College Football Preview: The 2015 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Tulsa Golden Hurricane Preview
2014 Record: 2-10 (10th in the AAC)
Odds to Win National Championship: +990000 See the Latest Odds
Overview: The Tulsa Golden Hurricane have won just five combined games the last two years and have gone back-to-back years without a bowl for the first time since the Keith Burns years. Tulsa now has a new head coach in Philip Montgomery who spent the past couple of years turning Baylor into an offensive powerhouse. After spending many years dominating the C-USA, Tulsa fans can only hope for a quick turnaround.
Offense: Montgomery’s specialty is offense, so this unit should be in good hands with him running the show. Zack Langer returns at running back after racking up more than 800 yards on 196 carries, and James Flanders did a solid job despite limited touches. Keevan Lucas was second in the AAC with catches and receiving yards, Keyarris Garrett averaged nearly 15 yards per reception and Joshua Atkinson proved to be a reliable target as well. Tulsa has one of the deeper wide receiver corps in the country. The main question with Tulsa is at QB, as Dane Evans completed just 55.4 percent of his passes and threw 17 interceptions. If improvement isn’t made, freshman Chad President will get his chances.
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Defense: Tulsa’s defense was a mess last season, ranking 117th and allowing close to 40 points per game. The job is now up to the well traveled Bill Young to fix it. Off top, Tulsa has a terrific pass rusher in Derrick Alexander who has 21.5 tackles for loss in his last two seasons. Leading tackler Michael Mudoh returns for his senior season and linebacker Craig Suits proved he could play at a high level as a freshman. Tulsa has some defenders who can play at a high level, now it’s about finding depth and getting all 11 guys to step up and match those other players. Those players would include Jerry Uwaezuoke, Jeremy Smith and Trent Martin. This defense allowed less than 30 points just once last season, and those struggles aren’t going away with just one or two players showing up.
Special Teams: Dalton Parks returns at punter after averaging 42 yards per kick on 70 attempts. Redford Jones and Preston Soper will battle it out to decide who replaces Carl Salazar at kicker.
Overall: The Tulsa Golden Hurricane can put up points with any team in the AAC. The problem is getting enough stops to win games, as this defense was easily one of the worst in the country. If Tulsa can get stops defensively, it will have its chances to win games and compete for a possible bowl berth. If not, well, you’ll get a lot of what you got last year and there will be a lot of ugly losses.