TU hopes to regroup vs. Colorado State

September 6, 2013

The high expectations for the Tulsa football team took a tumble last Thursday as the Golden Hurricane was outplayed on the road by Bowling Gree and lost 34-7 in the season opener.

Tulsa will face Colorado State in its home opener at 6 p.m. Saturday.

“We just never got any traction,” said TU coach Bill Blankenship. “Bowling Green is really good on defense. We knew that up front. They pretty clearly came in and loaded up the box and forced us to throw the ball, and in the first half especially we were just anemic throwing the football.”

The BGSU defense took control of the TU passing attack.

“That surprised me,” said Blankenship. “They were bringing every blitz known to mankind, so there was not going to be time to set your feet and do those types of things. Some of our inexperience showed on the offensive line. I really thought we’d be more prepared than we were. We worked against pressure every day, we just saw it a little bit better than what we were ready for.”

TU’s passing, which was thought to be a strength, struggled.

“I thought we had opportunities and missed them, and I thought we threw some low because we had people in our face,” Blankenship said. “There was plenty to go around. I don’t know what else to do but to give Bowling Green a lot of credit.”

With the loss Tulsa’s record in season openers is now 65-48-1. With the loss, Tulsa’s record against Bowling Green is now 3-1, and its record against MAC opponents is 6-3.

Tulsa rushed for 51 yards in the game. It was the fewest rushing yards for the hurricane since it totaled 37 yards against BYU in the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 30, 2011.

Tulsa’s 273 yards of total offense was its lowest output since its game at Oklahoma in on Sept. 19, 2009.

Tulsa missed two field goals that might have shifted momentum. A faked punt deep in TU territory backfired as the punter didn’t get the first down.

“Those are the things when you play like that, they just pile on to a loss,” Blankenship said. “You don’t win games on the road by making mistakes in the kicking game. It was just poor all the way around. I take the credit for going for the fourth down fake. I was a little desperate on that and obviously when they don’t work it landslides on us.”

The score looks lopsided but it really wasn’t so much, Blankenship said.

“It got out of hand,” he said. “We helped it get out of hand. The score doesn’t bother me. What was hard is that we didn’t do much.”

This was the second-earliest opening game date in Tulsa history. The earliest was played on Aug. 28, 1997 at Cincinnati.

Tulsa opened the season with a road contest for the seventh straight season. The Golden Hurricane is 3-4 in its last seven season openers.

Tulsa’s seven straight road season openers is the longest run in school history. TU previously played six straight season openers on the road from 1905-13 (TU did not field a team in three of those years).

Nine players made their first career start for Tulsa, including seven on defense and two on offense. Juniors Brentom Todd and Chris Hummingbird, sophomores Derrick Luetjen, Michael Mudoh and Bradley White, redshirt freshmen Darnell Walker Jr., and true freshman Jesse Brubaker earned their first career starts on defense. Junior Davis Walton and sophomore Derek Patterson earned their first career starts on offense.

Dwight Dobbins intercepted BGSU quarterback Matt Johnson’s pass with 9:19 left in the second quarter. It was his first interception of the season and third of Dobbins’ career. He had one interception in each of his first two seasons at TU.

Tulsa trailed Bowling Green 6-0 at the half. It was the first time Tulsa did not score first-half points since Sept. 24, 2011 at Boise State.

Dane Evans threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Derek Patterson with 5:56 left in the game. It was the first career touchdown pass for Evans and the first career touchdown reception for Patterson.

Tulsa scored its first points of the game with a touchdown at the 5:56 mark of the fourth quarter. It was the latest TU has scored in a game since it was shutout 45-0 at Oklahoma on Sept. 19, 2009.

The 34-7 final score was Tulsa largest margin of defeat since a 48-16 loss to No. 7 Houston on Nov. 26, 2011.