Tulsa Golden Hurricane 2021 College Football Preview
Created July 30, 2021
Record – 6-3
ATS – 6-2-1
The Golden Hurricane had a hell of a run in the shortened casedemic season and came really close to SHOCKING the WORLD. After fighting hard with Oklahoma St in a 16-7 opening week loss they proceeded to rattle off six straight wins and qualify for the conference title game. They gave the powerful Bearcats all they could handle but fell in a close one (L 27-24). Mississippi St took them down in the Armed Forces Bowl and they finished up with a good mark of 6-3.
Tulsa Golden Hurricane 2021 Outlook
The offense produced more often than not in big moments but still had a fairly medicore season overall. They averaged 27.1 PPG (#8 AAC) and turned the ball over way too often (18, 3rd worst AAC). They’ll need to replace crafty, yet error prone QB Zach Smith (13-10 TD to INT) and it’ll be up to one of last year’s backups (Davis Brin, Seth Boomer) to lead the way. Our DEEP AAC INSIDERS feel that it’s Brin’s job to lose but we’ll see how things going during fall camp. We like the 1-2 punch at RB as Deneric Prince averaged 5.4 YPC LY and recall that Shamari Brooks rushed for over 1,000Y (!) in 2019. All the key components return to a WR room that’s one of the best in the conference. The Stokes/Santana/Johnson trio booked well over 1600Y receiving in 2020 and accounted for 13 TDs. The talented and YUUUGE offensive line returns intact but note that Tulsa allowed 21 sacks LY (#8 AAC, sacks allowed per game). More mobility at QB should help.
The Golden Hurricane played strong D in 2020 (#43 FBS run D, #19 pass efficiency D) but have a massive hole to fill with the departure of ALL-UNIVERSE LB Zavan Collins who was taken in the first round of the NFL draft (11.5 TFL, 4 INT). They should be fine up front with the return of DT Jaxon Player (1st Team AAC, 9.5 TFL) and the impossibly-large NG Tyarise Stevenson (6-3, 350), and the LB group led by #2 tackler Justin Wright looks good on paper. The secondary could be a problem area given the departure of their fine CB duo, particularly if they can’t find a way to cobble together a decent pass rush (23, 14, 14, 12 sacks L4Y).
PK Zack Long is one of the best in the AAC (12/15 FG LY) and P Lachlan Wilson returns as well (42.9, 36.6 net). Tulsa was pretty rotten on PR (#124 FBS) and KR (#117) in 2020.
Overall – RUH ROH. There are a pair of brutal non-conference tilts (Oklahoma St, Ohio St) but they get a stretch of four home games in five that should help. They go ON THE HIGHWAY to tackle Cincinnati and SMU in November.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Arkansas St (September 25th)
This game follows the two nightmare games noted above and comes just before AAC action begins. Houston on deck, yo.
Season Win Total
per 5Dimes July 30
Over 6.5 +100
Under 6.5 -120
This has the look of a 6-7 win team.
HC Philip Montgomery is just 11-24 (.314) in true road games.
The Golden Hurricane showed a lot of SPUNK last year but have several factors pointing against them. New starting QB. Schedule. Loss of an elite defensive player. They also pulled a small handful of games out of the fire last year and won’t sneak under the radar in 2021. We’ll call for a minor bowl appearance and give them a shot to pull at least one big upset.
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