OU’s defense also struggled on third down. It allowed only 5 of 29 conversions in the first two games. Tulsa picked up first downs on 7 of 15.
Ford tough: With Williams absent freshman Keith Ford pounced on the opportunity. He rushed for 46 yards on seven carries and capped the scoring with a 3-yard touchdown run with 2:35 left in the game.
“He’s an explosive football player. He competes in a great way. Every single day he gets better,” offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “We’ve got a good stable of running backs, and we’re going to need all of those guys to go through the season. He’s a big part of that.”
Pep talk: Stoops, Heupel and receivers coach Jay Norvell had been critical of the receivers play in the first two games. There was dramatic improvement against the Golden Hurricane. The Sooners averaged 15.3 yards per completion and 10 different receivers caught passes.
“We had a talk with Coach Norvell on our play in the first two games. We realized that it wasn’t good enough so we knew that we had to come back out and show the crowd and everybody that we can be a passing offense like we’ve always been,” wide receiver Sterling Shepard said. “We proved that today.”