TULSA, Okla. – Redshirt freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders has been outstanding in his first two college games, but Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy saved his highest praise for wide receiver Tylan Wallace after the Cowboys' rout of McNeese last weekend. Oklahoma State will hit the road for the second time in three weeks when it travels 70 miles down the Cimarron Turnpike to tangle with Tulsa on Saturday in the Bank of Oklahoma Turnpike Classic.
TV: 3:30 ET, ESPN2. LINE: Oklahoma State -14.
Sanders threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns before exiting early in the third quarter against Mercer, hooking up with Wallace three times on scoring plays of 69, 4 and 75 yards. "He's already, I believe, the best player in the country at that position," Gundy said of Wallace who finished with five catches for 180 yards. "He continues to play well and make plays. We expect him to make plays for us, and if they're going to put one guy out there on him, we have to use him." Wallace, who had 86 grabs for 1,491 yards and 12 TDs in 2018, has 10 for 272 yards in the first two games, while his five receiving touchdowns are the most in FBS and, according to Pro Football Focus, his 208 yards after the catch are tops. Tulsa, which has won 12 of its last 13 home openers, was limited to 80 yards in a 28-7 loss to Michigan State in the opener before rebounding for 539 yards in a 34-16 thumping versus San Jose State last week that snapped a 13-game road losing streak.
ABOUT OKLAHOMA STATE (2-0)
Sanders completed 12-of-18 against Mercer and ranks No. 1 among FBS freshman in pass efficiency (211.6) with six touchdowns with no interceptions while completing 73.8 percent of his throws for 453 yards. Backup Dru Brown, who narrowly lost the offseason battle to become the starter, completed 7-of-10 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns against the Bears. Sophomore Chuba Hubbard, who ran for an FBS-high 221 yards in the 52-36 win over Oregon State in the opener, had 44 carries on eight carries and a TD but was benched after fumbling, drawing the ire of Gundy.
ABOUT TULSA (1-1)
Junior quarterback Zach Smith, a transfer from Baylor, bounced back from a rough opener to complete 21-of-28 passes for 283 yards with a TD against San Jose State - the most yards since Dane Evans had 374 against Central Michigan in The Miami Beach Bowl on Dec. 19, 2016. Junior Shamari Brooks shook lose for 140 yards and a TD on 29 carries, T.K. Wilkerson gained 92 yards and scored his first two career TDs on 15 attempts and sophomore Sam Crawford Jr. had nine grabs for 137 yards - both career highs. Senior defensive end Trevis Gipson had four tackles - 2.5 for loss and including a sack - and ranks in a six-way tie for third place in FBS in tackles for loss with 4.5.
1. Oklahoma State leads the all-time series 40–27-5, including wins in the last six contests - the most recent being a 59-24 triumph in the 2017 season opener.
2. The Cowboys have won 12 straight non-conference games, matching the second-longest streak in school history and trailing only a 15-game streak from 1983-85.
3. The Cowboys are one of just four FBS teams to score more than 50 points in their first two games, joining Baylor, Washington State and Maryland. They are also one of five FBS squads to rank in the top 25 in both passing and rushing yards.
PREDICTION: Oklahoma State 31, Tulsa 14