Tulsa is coming off a loss at home to an FCS program while Oklahoma State survived a scare in Stillwater against another such program last week.
The in-state rivals will meet Saturday at Stillwater in search of answers for their struggles in those openers.
Tulsa (0-1) lost 19-17 to UC Davis of the Big Sky Conference without six players who were suspended for their part in a brawl against Mississippi State following the Armed Services Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, last December.
Among those not in uniform were four starters — safety TieNeal Martin, linebackers Treyvon Reeves and Justin Wright and offensive lineman Tyler Smith.
“It is what it is on that part of it,” Golden Hurricane coach Philip Montgomery said. “We’ll have those guys all back next week and be ready to play.
“Like I told those guys earlier — we’re a different team. This is a new year. We’ve got to find our identity in who we’re going to be. Can’t live off last year. Veteran or not, we’ve got to go to work. We gotta come together as a football team and get ready to excel.”
Oklahoma State leads the all-time series 42-27-5.
Oklahoma State starting quarterback Spencer Sanders did not play in the Cowboys’ 23-16 win over Missouri State last Saturday because he was under COVID-19 quarantine.
The Cowboys (1-0) were outscored 13-3 in the second half.
Backup quarterback Shane Illingworth threw for 315 yards and was 22-of-40 passing.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy was asked Monday if Sanders would return against Tulsa.
“I’d rather not talk about any injuries at this time,” Gundy said. “We’re hoping that he’ll be back. He’ll be fine. I really can’t say because you never know how those things will turn out, so I just prefer not to guess one way or the other.”
Tulsa quarterback Davis Brin, a fourth-year junior, is looking to improve after completing 15-of-28 passes for 201 yards with two interceptions.
Oklahoma State’s running game averaged only 1.9 yards per carry against Missouri State, and Illingworth’s completion accuracy declined from 65.2 percent in the first half to 41.2 percent in the second.
–Field Level Media