Opponent Watch - Tulsa 2018

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Smith was a Biles recruit 2 years ago and is united with the former Briles OC. He’s started 10 games for Baylor over his first two years.

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Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Head coach: Montgomery (18-20, fourth year)

2017 record and S&P+ ranking: 2-10 (116th)

Projected 2018 record and S&P+ ranking: 4-8 (108th)

Five key points:

Tulsa has been one of college football’s most volatile programs, mixing four 10-loss seasons with five 10-win seasons in just 17 years.

Under Montgomery, the instability has only increased: TU went 10-3 in 2016 and 2-10 last year.

The offense was too inconsistent to make up for a defense that collapsed. Montgomery felt shaky enough about his D’s depth that he brought in seven JUCO defenders.

Running back Shamari Brooks is a future stud, and the passing game enjoys far more continuity this year, so a rebound to 35-plus points per game is conceivable.

The schedule doesn’t feature many sure wins, so even with another strong offense, Tulsa’s going to need something from the defense.

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This gives Tulsa two full weeks to prepare for their Thursday night game in Houston. They have the week off in between.

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Outlook: The secret to Tulsa’s success lately has been its prolific offense. The Golden Hurricane went from averaging nearly 43 points per game in 2016 to just 30 in 2017. In order to bounce back this season, the quarterbacks need to improve.

Injuries limited much of what this team could do last season, but Montgomery hopes an infusion of early enrollees along with the return of some of those injured players will help the Golden Hurricane eliminate opposing teams’ explosive plays. Tulsa’s defense allowed a league-worst 31 offensive plays of 40 or more yards in 2017.

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The American’s summer football preview series begins in the state of Oklahoma with the Tulsa Golden Hurricane!

How will Tulsa bounce back from the 2017 season? Here’s what you need to know.

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Monday’s TU newsletter: ‘Hot and cold’ offense painful to watch

After an average of 477.7 yards per game in Montgomery’s first two seasons, that figure has dropped to 403.8 yards since the start of the 2017 season. Through three games this year, TU ranks 90th nationally in total offense, with 387.3 yards per game.

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Teleconference for Tulsa this week:

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As of Monday afternoon, the Tulsa quarterback-switch possibility had graduated from possible to likely.

Extremely likely, apparently, with Seth Boomer being prepared for his first college start.

If there is a change, the reason is turnovers.

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Dreaded vote of confidence for Montgomery


“First of all, I’ll just state that I’m fully supportive of coach Montgomery,” Gragg told the Tulsa World on Wednesday. “I think everybody realizes that (the American Athletic Conference) is a higher level of competition.

“(Athletic directors) always say that they evaluate at the end of the year, but I think you evaluate as you go along and then you do a full evaluation at the end of the year. Right now, the evaluation is that we still have five games left. We can still become bowl eligible, and that’s where our focus is.”

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