Look for a lot of points to be scored Saturday.
The Tulsa Golden Hurricane hosts Louisiana at 3 p.m. on Saturday. TU ran into a buzzsaw in Stillwater against Oklahoma State last week but still managed to score 24 points against a very athletic Cowboy defense and even though TU started an untested quarterback. TU lost 24-59.
Louisiana-LaFayette won a shootout with Southeastern Louisiana 51-48 last Saturday in their season opener. Raymond Calais returned two kickoffs for touchdowns – a school record – and quarterback Jordan Davis hit 12 of 23 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown in his first career start. Those two scored a total of six touchdowns in the first quarter.
“What a college football game,” said Louisiana coach Mark Hudspeth. “I was watching some games today, and I said that I hope I’m never in a game like that one and there we were in the type of game I saw on TV. Heading into the season we had some things that we wanted to address and do a much better job at. The first was scoring points, and I think we did that. Another was getting better at the return game, and again I think we did that as well.
“We continued to do a good job protecting the ball. One thing we didn’t do a good job at was our punt team. Early in the game we gave up two big returns and pretty much gave them 14 points.”
In front of a sold-out home crowd on a Thursday night, the No. 10 Cowboys scored on their first three possessions. Quarterback Mason Rudolph and wideout James Washington dug a hole that Tulsa just couldn’t overcome.
“We’re going to fight for 60 minutes and it doesn’t matter what the score is or whether we’re on top or we’re on bottom,” Montgomery said. “I was really proud of the way our guys continued to fight and grind.
“In some of those explosive plays early, we’re actually in pretty good coverage. The first one to Washington, Kerwin (Thomas) was right there. We just have to finish that play. Same thing with Reggie (Robinson II). He’s right there, we just have to finish that play.
“Those explosive plays happen. But you have to move on. But again, OSU is a talented group, a talented quarterback, and we have some guys trying to step up. We have some young guys who got a lot of experience tonight. So, hopefully we can build on that and continue to grow.”
Dane Evans is gone and TU coach Philip Montgomery did not announce a starter against OSU until the game started. Sophomore Chad President got the nod and directed the first two series until he was replaced by redshirt freshman Luke Skipper. Skipper played for two drives and then President returned.
President directed a 13-play, 75-yard scoring drive and the played for the rest of the game. President hit 18-of-35 passes for 178 yards, and ran for another 69 yards on eight carries.
Will Montgomery continue to rotate his quarterbacks?
“I don’t know,” Montgomery said. “We’ll just have to go back and look at the tape and we’ll kind of see where we’re at. I thought Chad (President) did a nice job today. Really, I thought both quarterbacks did a nice job. Our plan coming in was we’re going to play Chad for two and play Luke (Skipper) for two. Then we were just going to go with the flow at that point. I thought Chad came in and did a nice job of extending plays. He picked up a lot of those yards with his feet and threw the ball effectively. He had a couple of deep balls that really should have been caught and that were really, really close. Those are plays we have to make. I thought we have to continue to grow at the quarterback spot and at the receiver spot.”
Tulsa’s Thomas Bennett punted for the first time in his collegiate career and turned in a performance where he averaged 44.6 yards on seven punts. His fourth punt of the game sailed 60 yards and over the head of the OSU punt returner, who eventually grabbed the ball but was forced into a fumble that Tulsa recovered in the end zone for its first points of the game.
Tulsa reserve running back Corey Taylor, from Tulsa’s Holland Hall High School, turned in his first career 100-yard rushing game with 111 yards and 2 TDs on 20 carries. A year ago, Taylor carried only 5 times for 4 yards in six games.
Hurricane Harvey help
In an effort to assist those affected by the recent devastating events in Houston caused by Hurricane Harvey, The University of Tulsa and TU Athletics, in partnership with members of the TU Board of Trustees, will donate all revenue from tickets sold (ticket packages and individual game purchases) between now and the end of Tulsa’s first home football game on September 9 to the hurricane relief efforts.
All funds will go directly to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, which is coordinated through the Greater Houston Community Foundation (GHCF), a 501(c)(3) public charity. For more information on the GHCF, visit www.ghcf.org. To support the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund through the purchase of football tickets, fans can go online to purchase tickets at TulsaHurricane.com or by phone at 918-631-GoTU (4688) weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“With the devastation that has affected so many people in the Houston area, and some of our own student-athletes’ families, we believe this is another way to show our support and lend assistance,” said Dr. Derrick Gragg, Tulsa’s vice president and director of athletics.