Reeling No. 9 Ohio St Looks To Rebound Against Tulsa

Tulsa running back Shamari Brooks (3) carries in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Oklahoma State, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, in Stillwater, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Tulsa running back Shamari Brooks (3) carries in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Oklahoma State, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, in Stillwater, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
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Tulsa (2-0) at No. 9 Ohio State (1-1), Saturday at 3:30 EDT (FS1).

Line: Ohio State by 24 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Ohio State leads 1-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

After a stunning upset by Oregon, Ohio State is reeling and hopes to use the tune-up game to right the ship. The Ducks shredded the Ohio State defense, which had struggled in its opening week win over Minnesota. Freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud is getting more comfortable, but the Buckeyes still need to establish a running game. Tulsa is looking for a respectable performance after being upset by FCS school UC Davis and then falling to Oklahoma State.

KEY MATCHUP

Tulsa's running backs vs. the Ohio State defense. The Buckeyes had trouble slowing down Minnesota's Mohamed Ibriham and Oregon's CJ Verdell. Both often ran free without being touched until they reached the secondary. Tulsa's Deneric Prince ran for 151 yards and a touchdown in the 19-17 opening week loss to UC Davis. Prince, Anthony Watkins and Shamari Brooks, who missed the 2020 season with a knee injury, combined for 88 yards and a pair of touchdowns against Oklahoma State.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Tulsa: Junior QB Davis Brin has thrown for 425 in the first two games, including 224 yards on 19-of-27 passing against Oklahoma State, which trailed in the game at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Ohio State: Stroud threw for 484 yards in the 35-28 loss to Oregon as the Buckeyes all but abandoned the running game. That total was just 15 yards short of the all-time Ohio State record set by Dwayne Haskins Jr. in 2018. He was 35 for 54 with three touchdowns but threw a fourth-quarter interception that sealed the win for the Ducks.

FACTS & FIGURES

Tulsa finished last season undefeated in American Athletic Conference play and lost in the AAC title game to Cincinnati 27-24 on a last second field goal. ... The loss to Oregon was third-year Ohio State coach Ryan Day's first in a regular-season game. The Buckeyes hadn't lost a home game since 2017. ... Tulsa has the smallest enrollment of any FBS school with 2,929 undergraduates. By contrast, Ohio State has more than 57,000. ... Ohio State CB Sevyn Banks and C Harry Miller were unavailable for the first two games. ... The Buckeyes won 48-3 in the only other meeting of the schools on Sept. 10, 2016. ... The Golden Hurricane outgained both of their opponents in the first two games. ... Tulsa senior receiver and kick returner Keylon Stokes entered the 2021 season ranked third in school history in all-purpose yards with 4,108. ... The Buckeyes dropped from No. 3 to No. 9 after the loss to Oregon.

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