TU’s schedule loaded with Ohio State and bowl teams

No one can accuse Tulsa of weak scheduling in college football.

On September 10, the Golden Hurricane with travel to Ohio State to play the 2014 national champions on their home turf (The Horseshoe).

Last year, Ohio State compiled a 12-1 record and finished the season with a 44-28 win over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.

“When all the preseason rankings come out, I believe Ohio State will be a top-5 team. They have such an outstanding program with a very strong, talented team playing in the Big 10 Conference, plus a great crowd and environment that always makes it tough for an opponent in Columbus,” said TU coach Philip Montgomery.

Half of the teams TU will face this year went to bowl games and a third of them won at least 10 games.

Three of Tulsa’s opponents finished the 2015 campaign ranked among the nation’s top-20. Ohio State ended last season ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press poll, while American Athletic Conference foes Houston ranked No. 8 and Navy was No. 18 in the final AP poll.

“We have an exciting non-conference schedule with two west coast teams, one at home, San Jose State, and one on the road, Fresno State, from a strong conference. Then you have a traditionally strong Ohio State team on the road and a 10-win team with North Carolina A&T at home,” said Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery. “We also have a demanding conference schedule. There’s so much parity in our league and as you saw last year, we have extremely talented teams that are very well coached.”

Tulsa will open 2016 at home on September 3 against San Jose State of the Mountain West Conference. Tulsa and SJSU were former members together in the Western Athletic Conference and will meet for the first time since 2004 when the Golden Hurricane grabbed a 34-24 win to tie the series 3-3.

The Spartans finished the 2015 season with a 6-7 victory and a win over Georgia State in the Cure Bowl.

After Ohio State on Sept. 10, Tulsa returns home to face North Carolina A&T on Sept. 17. NCA&T posted a 10-2 record last year and defeated Alcorn State in the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl in FCS competition.

Tulsa will renew another Western Athletic Conference rivalry against Fresno State on Sept. 24. The Bulldogs and Hurricane last met as non-conference opponents in 2012 when Tulsa got a 27-26 victory. The two teams shared membership in the WAC between 1996-2004.

Tulsa opens American Athletic Conference play on Oct. 7 against fellow AAC West Division foe SMU. Tulsa won last year’s game against the Mustangs in Dallas by a score of 40-31.

The Hurricane will face 2015 AAC Champion Houston on Oct. 15 at Houston’s TDECU Stadium. The Cougars posted an overall 13-1 record, 7-1 league mark and claimed a 38-24 win over Florida State in the Peach Bowl.

Tulane will be the next Hurricane home opponent when the Green Wave, under first-year coach Willie Fritz, invades H.A. Chapman Stadium for Tulsa’s 2016 Homecoming on Oct. 22. Tulsa has a 10-2 series lead against Tulane, including a 45-34 victory in 2015.

The Hurricane face the Memphis Tigers, under first-year head coach and former Tulsa assistant coach Mike Norvell, on Oct. 29. Tulsa will look to snap a two-game losing streak against the Tigers after the Hurricane had won four consecutive games in the series.

East Carolina comes to Tulsa on Nov. 5. The Pirates are under the guidance of first-year head coach Scottie Montgomery.

The Hurricane will then go on the road for two straight games against Navy (Nov. 12) in Annapolis, Maryland, and UCF (Nov. 19) in Orlando, Florida. Navy (11-2 last year) finished the 2015 campaign with a 44-28 win over Pittsburgh in the Military Bowl. The Knights are under the direction of first-year coach Scott Frost. In the nine previous meetings between Tulsa and UCF, three of those contests have come in conference championships games. Tulsa has a 2-1 record in those title games and has an overall 6-3 series advantage over the Knights.

Tulsa closes out the regular season with a home game against the Cincinnati Bearcats on Nov. 26. Cincinnati, 7-6 last year, will be making their first appearance in Tulsa since 1995. The Hurricane holds a 10-4-2 mark at home against the Bearcats.

“In conference play we start off with SMU, and in year two with Coach Morris, will be much improved,” Montgomery said. “Then we travel to defending champion Houston, back home for Homecoming against Tulane, then back on the road at Memphis. Once we get into the month of November, we start off with East Carolina and a new coach, and back-to-back road games at Navy and UCF. Playing consecutive road games is always difficult for the players to bounce back, so that will be a tough stretch.

“We’ll end at home with a very talented and traditionally strong team in our conference with Cincinnati,” added Montgomery.

Deposits for new season ticket holders in 2016 are currently being accepted by calling 918.631.GoTU 4688. Season tickets for the six regular-season games at H.A. Chapman Stadium are $78, $150, $210 and $270.

“It’s imperative for our home games that we have a great crowd,” said Montgomery. “We’re going to play an exciting brand of football and keep you on the edge of your seat. We need all of Tulsa’s help in supporting these student-athletes as they battle each and every week to bring prominence back to this university on the football field.

“Our ticket prices are low. Tulsa football is a great bargain for the price of admission. We need young families, old families, kids and college kids. The University of Tulsa is a staying point of this city and we need to get the city more involved into what we have going on here.

“We want to make this city proud. We need Tulsans to come out and help us win football games and be a part of what we have going on. We’re going to try to create that brand of football that will keep fans coming back for more.”

Kickoff times for the first three weeks of the season will be announced in June, and the remainder of the game times will be through the 12-day/6-day process.

2016 Tulsa Schedule

September

3 – San Jose State

10 at Ohio State

17 – North Carolina A&T

24 at Fresno State

October

7 – SMU

15 at Houston

22 – Tulane (Homecoming)

29 at Memphis

November

5 – East Carolina

12 at Navy

19 at UCF

26 – Cincinnati