Tulsa Golden Hurricane 2023 College Football Preview
June 24, 2023
Record – 5-7
ATS – 4-8
After posting back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since their 2010-2012 run (29 wins) the Golden Hurricane struggled to a record of 5-7. They started out 2-1 but lost six of their next seven tests and that was ALL SHE WROTE. It’s noteworthy that Tulsa played hard to the final whistle as they won their final two games (USF, at Houston) whilst scoring 85 points in the process. Can they carry that MOJO into 2023?
Tulsa Golden Hurricane 2023 Outlook
Tulsa did a decent job on offense LY (#46 FBS total offense, #49 scoring offense) but things are going to look quite different this year. Thankfully, dual-threat QB Braylon Braxton got some quality experience down the stretch LY and put up good numbers (10-2 TD to INT, 5 rushing TDs). Braxton will have to work without Tulsa’s dynamic WR duo of Keylon Stokes and JuanCarlos Santana who combined for well over 2,000 (!) yards and 15 TDs LY. Tulsa will also be without their top-two RBs (combined 1,000+,11 TD LY) but they hope that Anthony Watkins can regain his 2021 form (634, 7.2, injured LY). They should be adequate up front given the return of three starters including senior center Will Farniok but they’ve gotta get better in pass protection (45 sacks, #124). We expect overall inconsistency given the lack of continuity in the THROW GAME but Braxton is a wild-card with interesting upside.
The Golden Hurricane played mediocre defense LY as they ranked #122 (!) vs the run (208 YPG) and #92 in pass efficiency defense (just 6 INT). We don’t have a great feeling about this year’s stop unit as they return a mere five starters and need to completely rebuild their LB group. USC transfer LB Julien Simon will get his chance to be a team leader on defense but he saw minimal action with the Trojans. They’ll have new starting defensive ends as well but at least they have experience on the inside. The secondary looks set as they retain three starters from the 2022 group. In addition to finding a way to stop the run, the defense will have to do a much better job of getting PENETRATION as they tallied a mere 16 sacks LY (#126).
RUH RUH. Tulsa was a disappointment on special teams LY outside of PK Zack Long (17-21 FG) but HE GONE and they’ll be introducing a new punter.
Overall – You can book two early losses as they play Washington (A) and the Sooners (H) in the first month of the campaign. The other two non-conference games are winnable tho (Arkansas Pine Bluff, at Northern Illinois) and they never have to deal with back-to-back road games. They avoid UTSA and Memphis but have to tackle SMU and Tulane ON THE HIGHWAY.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Northern Illinois (Sept 23)
This is an ugly SANDWICH SPOT as it comes after the date with in-state powerhouse Oklahoma and right before AAC play kicks in (Temple).
Season Win Total
Market consensus June 24
Over 4.5 -115
Under 4.5 +105
We’d prefer to go with a flat ‘5’ to hit the under but the current price isn’t horrible.
Tulsa was once known as the “Oil Capital of the World” due to its significant role in the oil industry during the early 20th century.
Don’t forget to check out season one of “Tulsa King” starring our boy Sylvester Stallone who plays a New York mafia capo doing GANGSTAA things in Tulsa. Season two is coming at some point. Let’s goooooo.
New HC Kevin Wilson has taken on the reloading project down in Tulsa. Wilson knows a thing or two about offense and he’s got a dynamic QB to work with in 2023. The defense has a lot of holes tho and we don’t love the group of skill position guys. Let’s call for four wins in what will be a tough year for the Golden Hurricane. In any event, Go Tulsa!