Location: Chapman Stadium, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Start Time: Saturday, Sept. 9 4:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN3 (Digital)
Live Coverage: Big Country 99.5 FM, stats available at TulsaHurricane.com
The Series: Louisiana leads 5-4, with Tulsa winning the last meeting 27-9 on Oct. 31, 1992
Betting Line: As of Friday, Tulsa is favored by 14.5 points.
Tulsa Outlook: The Golden Hurricane return home attempting to bounce back from a demolition from Oklahoma State in their season opener. While the defense gave up 59 points last week, the offense had difficulty establishing themselves.
Head coach Philip Montgomery did not name an official starting quarterback, but instead decided to give both Chad President and Luke Skipper a chance to prove what they could do in a Division I football game. Although the plan resulted in less than 200 combined passing yards and no passing touchdowns, Montgomery found the clear candidate for the starting job.
President took over full time after Skipper was unsuccessful moving the chains in his two drives. The Temple, Texas native completed 18-for-35 passes for 178 yards and rushed for 69 yards on eight carries in the loss to Tulsa.
Top running back, D’Angelo Brewer was shut down against Oklahoma State, rushing for only 33 yards on 22 carries. Tulsa, however, found another reliable running back that can be a force for the remainder of the season.
Tulsa’s defense faces another high-scoring offense in Louisiana Lafayette on Saturday and must find a way to force turnovers in order to be successful. With Oklahoma State’s only turnover coming from special teams, the Golden Hurricane managed to come up with only one sack in 60 minutes last week.
The Golden Hurricane have the potential to put a plethora of points on the scoreboard, but they could be facing an avoidable dogfight if their defense does not string together some stops.
Louisiana Outlook: The Ragin’ Cajuns will need to be better on both sides of the ball in order to compete in this game. The defensive front is supposed to be their strongest piece coming into the season, but they were largely ineffective throughout most of their last game. The performance of the defense was saved by special teams, an area that needs to remain strong for the team. The Ragin’ Cajun defense needs to make early plays and disrupt the flow of the Golden Hurricane offense in order to have a chance at victory this week.
On the other side of the ball, the offense scored just enough to squeak out a victory but that will not be adequate in this week’s matchup. The passing game will be pivotal for the rest of the season as a means to open up the running game. Ryheem Malone has proven that he has the potential to become an elusive playmaker for the team, and it is imperative that the Cajuns find ways to get him the ball. He and the rest of the talented receiving core are the key to developing a well-rounded offense that features both a healthy, effective air and ground game.
Garrett: Tulsa 55, Louisiana Lafayette 32
Clinton: Tulsa 45, Louisiana Lafayette 21