FACTS & STATS: Site: H.A. Chapman Stadium (30,000) — Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Television: ESPNews or ESPN U. Home Record: South Florida 2-3, Tulsa 1-2. Away
Record: South Florida 0-1, Tulsa 0-3. Neutral Record: South Florida 0-0, Tulsa
0-0. Conference Record: South Florida 1-1, Tulsa 1-1. Series Record: First
GAME NOTES: The Tulsa Golden Hurricane will be attempting to turn around their
fortunes and end a five-game losing streak when they take on the South Florida
Bulls in an American Athletic Conference bout at H.A. Chapman Stadium
South Florida has struggled recently as well. The Bulls have lost two games in
a row and four of their last five altogether, but are still very much alive in
conference play with a 1-1 record. The Bulls are coming off a 28-17 defeat at
the hands of East Carolina during their Homecoming weekend.
Tulsa will return home to H.A. Chapman Stadium for the first time since Sept.
27. The Golden Hurricane traveled to the Northeast to Philadelphia to take on
Temple last weekend, where the Owls came away with a 35-24 victory. The only
win for Tulsa this season was in Week 1’s double-overtime contest against
This contest marks the first time South Florida and Tulsa will meet on the
football field. The new conference rivals have moved over from other
conferences and will now meeting for the first time in their program
South Florida struck first in last weekend’s game against East Carolina, but
the Pirates had the last laugh later in the third and fourth quarters. The
Bulls allowed the visiting Pirates to rack up 481 yards of combined offense,
including 231 yards on the ground. USF could only manage 93 rushing yards in
the loss – 61 of which came from Marlon Mack.
Mack added a touchdown carry in the contest, which brings his season total to
six through six games. The back has carried the ball a team-high 114 times for
597 yards (a 5.2-yard average per carry). The Bulls’ running game has been
solid through six contests, averaging 128.3 rushing ypg with eight total
touchdowns. But as a unit, South Florida is only averaging 3.9 yards per rush
on 196 total attempts.
Unfortunately for the Bulls, the team’s passing attack has been no better.
Mike White leads the team under center with three passing touchdowns this
season – one of which came last weekend against ECU. In six games, White has
completed just 53 pass attempts for 818 yards and three scores, adding in a
dismal completion percentage of 43.8 percent. Through the air this season, USF
is averaging 166.2 passing ypg. Receiver Rodney Adams leads the team with 231
yards on 15 receptions, and is one of just three players on USF to have
double-digit catches. In the team’s past four games, South Florida hasn’t
scored more than 17 points.
The team’s defense has struggled this season to contain anyone. In a Week 1
victory against FCS program Western Carolina, the Bulls surrendered 31 points.
In the past two weeks, USF has allowed 27 points to Wisconsin and 28 to ECU.
The Pirates ran all over the Bulls for 231 yards, which has been
characteristic of a USF team allowing 180 rushing ypg to opponents.
Jamie Byrd leads the team with 51 tackles on the season, adding an
interception and two pass breakups to his resume. Reshard Cliett has a team-
best four sacks through six games, and will be counted on to help slow a Tulsa
passing attack averaging 283 passing ypg. That means Johnny Ward (team-best
two interceptions) will have to be on alert this weekend.
Tulsa racked up 438 yards of offense against Temple last weekend in
Philadelphia, but the Owls were too much for the team’s defense in the Golden
Hurricane loss. The Tulsa offense is averaging 23.5 ppg this season, largely
thanks to the passing attack led by Dane Evans under center.
Evans had a solid game last weekend against Temple, throwing for 260 yards and
two touchdowns in the losing effort. This season, Evans has thrown for 1,627
yards and 11 touchdowns, but has tossed nine interceptions in the same time
span. There’s no denying Evans’ top receiver Keevan Lucas, though. Lucas has
53 receptions for 649 yards and seven touchdown receptions, which is tied for
fifth in the nation. Don’t overlook Conner Floyd, though, who has three
touchdown receptions on just 12 catches this year.
Running back Zack Langer dashed for 113 yards and a touchdown last weekend in
the loss, which brings his season total to 336 yards and three touchdowns
(both team highs). As a unit, the Tulsa backfield is averaging 141.2 rushing
ypg, but is gaining just 3.4 yards per rush. Evans has contributed a bit,
having scored twice this season on the ground.
Defense has been a glaring weakness for the Golden Hurricane, who have allowed
at least 31 points to opponents in every game this season. The team is giving
up 41.2 ppg to the opposition, and 508.7 total ypg as well. Perhaps the
biggest deficiency is in the turnover department. Tulsa has secured three
interceptions and three fumble recoveries all season, which is tied for 105th
in the FBS.
Michael Mudoh leads the team this season with 53 tackles, but Derrick
Alexander has been the most disruptive with 5.5 tackles for loss and three
sacks. Chris Hummingbird leads the Golden Hurricane with six tackles behind
the line of scrimmage, adding 2.5 sacks, and Trent Martin (51 tackles) has 5.5
tackles for loss. The defense still lacks players that can reach an opposing
quarterback, evidenced by the team’s nine total sacks this season. South
Florida’s rushing attack likes to hear that.
Tulsa may only have one win this season, which came in double overtime. But
getting a home matchup against a brand new program may provide a boost for the
Golden Hurricane this weekend, as the Bulls are struggling to find some
offense. Look for Evans and Tulsa to take advantage of a team averaging just
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tulsa 25, South Florida 21