Monday, August 16, 2010
Conference USA 2010-Tulsa Golden Hurricane
2009 Record: 5-7 (3-5)
Head Coach: Todd Graham (4th season, 26-14...33-20 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Herb Hand (4th season) and Chad Morris (1st season)
Defensive Coordinator: Paul Randolph (4th season) and Keith Patterson (5th season)
2009 Bowl Game: Missed by 12 points
Offense: GJ Kinne is back as a junior, and as long as he doesn't get knocked around like a rag doll because of the inept play of the line, than he should be a great one at QB. The line was just awful last season, and they gave up sacks by the bucket full. 4 starters return there, so they had better be improved, or else another insanely disappointing season could be upon us. Damaris Johnson is by far the best receiver in this unit, and he has plenty of talented depth around him with Charles Clay, AJ Whitmore, and Oklahoma transfer Jameel Owens. Charles Clay is also a guy that can carry the football in rushing situations in the spread, and is the key in goal line situational sets. Jamal Williams returns at RB, which means that almost every skill position is filled by a returnee.
Defense: Odrick Ray and Cory Davis are back at the ends for Tulsa, and Gabe McGee and Darrell Zellers will look to share the NT job this season. There is a complete rebuild job at LB, where Tanner Antle is the lone returning starter. Curnelius Arnick has played in 26 games, but is a new starter at OLB. Dexter McColl and DeAundre Brown return at safety, but both CB spots are open, as well as the nickel back spot in the 3-3-5 set. Tulsa only allowed 9 rushing TDs last season.
Special Teams: Kevin Fitzpatrick is back at PK, and he is as automatic as they come. Michael Such is also one of the best punters in the country, ranking in the top 10 last season.
Wins: 9/5 @ East Carolina, 9/11 Bowling Green, 9/25 Central Arkansas, 10/2 @ Memphis, 10/16 Tulane, 11/6 Rice
Toss Up Games: 9/18 @ Oklahoma State, 10/9 @ SMU, 11/20 UTEP, 11/27 Southern Miss
Losses: 10/30 @ Notre Dame, 11/13 @ Houston
This could be a very nice season, or a very average one, depending on the defensive holes. The offense has the potential to be almost as stellar as Houston's, so expect some of the wins to be high scoring...in other words, take the over. Tulsa could actually play an upset in either one of the games in the loss box.
Outlook: This needs to be a bounce back season for Tulsa. They lost three games by 12 points, and the line was a mess. f they can get these things fixed, and rebuild the LB corps, than Tulsa could take a crack at challenging Houston for conference superiority.