The Tulsa Golden Hurricane have wrapped up their annual spring game and the team looked solid on both sides of the ball. The scrimmage consisted of 138 plays and plenty of excitement on the offensive, as well as the defensive side of the ball.
While he hasn’t been named the starter, Chad President led the first group on offense. President completed 12 of 20 passes for 64 yards and also gained 10 rushing yards on six carries. Fellow sophomore, Will Hefley only threw seven passes but he completed four of them for 110 yards. Hefley did give up an interception but gained a touchdown on an 80 yard pass to David Snelling as well as gain 16 yards rushing on three carries.
Redshirt freshman, Luke Skipper had the best day of the three quarterbacks. Skipper completed 16 of 24 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns. Skipper also ran the ball eight times but only gained three yards. Philip Montgomery stated that they would not be naming a starting quarterback until fall camp begins.
Another question heading into next season is which running back will become the number two back; assuming, senior, D'Angelo Brewer is number one. The Golden Hurricane offense benefited greatly from having a two-back system with James Flanders and D’Angelo Brewer last season and there’s nothing suggesting they won’t continue with the two-back look this season.
Tulsa had four running backs gain over 60 yards during the spring game and only one of those backs (Brewer) didn’t score a touchdown. Brewer gained 62 yards on 13 carries, second most carries of the running backs. Sophomore, Corey Taylor lead the offense in carries with 14, gaining 75 yards and a touchdown. Fellow sophomore, Javon Thomas was close behind Taylor with 74 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries while, Junior, Ramadi Warren finished with 69 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Senior, Rowdy Simon wasn’t a part of the 60 yard club but, he did gain 41 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
The running back position is shaping up to be another interesting story to follow into next season. With so many backs performing so well, it’s hard to tell if there will be a true two-back system or if Montgomery may opt for a running back by committee approach. Either way, the running game shouldn’t be an issue next season.
Senior receiver, Bishop Louie, appears to be the front man to be the number one receiver. Louie finished the scrimmage tied for most receptions with four catches for 78 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore, Keenen Johnson, also had four catches but only for 26 yards. Sophomore, David Snelling, led the team in receiving yards with his 80 yard touchdown being his only reception of the day.
Only one other receiver finished the scrimmage with a touchdown. Junior, Justin Hobbs, finished with 38 yards and a touchdown on three receptions. Although he didn’t score a touchdown, sophomore, Avery Gragg did finish with the third most receiving yards with three receptions for 42 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, senior Jesse Brubaker continued to show dominance on the outside. Brubaker finished the scrimmage with three tackles and three sacks. Four other members of the defense were able to come away with a sack as well. Senior defensive end, Jeremy Smith (3 tackles), redshirt freshman defensive tackle, Jimmy Nelson (3.5 tackles), red-shirt freshman, Beau Wooden (5 tackles), and sophomore linebacker, Riley Simon (2.5 tackles) each finished the scrimmage with one sack a piece.
Sophomore safety, Manny Bunch led the team in tackles with 10.5 and sophomore linebacker, Robert Revels III, came up with the teams only interception of the game. Sophomore linebacker, Cooper Edmiston (4 tackles), forced the only fumble of the game while senior cornerback, Kerwin Thomas, scooped it up for a 38 yard gain.
With Spring practice now officially finished, the excitement is building as the 2017 season is slowly but surely getting closer. Fall camp dates haven’t been announced yet, but we can expect that sometime around August, we’ll learn what this Golden Hurricane team is going to consist of heading into next season. One thing’s for sure, there’s plenty to be excited about going into Montgomery’s third season.