Tulsa Preview 2006 - Offense
Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Posted Aug 6, 2006

Tulsa Golden Hurricane Preview 2006 - Tulsa Offense

What you need to know ... It's not going to be the most explosive offense around, but it'll be steady and very, very effective with seven returning starters to an attack that led the league with a 33-point average. Expect another good year thanks to the return of QB Paul Smith and four very good starters to what should be an improved offensive line. The loss of leading rusher Uril Parrish won't hurt with the three-headed monster of Brandon Diles, Tarrion Adams and Oklahoma transfer Courtney Tennial making the ground game stronger. The big problem is at receiver losing All-America TE Garrett Mills and top WR Ashlan Davis. 

Returning Leaders
Passing: Paul Smith
227-364, 2,847 yds, 20 TD, 6 INT
Rushing: Tarrion Adams
89 carries, 574 yds, 8 TD
Receiving: Tarrion Adams
24 catches, 273 yds, 2 TD

Star of the offense: Junior QB Paul Smith
Player that has to step up and become a star: Senior WR Idris Moss
Unsung star on the rise: Junior RB Courtney Tennial
Best pro prospect: Senior OT Jeff Perrett
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Smith, 2) Perrett, 3) G John Hameiseter-Ries
Strength of the offense: Offensive line, running back
Weakness of the offense: Wide receiver

Paul Smith might not get the credit or the publicity that other Conference USA quarterbacks receive, but he might just be the best of the bunch because of his consistency. While UTEP's Jordan Palmer and Houston's Kevin Kolb tend to force things, Smith is great at simply getting the job done, and most importantly, winning. He's a great leader who'll be an effective star for the next two years. David Johnson is a great backup for the Tulsa system.
The key to the unit: Paul Smith has to be as effective and as efficient as he was last year, while David Johnson needs more live reps to get his feet wet.
Quarterback Rating: 7.5

Projected Starter
- Paul Smith, Jr. - 227-364, 62%, 2,847 yds, 20 TD, 6 INT, 111 carries, 258 yds. 2.3 ypc, 6 TD
Smith stepped in as a true sophomore and wasn't flashy, but he didn't need to be. He was a rock down the stretch throwing for over 200 yards in  ten games (with one 199-yard effort) with only one interception over the final six games. He's a precision passer who can take off and be an effective runner, though not a particularly dangerous one. He doesn't make mistakes playing like a crafty veteran even though this his only his second year as the starter.

Top Backups
- David Johnson, Soph. - 28-41, 68%, 236 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT, 5 carries, 23 yds
Johnson is a good passer with a live, accurate arm and decent mobility. While Paul Smith is firmly entrenched as the starter, Johnson can step in and the offense won't miss a beat. He saw most of his action in the opener against Minnesota completing 20 of 30 passes.

- Drew Westling, RFr.
He fits the mold. Westling is a tall, mobile, accurate passer who looks like a carbon copy of other Tulsa quarterbacks. He's the clear number three with the talent and potential to challenge for the starting job a few years down the road.

Running Backs
This is a great backfield despite the loss of leading rusher Uril Parrish. Brandon Diles and Oklahoma transfer Courtney Tennial are good enough to carry the workload and become consistent 100-yard backs, while Tarrion Adams has to find carries somewhere with his speed and receiving abilities. All three will get plenty of work
The key to the unit: Brandon Diles has to stay healthy, Courtney Tennial has to play up to his hype, and Tarrion Adams has to continue to be effective every time he touches the ball.
Running Back Rating: 6.5

Projected Starters
- Brandon Diles, Sr. - 40 carries, 247 yds, 6.2 ypc, 3 TD
A good reserve runner over the last few seasons, Diles will be used as a between-the-tackles workhorse taking the place of Uril Parrish. Tarrion Adams will be the flash, but Diles will be a consistent pounder to loosen things up. He hasn't been used much so far as a receiver, but that'll change now that his workload will increase.

Top Backups
- Tarrion Adams, Soph. - 89 carries, 574 yds, 6.4 ypc, 8 TD, 24 catches, 273 yds, 11.4 ypc, 2 TD
Adams is a good-sized 6-1 and 204 pounds with great speed and fantastic hands. He's not only the team's leading returning rusher, he's also the team's top returning receiver after turning into a steady performer down the stretch. He's an explosive runner who hasn't been used as a workhorse with only four games with ten or more carries, but he showed what he can do in the Liberty Bowl win over Fresno State rushing for 102 yards and a score on only 11 carries.
- Courtney Tennial, Jr.
The former Oklahoma Sooner can do a little bit of everything. He's 219 pounds with tremendous speed with the power to break tackles. While he might not win the starting job, he'll be an effect 5-to-7 carry a game back.

