The Tulsa Golden Hurricane (3-2, 0-1) will travel to the east coast as they take on the East Carolina Pirates (3-3, 1-1) in American Athletic Conference action Saturday afternoon. East Carolina has won the last five meetings between the teams; that includes a 49-32 victory on the road on November 28, 2014 in the most recent matchup. Tulsa did cover the line in that game as they were an 18.5 point underdog.
Tulsa snapped a two game losing skid as they dumped Louisiana-Monroe by a 34-24 score at home. East Carolina was upended 45-38 in an offensive bonanza on the road by BYU to snap a two game win streak. This game kicks off from Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, North Carolina at 12:00 pm ET and will be televised on ESPNEWS. East Carolina is currently a 10.5 point favorite in this contest with the over/under set at 77.5 points.
Tulsa led 20-7 at the half only to give up 17 third quarter points to trail 24-20; the Golden Hurricane rallied with two fourth quarter touchdowns to get the victory. The Golden Hurricane outgained the Warhawks by 159 yards, 563-404, in the contest and took advantage by forcing three turnovers in the game while not committing a turnover of their own. Tulsa’s defense set the Golden Hurricane up with short fields in the final quarter as they scored their touchdowns on drives of 29 and 33 yards.
The Golden Hurricane is an explosive offense as they are 7th in the nation in passing offense (367.8 yards) and tied for 36th (200.2 yards) in rushing offense. Tulsa is scoring 31 points a game and is tied for 108th by allowing 35.8 points per game. Dane Evans has hit 125 of 202 passes for 1,839 yards with 10 touchdowns and three picks. The ground game has gotten plenty of volume (255 carries) but not a ton of production (3.9 yards per carry); Zack Langer leads the team with 135 carries for 520 yards and 10 scores while D’Angelo Brewer contributes 63 carries for 362 yards and a score. In the passing game, Keyarris Garrett (41 receptions, 628 yards, TD) leads the way while Joshua Atkinson (28 grabs, 440 yards, two TD) and Keevan Lucas (26 receptions, 409 yards, 5 TD) help form a trio that can rank with the best of the nation. Redford Jones has hit all 21 extra points but has struggled, hitting only 10 of 17 field goals.
East Carolina found themselves down 38-21 in the fourth quarter before rallying to tie the game. Unfortunately for the Pirates, they couldn’t stop the Cougars on their final drive as they scored with 19 seconds left to get the win. East Carolina outgained BYU 518-508 in the game but turned the ball over three times to leave them a -1 in the takeaway/giveaway ratio. East Carolina scored on a blocked punt in the first quarter as they opened up a 14-0 lead but the wheels came off quickly.
The Pirates are 22nd in the nation in passing (294.7 yards) while they are 96th in rushing (146.7 yards) per game this season. East Carolina is scoring 32 points per game but they are ranked 96th in scoring defense with 32 points a game. Blake Kemp has hit 71.6 percent of his throws for 1,478 yards with 10 touchdowns and six picks while James Summers is 19 of 28 for 290 yards with three scores while adding 310 yards and five scores on the ground. Chris Hairston leads the team with 93 carries for 378 yards and six touchdowns while Anthony Scott has chipped in 29 carries for 129 yards and a score. Isaiah Jones leads the Pirates with 48 receptions for 568 yards and three scores; Bryce Williams (28 receptions, 319 yards, 3 TD) is a solid second option while Hairston has caught 20 balls out of the backfield. Davis Plowman has hit all 23 extra points and two of three field goals while Connor Torruella is four of four on extra points and missed his only field goal attempt.
East Carolina is 13-3 ATS in their last 16 after a straight up loss, 4-1 ATS in their last five overall, 9-3 ATS in their last 12 after allowing at least 40 points and 14-6 ATS in their last 20 on grass. Tulsa is 2-5 ATS in their last seven after a straight up win and 1-4 ATS in their last five after running for at least 200 yards in their last game.
Both of these teams can score points by the truckload by they will have a tough time stopping the opposition. East Carolina gave BYU a run for their money in last week’s loss while Tulsa was a winner but over a less than stellar team in Louisiana-Monroe. The Pirates can switch things up at quarterback as Kemp and Summers have different strong suits that can do damage to opposing defenses. East Carolina should force a turnover or two to pull away in this contest.