Setting the stage: Tennessee at No. 4 OU

Time for talking is almost done regarding the Sooners and Vols.

SoonersIllustrated.com is going to set the stage every week breaking down Oklahoma’s game during the 2014 season.

Tennessee (2-0) at No. 4 OU (2-0)

When: 7 p.m. CST

OU’s biggest question going into the game

Will the Sooners face their first taste of adversity of the season? The first couple of games could not have gone any better for OU if they were scripted.

The Sooners made statements right out of the box and have outscored opponents 42-0 in the first quarter. That’s efficient and that’s how you snuff out an upset bid.

Tennessee is obviously a step up in competition from the first two weeks so is this the week OU has to respond to something instead of always being on the offensive?

With the leaders on the defense and the on point offensive execution, you wouldn’t think it would be a problem. We’ll find out Saturday.

Tennessee’s biggest question going into the game

Can the Vols hang in the trenches? Pretty simple, really. Tennessee is undersized on both sides of the ball and also isn’t 100 percent healthy on the line.

OU’s strength has been the pressure it has gotten from its defensive line and the holes being opened by the offensive line. The depth at both spots is also something the Sooners have really taken advantage of in the first couple of weeks.

If Tennessee cannot be worn down, the game gets a lot more interesting. But it won’t be an easy task for the Vols and wouldn’t have been even if everybody was 100 percent.

Quotable

“I just think it’s natural (to be excited). Obviously, Tennessee has great tradition playing in the SEC. It’s only natural. You turn the film on and they’re playing Alabama, they’re playing Oregon, they’re playing Auburn. They’re playing some of the best teams in college football and it gets your attention. It gets all of our kids’ attention. It’s a chance to come home. Obviously, play a night game, play on TV. Those are all the things kids come to Oklahoma for.” OU co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell

Breakout player

It’s hard to call running back Keith Ford a breakout player at this point, but this game will mark his first 100-yard game in an OU uniform. Ford will continue splitting the reps with Samaje Perine and Alex Ross, but he’s going to bust out a big touchdown run in the first quarter to get things rolling for the Sooners.

Prediction

OU 41, Tennessee 17. Inspired by a huge crowd, OU’s offense continues to roll early and often and makes a statement in the first half. A couple of turnovers keep the Vols in the game, but OU is able to seal the game with turnovers of its own in the second half.


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