There's work to be done, but there are also a lot of promising prospects to fill the gaping void left by All-America TE Garrett Mills and top receiver Ashlan Davis. The leading returning receiver, Idris Moss, finished fifth on the team in receiving and has to establish himself early as a go-to veteran target. There's not much experience on the outside but there's plenty of speed with Ryan Bugg and Jesse Meyer track guys who can also play a little bit of football. The Golden Hurricane uses plenty of two tight end sets. The blockers are in place with Charles Ramsey and Ted Curtis returning, and now a receiver needs to be found to replace Mills' 87 catches and nine touchdowns. Redshirt freshman Jacob Collums will soon be the team's top target.
The key to the unit: At least two reliable receivers have to emerge right away and there needs to be more of deep threat from the outside spot.
Receiver Rating: 5.5

Projected Starters
- Ryan Bugg, Sr. - 7 catches, 61 yds, 8.7 ypc, 2 TD
Bugg provides the wheels. The lightning fast former JUCO transfer didn't do much of anything last season, but now he'll get the first look at the X where he needs to use his track star speed to be a top deep threat.

- Idris Moss, Sr. - 22 catches, 236 yds, 10.7 ypc, 2 TD
The team's leading returning wide receiver has to turn into a game-breaker. The speedy former UCLA Bruin should be effective on the inside and has to establish himself as a go-to guy. He was consistent last year, but unspectacular with a catch in ten games but no more than two grabs in any one game.

- Tight end Charles Ramsey, Jr. - 2 catches, 37 yds
Mostly a blocker so far, Ramsey will have to show he can do a little bit more in the passing game. At 254 pounds he's the biggest of the tight end options and will be used mostly like a third tackle.

Top Backups
- Donnie Johnson
, Sr.
A steady reserve so far, the 208-pound Johnson can be a physical receiver on the inside. He'll have to battle to find a spot in the rotation with all the incoming JUCO talent looking for playing time.
- Cauvey Jackson, Jr. - 43 carries, 241 yds, 5.6 ypc, 3 TD, 11 catches, 111 yds, 10.1 ypc
The former running back will bring his speed and quickness to the receiving corps where he could quickly grow into a dangerous inside receiver. The goal will be to find ways to get the ball in his hands when he's on the move and let him make people miss. He could get a few carries if needed.
- Jesse Meyer, RFr.
He's 6-3 with track star speed. He'll battle with Ryan Bugg at the outside X position and could grow into a good third receiver with the leaping ability and quickness to be useful in the red zone.

- Corey Kizer, Jr.
The 6-2, 210-pound JUCO transfer caught 15 touchdown passes over the last two years and will be an instant challenger for one of the starting spots.

Tight end Ted Curtis, Soph. - 1 catch, 14 yds
Curtis will be a key blocker in two tight end sets, but could quickly become a reserve again if one of the new tight ends turns into a top receiver right away. Curtis is a fullback-sized 6-1 and 242 pounds with good toughness and questionable hands.

- Tight end Jacob Collums, RFr.
The 236-pound redshirt freshman might not be the next Garrett Mills, but the coaching staff is thrilled over his potential. He's a physical blocker with great hands and good route running ability.

Offensive Linemen
This should be a good group if the pass protection improves. Four starters return including likely all-stars Jeff Perrett at tackle and John Hameister-Ries in the middle, and tackle Mark Mengers and center Aaron Danenhauer have been around for the last two years growing into steady starters. The one loss is a big one with the graduation of All-Conference USA performer Jesse Stoneham at right guard, but the big hole gets a big fill-in with 347-pound Rodrick Thomas looking like a good one. There's plenty of depth with help from the JUCO ranks as well as the return of Wade Whitlow and Jeff Bryant after they spent last year banged up.

The key to the unit: A bit more consistency all the way around is needed from a group this experienced. There's too much talent here not to dominate.
Offensive Line Rating: 6.5

Projected Starters
- OT Mike Mengers, Sr.
Mengers is back for a third season as one of the team's better pass blockers. He's never going to be dominant in the ground game at 280 pounds, but he bulked up a bit and should be stronger.
- OG John Hameister-Ries, Sr.
The former tight end hit the weights and the training table big time to get up to 308 pounds. He's still athletic and should be in for a big season now that he knows what he's doing.
- C Aaron Danenhauer, Sr.
The 302-pound senior has done a little of everything seeing time at left tackle as well as right guard. He settled in at center where he's one of the line's toughest and most aggressive blockers.
- OG Rodrick Thomas, Soph.
Thomas is the only new starter on the line filling in for all-star Jesse Stoneham. He's a massive 6-4, 347-pound blocker with the feet to play tackle if needed.
- OT Jeff Perrett, Sr.
The veteran star of the line, the 6-7, 329-pound mountain has started 35 straight games and is coming off his best season yet earning a few All-Conference honors. He's still growing into a consistent blocker. He can dominate in the running game at times and is at his best when he uses his long arms and frame in pass protection.

Top Backups
- T Jody Whaley, RFr.
A very strong and very promising tackle, the 302-pound Whaley is a bigger option on the left side than starter Mike Mengers.
- C Justin Morsey, Soph.
The JUCO transfer can play either guard or center. He's not all that big at 6-2 and 274 pounds, but he can move and is very, very aggressive.
- G Wade Whitlow, Jr.
A solid backup so far. Whitlow needs to get healthy to be back in the mix at right guard. He's 6-4 and 310 pounds with the versatility and pass blocking skills to play tackle if needed.

Related Stories
Tulsa Preview 2006 - Further Analysis
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Aug 6, 2006
Tulsa Preview 2006 - Depth Chart
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Tulsa Preview 2006 - Defense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Aug 6, 2006

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