#103 Tulsa Football 2015 Preview

Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Overall Rank: #103
#9 American

Tulsa Team Page#103 Tulsa Football 2015 PreviewBuy Tulsa Football Tickets

After a couple of extremely disappointing seasons, Tulsa decided it was time to head in a new direction. Philip Montgomery has spent the last dozen years as an assistant for Art Briles at Houston and Baylor. He is an offensive minded coach and that means the Golden Hurricane are preparing to throw the ball all over the field and play at a very fast pace.

2014 Record: 2-10, 2-6
2014 Bowl: None
Coach: Philip Montgomery (0-0 at Tulsa, 0-0 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Sterlin Gilbert, Matt Mattox
Defensive Coordinator: Bill Young

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Zack Langer, RB, 801 yards
Passing: Dane Evans, QB, 3,102 yards
Receiving: Keevan Lucas, WR, 1,219 yards
Tackles: Michale Mudoh, S, 113
Sacks: Derrick Alexander, DE, 7.5
Interceptions: Michale Mudoh, S, 2

Other Key Returnees: WR Deyarris Garrett, OL Garrett Stafford, OL Chris Wallace, DT Derrick Luetjen, LB Trent Martin, LB Craig Suits, P Dalton Parks

Key Losses: OL Davis Walton, CB Dwight Dobbins, DE Chris Hummingbird, CB Austin McDaniel, S Demarco Nelson, LB Jake Sizelove, K Carl Salazar

There is a big learning curve when trying to play as fast as the new staff wants this team to play, but Tulsa does have the tools to quickly turn this into one of the most potent passing offenses in the country. Keevan Lucas caught 101 passes for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2014 and it is scary to think that this year Tulsa will look his way even more. Keyarris Garrett added 698 receiving yards and five scores and Joshua Atkinson is developing into a solid pass catcher as well. That gives Dane Evans plenty of targets. Evans threw for 3,102 yards and 23 touchdowns, but he was also picked off 17 times. Evans is not guaranteed the starter spot and he could lose it quickly if he struggles making decisions with the faster pace. The running game was decent last season with Zack Langer leading the way, but the unit rarely broke a big run. In this offense, big runs should be easier to come by when the opposing defense starts inching back in an attempt to cheat against the pass.

It was the Tulsa defense that collapsed last season and led to a mere two win season. Six starters are back, including pass rusher Derrick Alexander and tackles Derrick Luetjen and Jerry Uwaezuoke. Along with end Jeremy Smith, the front four should be able to get consistent pressure in the backfield and help alleviate some of the pressure on the rest of the defense. The problem last year was giving up big plays and safety Michael Mudoh is the only starter back in the secondary.

The Bottom Line:
Most likely the defense is going to give up quite a few big plays again this year. Experienced defensive coordinator Bill Young wants to get pressure with his front four and count on the back seven to prevent another year of big play after big play destroying his defense. It almost has to be better this time around and, even if it is not, the Tulsa offense should be able to come closer to matching big play for big play. It will take some time to get everything in place and Tulsa will not likely have a huge turnaround this season, but they should be able to win more than two games in 2015.

Projected Bowl: None

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 147.8 (87th in nation, 5th in conference)
Passing Offense: 264.7 (36, 3)
Total Offense: 412.5 (56, 5)
Scoring Offense: 24.7 (91, 6)
Rushing Defense: 214.7 (108, 10)
Pass Defense: 272.1 (113, 11)
Total Defense: 486.8 (114, 10)
Scoring Defense: 39.3 (119, 10)
Turnover Margin: -0.67 (111, 9)
Sacks: 1.83 (86, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 2.08 (67, 5)


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