OU lookahead: Tulsa

Tulsa tandem stands out in back end of Golden Hurricane defense

There will be two players on the field Saturday who, at least in their coach’s eyes, make for the best position tandem in the country.

You have three guesses.

It’s not Oklahoma outside linebackers Eric Striker and Geneo Grissom.

It’s not book-end offensive tackles Daryl Williams and Thompson.

For anyone that didn’t come to Tulsa safeties DeMarco Nelson and Michael Mudoh, trust me you aren’t alone.

Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship thinks highly of his back pair, and Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight knows that they can change the game.

“We’re definitely going to have to take note of them on the back end,” he said. “We’re just going to have to play our game and take what they give us. They are definitely really good players, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to play against them.”

Nelson, a senior, is also the Golden Hurricanes’ punt and kick return. He’s a three-year starter who redshirted last season for academic reasons and has 39 career starts – almost as many as Oklahoma’s entire secondary. Nelson alone makes the Tulsa secondary one of the top in the American Athletic Conference. Mudoh, a junior, is a returning starter who has played in 26 games the past two seasons.

The pair combined for 19 tackles and an interception in Tulsa’s season-opening victory against Tulane.

Ultimately, they’ll be much more valuable in the run game than defending the pass because Tulsa’s front seven has some very clear holes.

“They’re really good players,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. “Productive. You can tell, good tacklers, good covering. They’re really good.”

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