Date: Saturday, October 14th
Kickoff Time: 3:00pm CT
Location: Chapman Stadium (Tulsa, OK)
Line: Houston -13.5
Series Record: Houston leads 23-18
Heading into the season, this was perceived as an opportunity for one team to gain an advantage in the AAC West race. Now, the Cougars are the only team in the race, and Tulsa is reeling. Houston held one of the best offenses in the conference to just 22 points last week in SMU, and they now face an offense that is extremely one dimensional.
Matthew Adams and D’Juan Hines appear to be working well in the middle, and lead the team in tackles. The defense keeps playing a bend-don’t-break style so far, and it has led them to their 4-1 record so far. Houston is 78th in total defense, but is 12th in scoring defense. Teams have found a way to limit Ed Oliver’s damage by sending double teams his way and running away from him as well. While the offense continues to experience problems, the defense is hanging on as long as they can to give this team a chance.
Quarterback play and running the ball have been two weaknesses for Houston this season, but they might have experienced a breakthrough last week. Duke Catalon rushed for 177 yards and two touchdowns, which is the type of performance Cougars fans have been waiting for since he stepped on campus. It hasn’t all been his fault, however, as the inconsistent offensive line play has limited his production as well. Throw in questionable quarterback play, and the only reliable players have been the wide receivers. Kyle Postma has seemed solid at times, but is still too inconsistent for the controversy at this position to be over. Hopefully facing the second worst defense in the nation cures some of those woes.
This has been one of the biggest disappointments in college football so far. Tulsa finished the 2016 season 10-3, and many fans pegged Philip Montgomery as a coach in store for a promotion after this season. Things quickly went south just halfway through the year, and it hasn’t gotten better yet.
We all know about the struggles on defense, and one would like to think that even an average defense would allow the Golden Hurricane to be at least .500. Allowing nearly 350 yards rushing per game to opposing offenses has been alarming for a team who’s offense is predicated on running the football. Four players already have 40+ tackles on defense, and two of them are the safeties, meaning that the front seven just isn’t getting the job done.
On a positive not, D’Angelo Brewer has thrived in the backfield, and the offensive line has allowed him to run freely. This is all despite the fact that defenses know he’s getting the ball due to a lack of a passing game. Chad President hasn’t been bad at the quarterback position, but he hasn’t relieved enough pressure off of Brewer. If Tulsa wants to turn this season around, President will need to become more consistent.
A stop at the goal line essentially won Houston the game last year, but that won’t happen again this year. Tulsa isn’t where many expected them to be and, although the Cougars have their fair share of problems, these two teams are currently miles apart. Expect Houston to stack the box and make President beat them. Houston’s offense isn’t as explosive as previous teams that Tulsa has faced, but they have plenty of talent to be taken extremely seriously. This is yet another game that could get out of hand quickly.
Houston 41 Tulsa 24
Who wins the game?
This poll is closed
Houston Cougars (4-1)
Tulsa Golden Hurricane (1-5)