TULSA FOOTBALL SEASON PREVIEW:
With new head coach Bill Blankenship and a talented roster, the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricanes were one of the biggest surprises of the 2011 Conference-USA season. Finishing with a 8-5 record overall and an impressive 7-1 record in their conference, the team made quick work of many of their C-USA opponents and gave Southern Miss and the University of Houston a run for their money in the race for the conference title. The 2011 season was part of a much larger pattern of growth that has helped Tulsa become one of the most dangerous Division I FBS teams in the country and look like they've just scratched the surface of their potential.
With the departure of quarterback G.J. Kinne to the NFL, Tulsa will have an open competition at the position with Cody Green and Kalen Henderson. At running back, Trey Watts and Ja'Terian Douglas totaled nearly 2,000 yards on the ground in 2011, so the Golden Hurricanes will lean heavily on their rushing attack. Tulsa's receivers and tight ends are a big and powerful group with a great mixture of size and speed that will make them a hassle for C-USA defenders. Perhaps the Golden Hurricane's strongest unit is their offensive line, which returns four starters and looks to pick up right where they left off.
On defense, Tulsa has one of the strongest defensive lines in the conference with four senior starters on the line. Team leader Shawn Jackson will be the anchor of the linebackers group, which will see new starters DeWitt Jennings and Donnell Hawkins. This group is a bit more undersized than last year's squad, so how the linebackers can shed blockers and get into the backfield will be something to watch in 2012. Finally, strong safety Dexter McCoil returns to lead the secondary, along with cornerbacks John Flanders and Lowell Rose expected to start.
Looking ahead to the 2012 season, the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes have a schedule that sets them up for serious consideration in the Top 25 polls. With showdowns against Iowa State, Fresno State and the University of Arkansas, the heightened level of competition shows just how much respect that Tulsa is now receiving around Division I. As one of the rising stars in Conference-USA, the Golden Hurricanes have as good a shot as any to capture a C-USA Championship in the coming year.
TULSA GOLDEN HURRICANE INFORMATION:
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Stadium: Skelly Stadium
Conference: Conference USA
Rivals: UCF Golden Knights
Mascot: Captain Cane
Notable Alumni: Steve Largent, Garrett Mills, Barry Minter, Chris Penn, Dennis Byrd
Recent Bowl Games:
Tulsa is a unique football program in many ways. The school has the smallest enrollment of any Div-I FBS (formerly Division IA) football school. The school will also have the smallest stadium in the Conference USA starting in 2008. Tulsa does, however, have a rich football tradition. Jerry Rhome and Howard Twiley made up a Hall of Fame quarterback-receiver combo in the 1960's. The 1970's saw the sensational play of future NFL star wide receiver Steve Largent. Tulsa won the very first Conference USA title in 2005, and is a conference title contender every year. Tulsa will look to build on this success.
The Tulsa Golden Hurricane plays home games at Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Chapman Stadium holds a capacity crowd of more than 35,000 (lowered to 31,000 after 2007). Tulsa fans will pack the stadium to see their team compete for another conference title. Buy Tulsa football tickets and watch the Golden Hurricane compete for a BCS bowl bid!
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Tulsa Golden Hurricane Ticket Information:
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