The Tulsa Golden Hurricane (5-6, 2-5) will travel to the bayou as they take on the Tulane Green Wave (3-8, 1-6) in an American Athletic Conference West Division clash Friday night. Tulsa has taken nine of the last ten matchups between the programs, including a 38-31 overtime triumph at home on August 28, 2014 in the most recent meeting.
Tulsa has lost two straight and four of six after being run over 44-21 by #15 Navy at home Saturday. Tulane has dropped six of seven as they were clobbered 49-21 on the road by SMU Saturday in their most recent action. Kickoff from Yulman Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana is scheduled for 8:00 pm ET and will be televised on ESPNU. Tulsa is currently favored by 7 points with the over/under set at 64.5 points in this contest.
Tulsa fell behind 7-0 after one quarter and 23-7 at the half; once that double digit deficit came into play, the Golden Hurricane was in trouble. The Golden Hurricane was outgained 524-356, lost the first down battle 24-20 and allowed Navy to hold the ball for 32:26 compared to 27:34 for Tulsa in the game. Tulsa finished a -1 in the takeaway/giveaway as they forced one turnover in the game while committing a pair of giveaways. The Golden Hurricane also allowed a safety right before the half to put themselves in a deeper hole.
The Golden Hurricane is an explosive offense as they are 14th in the nation in passing offense (326.5 yards per game) and 52nd in the nation (184.9 yards per game) in rushing offense. Tulsa is scoring 35 points a game, putting them tied for 24th in the nation in scoring offense, and is a dismal 121st in scoring defense by allowing 39 points per game. Dane Evans has hit 259 of 409 passes for 3,591 yards with 19 touchdowns and seven picks. The ground game has gotten plenty of volume (521 carries) but not a ton of production (3.9 yards per carry); Zack Langer leads the team with 185 carries for 700 yards and 16 scores while D’Angelo Brewer contributes 133 carries for 688 yards and four scores. In the passing game, Keyarris Garrett (team high 78 receptions, team high 1,235 yards, 6 TD) leads the way while Joshua Atkinson (60 grabs, 833 yards, three TD) and Keevan Lucas (26 receptions, 409 yards, 5 TD) help form a trio that can rank with the best of the nation. Conner Floyd (44 catches, 438 yards, 3 TD) and Justin Hobbs (28 receptions, 496 yards, TD) are secondary targets as well. Redford Jones has hit 47 of 48 extra points but has struggled, hitting only 15 of 23 field goals with a long of 46 yards; he’s missed two kicks between 20 and 29 yards, two between 30 and 39 yards and is 2 of 6 from beyond 40.
Tulane was dismal as they were down 14-0 after one quarter and 35-7 at the half; they never recovered in the one-sided defeat. The Green Wave was outgained 518-328, gave up 21 first downs while picking up just 17 and watched as SMU held the ball for 34:25 while limiting Tulane to 25:35 in time of possession. Neither team committed a turnover in the game but Tulane had a field goal blocked in the opening quarter; SMU took that back 66 yards for the game’s first score and never looked back.
The Green Wave has trouble on both sides of the ball: they are ranked 102nd in the nation in passing offense (188.4 yards per game) and 122nd in rushing offense (109.3 yards per contest) this season. Tulane averages 18.4 points per game, which is tied for 119th in the nation in scoring offense, and they are 107th in scoring defense as they are giving up 35.5 points per game. Tanner Lee has hit 51.8 percent of his throws (143 of 276) for 1,639 yards with 11 touchdowns and seven picks while averaging 5.94 yards per pass attempt. He missed two games with a concussion earlier this season but returned against Connecticut a few weeks ago. If he can’t go, the quarterback duties would fall to Devin Powell (16 of 36, 157 yards, TD) or Jordy Joseph (23 of 50, 276 yards, 2 TD, INT) in this contest. The run game has scuffled as they average 3.4 yards per carry and has found the end zone 11 times. Dontrell Hilliard leads the team with 104 carries for 599 yards and six scores while Lazedrick Thompson (42 carries, 151 yards, TD), Rob Kelley (60 carries, 222 yards, TD) and Sherman Badie (63 carries, 277 yards, 2 TD) are in the mix as well. Teddy Veal leads Tulane with 42 receptions for 581 yards and four scores; Devon Breaux is the team’s big play threat with 25 grabs for 431 yards and three scores. Badie (26 catches) and Hilliard (20 grabs) are good safety valves out of the backfield. Andrew DiRocco has hit 25 of 26 extra points and seven of eight field goal attempts on the year with a long of 37 yards.
Tulsa is 4-0-1 ATS in their last five after an ATS loss, 4-0 ATS in their last four on the road against teams with a losing home record, 6-0 ATS in their last six on the road and 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight after giving up more than 200 yards on the ground in their last game. Tulane is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 after allowing at least 450 yards of offense and 0-8 ATS in their last eight on Friday.
The Golden Hurricane needs a win to get that important sixth win to get bowl eligibility while Tulane has struggled this season regardless of the venue. Tulane doesn’t have the offensive weapons to keep up with what Tulsa brings to the table and that will prove to be their undoing. Give the points and take Tulsa as they get to the .500 mark and that important sixth win.