2013 Tulsa Spring Football Analysis
Tulsa Golden Hurricane 2013 ...
Head Coach: Bill Blankenship
Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Why To Get Excited … the Golden Hurricane is the defending league champ, winning not only the Conference USA title, but also wearing the Liberty Bowl crown. Tulsa in on the right track under third-year head coach Bill Blankenship, a trend that a senior-led backfield is determined to further. QB Cody Green is looking to improve in his second season since transferring from Nebraska, and the stellar running duo of Trey Watts and Ja’Terian Douglas combined for more than 2,000 yards in 2012.
| 2013 Schedule|
8/29 at Bowling Green
9/7 Colorado State
9/14 at Oklahoma
9/21 Iowa State
9/28 OPEN DATE
10/12 at UTEP
10/19 OPEN DATE
10/26 at Tulane
11/9 at East Carolina
11/23 at Louisiana Tech
11/30 North Texas
Why To Be Grouchy … a whopping 18 seniors are gone from last year’s title team; many of them were terrific players. How do you adequately replace seven All-Conference USA performers in a few months? Usually, you don’t. The Golden Hurricane is being especially hard hit at the line of scrimmage, where three all-league blockers and all four starting D-linemen have exhausted their eligibility. The staff better be prepared to do a lot of teaching this offseason.
The Number One Thing To Work On Is … building depth and retooling the offensive line. The offense will have a very different look now that C Trent Dupy and both tackles, Jared Grigg and Brian DeShane, have graduated. Three new starters are needed to join Jake Alexander and Stetson Burnett. Tulsa isn’t Tulsa unless Watts and Douglas are able navigate opposing defenses on the ground and as receivers. And neither will enjoy his usual space if the front wall isn’t properly patched up.
Non-Conference Games: at Bowling Green, Colorado State, at Oklahoma, Iowa State
Games Against the East: at East Carolina, Marshall
Realistic Best Case Record: 10-2
Worst Case Record: 5-7
Likely Finish: 8-4
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Colorado State, Rice, at UTEP, at Tulane, UTSA, Marshall, at Louisiana Tech, North Texas
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Bowling Green, at Oklahoma, Iowa State, at East Carolina
Schedule Analysis: The potential is there for a special season, but there are just enough tough road games to keep the record in check including the opener at Bowling Green – the Falcons should have the MAC’s best defense – and with trips to Oklahoma early and East Carolina and Louisiana Tech late. The defending Conference USA champs get the league’s worst break by having to face both the Pirates and Marshall from the East, and it won’t help to play three road games in four before having to deal with the Thundering Herd. However, if the Golden Hurricane can win the games they’re supposed to, and pull out a home win over an Iowa State, Rice and/or Colorado State, the record will be solid.
Team Concerns For 2013: After winning the Conference USA title and rolling over Iowa State in the bowl, there are big problems on a defense that has to replace eight starters after leading the league in most major categories. The offense has to find a deep passing game after relying mostly on the ground attack to carry the attack. Quarterback Cody Green has to be more efficient considering he'll get plenty of time to work behind a terrific line. The punting game has to improve after Cole Way averaged just 39 yards per boot.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Receivers. The Golden Hurricane went heavy on targets last year, but there's always room for more. Keevan Lucas has the speed and
talent to become a No. 1 target, while Khalid Kornegay and tight end Jesse Brubaker have excellent upside. Quarterback Ben Oberste and Ryan Rubley will one day fight it out for the starting job with Oberste a little more talented but Rubley a bit bigger. Devin Rolan is going to one day be a leading tackler at linebacker, and Joe Bean is soon going to be a starting safety.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking:
81. That Class Was Heavy On ... Receivers. It’s not a glaring need after loading up with talent in 2009, but the coaching staff will be looking for down the road with options to keep the high-octane attack going. There isn’t any one major issue for this year’s class to address, so it’ll be about trying to upgrade the talent level across the board. Defensively, the back seven will get the most attention.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking:
71. That Class Was Heavy On ... Cornerback. The offense should keep on rolling under new head coach Bill Blankenship, but the nation’s worst pass defense has to stop someone for the team to make a big step toward a Conference USA title. While the defensive line got the most bodies, and Gus Johnson and Zack Langer are interesting running backs, the focus is on cornerback with Kwame Sexton a potential No. 1, shutdown defender and Dwight Dobbins a good prospect. JUCO transfer J.D. Ratliff will be used immediately.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 93. That Class Was
Heavy On ... The defensive front.
RB Ja'Terian Douglas is the star of the class and
Thomas Roberson should be a No. 1 wide receiver
early on, but the key is the defensive front. JUCO
transfers Tyrunn Walker and Darrell Zellars will be
in the rotation right away, and Durrell Finch,
another JUCO transfer, has the speed to be a
dangerous pass rusher. With a little bit of time, DT
Alec Henry could be the best of the bunch.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 77. That Class Was
Heavy On ... wide receivers. The resignation of offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn does not signal a change in philosophy at Tulsa, which still plans to wing it around out of no-huddle sets. With that in mind, the Hurricane is bringing in a bunch of receivers, most of whom are undersized flyers in the mold of current flanker Damaris Johnson. The gem of the newcomers is Ricky Johnson, who could have gone to any number of SEC schools.