Tulsa Golden Hurricane 2010 NCAA Football Preview

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Conference USA


2009 Record: (5-7, 3-5)

2009 Bowl: none

Coach: Todd Graham (26-14 at Tulsa, 33-20 overall)

Offensive Coordinator: Herb Hand and Chad Morris

Defensive Coordinator: Keith Patterson and Paul Randolph


Returning Leaders

Rushing: G.J. Kinne, QB, 393 yards

Passing: G.J. Kinne, QB, 2,732 yards

Receiving: Damaris Johnson, WR, 1,131 yards

Tackles: DeAundre Brown, S, 102

Sacks: Tanner Antle, LB, 2.5

Interceptions: DeAundre Brown, S, 1; Dexter McCoil, S, 1; Trent Wilkins, CB, 1


Other Key Returnees: G Clint Anderson, TE Charles Clay, DE Cory Dorris, C Trent Dupy, K Kevin Fitzpatrick, OT Tyler Holmes, WR Trae Johnson, DE Odrick Ray, OT Brandon Thomas, RB Jamad Williams

Key Losses: LB Mike Bryan, LB George Clinkscale, TE Jake Collums, DT Wilson Garrison, LB James Lockett, G Curt Puckett, DE Un’Tavious Scott, WR Slick Shelley, CB Kelly Sims


After four straight bowl appearances, Tulsa had a relatively disappointing 2009 season, finishing 5-7. While missing out on a bowl game last year was a letdown, not going to a bowl game in 2010 would be a shock. This is a squad that has more weapons on offense than anybody in Conference USA except Houston and the defense has enough ability to hold their own.



Quarterback G.J. Kinne held the Golden Hurricane together during his first season starting under center. And it is a new feeling around Tulsa to have a starting quarterback coming back; at least for Coach Todd Graham who has had to break in a new signal caller every season. Kinne is an efficient passer and always a threat to scramble. Not only did he pass for 2,732 yards and 22 touchdowns, but he led the team in rushing with 393 yards. The lack of a true running back to balance the offense may seem like an issue, but it really is not thanks to Jamad Williams and H-back Charles Clay. Those two will once again split carries and Derrick Hall, a junior college transfer, should get his fair share of carries as well. Most of Kinne’s receiving targets are back and that should help make Tulsa’s offense look more like they did in 2008 than they did in 2009. Slick Shelley is gone, but Damaris Johnson is a superstar who caught 78 passes for 1,131 yards last year.



The defense was not that bad last year, but they did not do too much to help either. Now six starters are gone, including safety James Lockett and linebacker Mike Bryan. The coaching staff is moving some players around to help fill some holes, but they also hit the junior college ranks pretty hard to bolster the overall depth and players like nose guard Darrell Zellars and safety Milton Howell will have to be ready to play a large role on the team right away. Ends Odrick Ray and Cory Dorris did not tally many sacks, but they both had promising seasons and Dorris, just a sophomore, should see vast improvement. The linebackers are led by Tanner Antle, but will otherwise have to rely on some young and inexperienced players.  DeAundre Brown is the star of the defense and led the team with 102 tackles a year ago. His versatility is a big plus and Brown will have to help out the linebackers and the secondary from his hybrid position. The secondary is in decent shape led by senior corner Charles Davis and sophomore safety Dexter McCoil. However, the secondary was not very strong last year and this group is not quite as experienced.


The Bottom Line:

But the defense can be relatively bad as long as the offense lives up to their potential. And the success of the offense will not fall on the arm of Kinne or the amazing playmaking ability of Johnson…it will depend on the maturation of the offensive line. Returning four starters is not a bad place to start, but this is from a group that gave up nearly four sacks per game, ranking almost last in the entire FBS. None of the probable starters on the offensive line are seniors, but their experience last year better start paying off or Tulsa will have another disappointing season.


2009 Team Stats:

Rushing Offense: 150.75 (58th in nation, 6th in conference)

Passing Offense: 259.33 (32, 4)

Total Offense: 410.08 (35, 5)

Scoring Offense: 29.25 (44, 4)

Rushing Defense: 147.00 (63, 6)

Pass Defense: 250.17 (103, 6)

Total Defense: 397.17 (85, 6)

Scoring Defense: 27.33 (74, 5)

Turnover Margin: -.17 (72, 7)

Sacks: 2.08 (50, 3)

Sacks Allowed: 3.83 (118, 12)