ESPN2 college football analyst Chris Spielman is getting indoctrinated to Oklahoma college football in a hurry. After broadcasting the Oklahoma State-Troy game last week for ESPN2, he will be analyst on the Oklahoma at Tulsa game at 7 p.m. Friday for the network. In a telephone interview, Spielman discussed Oklahoma State’s 41-23 loss to Troy and the OU-Tulsa game.
On Oklahoma State: They didn’t look interested. I know that wasn’t the case, but that’s how it seemed. They couldn’t respond to what Troy was doing and that’s frustrating. I knew they made a quarterback change. Obviously, I think they would have hoped for a better outcome. I assume people are saying, “Where’s Bobby Reid and is Zac Robinson still going to be the quarterback?” I don’t know what the talk is, but as a fan, I think I would be asking that question. I think Zac Robinson has the ability. If you’re going to make the commitment to him, you have to let him play, let him learn a little bit. I think as a wholeOklahoma State has the ability, but those are games that you have to get. Troy is a good opponent, don’t get me wrong. But if you want take the next step, which I believe they were talking about doing, then that’s a game you have to have or at least be in contention. Frankly, it didn’t seem to me that they were in that game at all.
On Oklahoma: Legitimately, it’s fair to say that they’re up in there in the top four. When you’re talking about athletes and beating people like they’re supposed to, it’s easy to see why a lot of people have them where they’re ranked. When you have the stable of running backs like they have and when you find a quarterback in Sam Bradford, and the defense with Reggie Smith — I think he’s the best corner in college football — plus a host of other athletes, they’re going to be pretty darned good and they’re winning games like they’re supposed to win them.
On Tulsa: On the other side, I watched Tulsa win their first game of the year (35-17 over Louisiana-Monroe). I know (new coach) Todd Graham will do a good job. He gets everybody excited. It’s an opportunity for them. I think that’s the thing about college football this year, I don’t know anything anymore. That’s why I love it, because I don’t know anything. Every time you think you got the answer, something different happens. I know Paul Smith is a good quarterback. I did the Conference USA championship game against Central Florida two years ago (TU won 44-27) and Todd was the defensive coordinator and coach Kragthorpe was the head coach, I knew that Paul Smith was a pretty darned good quarterback. It’s one of those games. On paper, Oklahoma is heavily favored. But like I said, in college football, I don’t know anything anymore. Notre Dame has zero touchdowns and negative yardage on the ground and Indiana-Illinois is the most intriguing matchup in the Big Ten this week. But that’s the beauty of college football and I know Tulsa will be ready to play. It’s the kids from Tulsa shot at the big guy. I’m hoping it will be a great game and I’m betting the atmosphere will be awesome.
Will it be a high-scoring game, like Tulsa’s 55-47 win over BYU last Saturday? I don’t expect it, but I know Tulsa can score points and their offense does create problems because of the different speeds that they run — the no-huddle — and when you have a veteran quarterback, if he makes good decisions, who knows? The whole key is how do you slow down Oklahoma. If can you slow them down, you have a chance. A lot of things will have to go their way. On turnovers, Oklahoma is going to have to hurt themselves a little bit. But I think Tulsa can move the ball and score on anybody.