s go through a few of them quickly:
Game of the Week: Georgia vs. Clemson
This game is on everyone’s radar. Two top 5 teams battling it out on a neutral site field that could lead to big implications around the country come playoff time. The winner of this game will most likely jump to the #2 spot in the AP Rankings and a nice win on their resume, while the loser will most likely be fighting an uphill battle to regain the committee’s attention and recognition to be included at the Top 4 at the end of the year.
Clemson and Georgia will have amazing defenses and be able to stop both offensive attacks from each other. Georgia will be going strong on the ground while Clemson will be slightly better in the air. While both JT Daniels and DJ Uiagalelei have seen tough competition and high intensity games, I think the Georgia defense will force Uiagalelei into a tough situation late game and force him to take a sack, fumble the ball, or throw an interception. Georgia wins in a close one
Georgia Bulldogs – 30
Clemson Tigers- 28
Other Notable Games (Quick preview)
1. Texas vs. Louisiana
A Top 25 matchup that will be interesting to watch. Steve Sarkisian’s first game as a Texas head coach vs. a Louisiana team who was very good last year and returning a lot of talent
Prediction: Texas wins in a close game.
2. Ohio State vs. Minnesota
Ohio State goes on the road to play Minnesota on Thursday night. With a full capacity crowd in Minnesota, it should be a game that could be close for a while, but I think Ohio State pulls away.
Prediction: Ohio State dominates the 2nd half, wins by 14+
3. SMU vs. Abilene Christian
Tanner Mordecai’s first start as a Mustang. We all in Sooner Nation wish him the best of luck and we all hope he has a stellar season. This first game vs. ACU should be great game to get things rolling for the former OU QB
Prediction: Mordecai leads the Mustangs to Victory.
4. Alabama vs Miami
Another game that a lot of people will be watching very closely. While D’Eriq King will give the Crimson Tide some trouble, I think Bama will settle in after the 1st half and win the game, but it will be closer than most people think.
Prediction: Alabama wins by at least 10 points
So, what do you guys think? Are there any predictions or hot takes that you have about Week 1 of college football? Do you like the format of these articles? Let us know and share this with your friends!