Giving up 48 points in a half is unacceptable. Switching quarterbacks in the middle of the game is embarrassing.
Tulsa did both at Tulane on Saturday in New Orleans, resulting in a 62-28 defeat for Tulane head coach Willie Fritz’s 200th career victory.
After Chad President threw an interception on the Golden Hurricane’s third drive of the game, which resulted in Tulane taking a 21-point lead after, Luke Skipper was inserted into the game with 7:45 left to play in the first quarter. While Skipper was placed on the field from a backup role, he played every bit like a starter.
It took Tulsa just two plays to get in the end zone with Skipper commanding the ship, with the redshirt freshman completing a 59-yard pass to Justin Hobbs for the score. Even though there seemed to be some hope for Tulsa, things swirled into a downward spiral.
Skipper fumbled on a run that swung momentum back towards the Green Wave’s side. Tulane responded with three straight touchdowns on their final three possessions of the half to carry all of the momentum into the locker room.
The game seemed to be well in favor of Tulane in the final 30 minutes, but Tulsa managed to at least show some improvement offensively. Skipper scored a rushing touchdown while Shamari Brooks added two more trips to the end zone with 104 rushing yards. D’Angelo Brewer was shut down again, rushing for only 41 yards.
Credit Tulane where credit is due: the Green Wave arguably played their best game of the season. Tulane set the tone from the very beginning, their defense disrupted the Golden Hurricane and they made life very miserable for Tulsa on Saturday.
Rushing for 488 yards, Tulane bulldozed their way through the Tulsa defense and got anything they wanted. Dontrell Hilliard was the star of the day for Tulane’s running game, rushing for 175 yards and scoring four times with ease.
Tulane simply came ready to play. Tulsa did not.
Coaches have every right to change their quarterback, or any position for that matter, at any point in time during a game. However, taking a quarterback out in the middle of the game not only kills team momentum, it also puts that backup quarterback in a tough spot in trying to take on a leadership role.
There’s no question that Skipper was the better performer in this game and there may even be an argument that he had a better outing on Saturday than President had all season long. President’s season-high for passing yards is 243 when he piled up the yards in Tulsa’s only win of the season. Despite throwing under 200 yards in the other games, he rushed for over 100 yards twice this season.
The quarterback problem is not the only issue. Clearly the defense has some more work to do and with the injury to safety Manny Bunch, who left for the locker room on crutches, it’s possible that the defensive issues may not get solved this season.
Although President has been decent at quarterback this season, maybe it is time for Tulsa to do some experimenting with their offense if they want to get a .500 record.