Start Time: Saturday, Oct. 21, 11:00 a.m. CT
Live Coverage: Big Country 99.5 FM, stats available at TulsaHurricane.com
Location: Pratt and Whitney Stadium, Hartford, Connecticut
The Series: First meeting
Betting Line: As of Friday, Tulsa is favored by five points.
Tulsa Outlook: Coming off a monster win over Houston, Tulsa looks to make a late season push with a possibility of reaching a bowl game. In order to get their third win on their pathway to six, the Golden Hurricane need to obtain a victory against UCONN.
The Golden Hurricane went with a different look at quarterback against Houston, giving the helm to redshirt freshman Luke Skipper and managed to obtain his second straight 100-yard passing game. Chad President was still utilized in a crucial way, scoring two rushing touchdowns last week.
Skipper seems to be the favorite once again at quarterback this week, but do not count out President in either a starting role or coming on the field as a role player rusher.
A dynamic running game will favor Tulsa once again on Saturday, having two rushers that average over 100 yards a game each. D’Angelo Brewer still is proving to be one of the better running backs in college football, coming up with 140 yards with a touchdown against Houston. Shamari Brooks also managed to obtain over 100 yards last week, scoring a touchdown in the process for the second consecutive game.
While Tulsa’s defense has been an ongoing struggle all season long, the Golden Hurricane seemed to finally turn it around last week against Houston, who they held to just 17 points. If the defense can have a similar performance, Tulsa should have no problems with UCONN.
UCONN Outlook: Much like Tulsa, UCONN is looking to turn their season around into a silver lining. Allowing over 40 points per game while managing to score just over 28, the Huskies are 2-4 on the year with a 1-3 record in conference play.
A win over the 2016 American Athletic Conference champions Temple shed a positive light on UCONN last week, proving that they are capable of coming up in the clutch.
UCONN is led by Bryant Shirreffs at quarterback, who has a completed over 66 percent of the passes that he has thrown this year and managed to help the Huskies get in the end zone 12 times. Shirreffs has managed to connect with seven different receivers for scores, led by Hergy Mayala with four receiving touchdowns and Arkeel Newsome with 21 receptions and 356 yards.
The Huskies mostly rely on their passing game, but they still manage to score on the run. Nate Hopkins leads that charge, scoring six times with 251 rushing yards on 54 carries.
The fewest points UCONN has allowed this season is 20 points, which was in the first game and not even an FBS school. If the Huskies want to have any chance for a win, their defense will need to have better production against Tulsa’s high-powered offense.
Prediction: This is a game where it’s a toss up because the teams are so evenly matched. Both are coming off wins and have the same mindset of moving into a positive direction.
Tulsa looks to be the more powerful offensive team and even though the game is at UCONN, I see the Golden Hurricane getting their second straight win once again thanks to their running game.