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OU-Houston second highest-rated game of college football opening weekend

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With no other games to share the airwaves with, Oklahoma’s Sunday night victory against Houston was the second-highest rated game of college football’s opening weekend. 

ESPN released the numbers Monday morning. Oregon vs. Auburn was the most-viewed game with a 4.4 overnight rating. OU-Houston received a 3.6 overnight rating followed by Alabama vs. Duke at 3.1. ABC carried all three games. 

Oklahoma City was the highest-rated market for OU-Houston followed by Tulsa, Birmingham, Alabama, West Palm Beach, Florida and Houston. 

OU, in April, pushed its season opener from the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend to Sunday. Athletic director Joe Castiglione justified the move by ensuring the Sooners would play at night. Otherwise, OU and Houston would have likely been slotted at 11 a.m. Saturday. 

Coach Lincoln Riley said last week that a Sunday game also brings recruiting advantages. 

“When Joe Castiglione first brought this up to me, that was one of the first things that popped in my mind, the opportunity for recruiting,” Riley said. “A lot of times for a Saturday kickoff to get recruits here from a Friday night game, especially when you recruit all over the country like we do, that’s challenging. Eleven o’clock is basically impossible for most of them.

“It fits great. It really does. We’ve got a great group of official visitors coming in and expect to have a lot more great unofficials. The rest will be watching on TV at home. So it’s a great time for us to showcase our program.” 

Related Photos
Oklahoma lines up for a field goal during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Houston Cougars at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. Oklahoma won 49-31. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma lines up for a field goal during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Houston Cougars at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. Oklahoma won 49-31. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-08adfad4db6b3fed7e4727baf47224b0.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma lines up for a field goal during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Houston Cougars at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. Oklahoma won 49-31. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="Oklahoma lines up for a field goal during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Houston Cougars at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. Oklahoma won 49-31. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Oklahoma lines up for a field goal during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Houston Cougars at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. Oklahoma won 49-31. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Joe Mussatto

Joe Mussatto joined The Oklahoman in August 2018 to cover OU football, men’s basketball and softball. He previously covered University of Kentucky football and basketball for SEC Country. Mussatto is from Oklahoma City and lives in Norman. Read more ›

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