FACTS & STATS: Site: H.A. Chapman Stadium (30,000) — Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Television: ESPNews. Home Record: TSU 1-1, Tulsa 1-1. Away Record: TSU 0-1,
Tulsa 0-1. Neutral Record: TSU 0-0, Tulsa 0-0. Conference Record: TSU 0-0,
Tulsa 1-0. Series Record: Tulsa leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Tulsa Golden Hurricane return home to face the Texas State
Bobcats in a non-conference bout this Saturday night at H.A. Chapman Stadium.
Tulsa has been off since playing its first road game of the year against
Florida Atlantic on Sept. 13. The Golden Hurricane would certainly like to
forget that trip as they were destroyed in a 50-21 final. The loss followed
another demoralizing setback, 52-7 to Oklahoma. Tulsa did win its season and
league opener against Tulane in double overtime (38-31).
Texas State is also sporting a 1-2 record, although it was in action more
recently. The Bobcats visited Illinois last Saturday and fell short in a 42-35
decision. They also lost to Navy (35-21) after rolling over FCS squad
Arkansas-Pine Bluff (65-0) in the season opener.
The only other time these teams met was during the 2003 campaign when Tulsa
ran away with a 41-15 decision.
Despite their poor record, the Bobcats have actually been a productive
offensive team, as they average 538 yards and 40.3 points per game. Even in
their losses to Navy and Illinois, they still managed at least 440 yards of
Dual-threat quarterback Tyler Jones is the key for Texas State. Jones has
completed a stunning 71.2 percent of his pass attempts for 845 yards and nine
touchdowns, while being intercepted only twice. He had perhaps his best game
of the season against Illinois, finishing with a season-high 336 yards as well
as four touchdowns. Jones has also rushed for 144 yards and two scores,
ranking second on the team in the former category.
Robert Lowe (349 yards, two TDs) is still the club’s primary rushing option.
He has had at least 90 yards in all three games this season, including a 117-
yard effort against the Fighting Illini. He recorded a season-high with 26
carries in that contest.
As far as receiving threats go, there are plenty for Jones to choose from.
Jafus Gaines (11 receptions, 201 yards, three TDs) is the most explosive of
the group, but Bradley Miller (12 receptions, 113 yards), Ben Ijah (10
receptions, 99 yards, two TDs) and even Lowe (10 receptions, 117 yards) are
Since limiting Arkansas-Pine Bluff to 215 yards of total offense, Texas State
has struggled on defense, letting up more than 450 yards to both Navy and
Illinois. In total, the Bobcats are allowing 25.7 points and 389.7 yards per
game, but those numbers will likely keep inflating if a solution isn’t found
David Mayo (36 tackles) has been all over the field for the unit. His 36
tackles lead the roster by a large margin, as Craig Mager is second with only
Tulsa hasn’t had much difficulty moving the ball, but it has had problems with
scoring. The Golden Hurricane rank fourth in the American Athletic Conference
in total yards (427.7 ypg), but just eighth in points scored (22.0 ppg).
Inefficient play in the red zone is the main culprit, with only eight of 14
chances resulting in points.
Dane Evans runs the squad from under center, but he has struggled with his
accuracy and with avoiding mistakes. He has completed only 53.8 percent of
his pass attempts and has as many touchdowns as interceptions (six). However,
Evans has still found a way to be a potent passer as he is averaging more than
300 yards per game.
Keenan Lucas certainly makes Evans’ job easier. Lucas has hauled in 28 passes
for 372 yards and four scores already this season. He leads the AAC in
receiving yards and is tied for the top spot in touchdown receptions with East
Carolina’s Trevon Brown. Joshua Atkinson (15 receptions, 174 yards) and
Keyarris Garrett (13 receptions, 197 yards) are the secondary options.
Since Tulsa has usually been playing from behind this season, it has not been
able to produce as much on the ground. James Flanders (134 yards) is the
leading rusher for the team, which has just 342 yards overall. The Golden
Hurricane are also averaging just 3.5 yards per carry.
Defending the run has also been a real struggle for Tulsa, which is letting
foes rack up 6.7 yards per carry. It is not as if the pass defense has been
much better, however, with the team guilty of allowing 44.3 points and 538
yards of total offense per game.
Michael Mudoh (31 tackles) and Trent Martin (30 tackles, 3.5 TFL) are the most
productive defenders, at least in terms of total stops. Neither has helped the
anemic pass rush, which has accumulated only three sacks.
Playing at home should be a major benefit for Tulsa, which desperately needs
to establish some momentum as the rest of the AAC schedule looms. Texas State
may be able to score on the Golden Hurricane, but its own lack of defensive
pressure will hinder it once again.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tulsa 38, Texas State 33