Tulsa Tulsa Golden Hurricane
The Mississippi State football team has put together one of the most impressive seasons in school history with a 10-3 record and a trip to the BCS National Championship Game. I predict the Bulldogs will beat Tulsa # 22 and give Mike Leach his first bowl game in eight years. It will end like this, because they will be in a bowl game for the eleventh time in a row. A week later than originally planned, the two-game series between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes was extended.
It's safe to say that Tulsa is competitive and, to use an old sports cliche, they just know how to win. Tulsa was a slightly higher opponent than the BG, but they did a solid job against an average team and scored decently despite their struggles. They scored 45 points and allowed 10, which is a pretty good ratio compared to the hard-hitting teams the Buckeyes and even the hated Michigan played this week. I predict Tulsa will beat the Buccaneers 45-21 and advance to their first bowl game in eight years.
The Golden Hurricane is led by quarterback Zach Smith, who has thrown for 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in his first two seasons. In terms of size, they are the second-largest team in the Big East behind only Oklahoma State. They are Ve has some work to do this season as Tulsa basketball goes through its dreaded rebuilding season.
The Memphis Tigers guard Landers Nolley II during the game at FedExForum. The Tulsa Golden Hurricane takes on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the first half of the second quarter of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, December 29, 2016, in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis (3-7) and Tulsa (4-6) will meet Mississippi State (2-8) in a bowl match on Friday, January 7, 2017, in Memphis.
Graham, a former defensive coordinator at Tulsa, is returning to the team after a season as head coach at Rice University. De'Vondre Campbell of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, right, celebrates his touchdown pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against the Memphis Tigers at FedExForum.
On November 2, 1985, Tulsa became the first NCAA football team to receive two 200-yard rushing performances from two running backs in a game. Tulsa also became the first team in NCAA history to have two 100-yard fast plays in a season. Known for his run - heavy offense and ability to run Baylor's high-octane offense - Montgomery led the Golden Hurricanes to a 7-6 record in his second year in Tulsa, including a 6-4 record at home and a 5-5 record on the road in Texas, his first two seasons as head coach.
Finally, Coach Leach forgot a wish that the Bulldogs would run 100 yards for the first time in a season. The Golden Hurricane is running backwards - Montgomery and former Baylor running back and eventual Heisman Trophy winner Steve Young - ran for 1,315 yards and 11 touchdowns and led the football in Tulsa over 1,000 yards in each of Montgomery's first two seasons.
Tulsa has two consecutive 20-win seasons, made a trip to the Big Dance last season and has been in every bowl, including last year's Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma State. Still, Tulsa brings a talented team that beat Texas at home in 2014 after a disappointing loss to Maryland. The Golden Hurricane comes with a new head coach, a fresh start and the chance to hit back with the hype video. If you have 10 minutes to go, check out our AAC Tulsa preview - here.
Although Tulsa narrowly failed, it's still a fairytale story that the hurricane even appears in the championship picture. Otis Anderson's fumble on a punt led to the Golden Hurricane field goal, and when Tulsa scored a safety against UCF, their next drive stalled. Tulsa dropped out of the 1971 playoffs and last year's Fiesta Bowl, but came from behind not once but twice against Central Arkansas to win.
The result was that the Golden Hurricane came back to beat the Knights 34-26, but Tulsa showed more toughness and grit when the Tigers held them to just 5-for-23, ramping up the defense in the second half and holding Memphis to 32.1 percent from the floor. In terms of overall defense, the Golden Hurricane has the 27th - best unit in the country, and they have the third - most points per game against the AAC's top 10 teams. The Tigers have one of the nation's best offensive lines, averaging more than 1,000 points per game, but they keep Memphis at 32-1. While they shot just 35 percent on both floors, they made 13 of 17 shots and outscored Memphis 36-10 on 3-pointers.
After pulling away from Cincinnati by 10 points, Tulsa added 14 more points in the second half to record its first win against a top-10 team in nearly two years. It's been a special season for Tulsa, and the AP poll has put Tulsa Football at 19th nationally and 18th in the Top 25 poll. Four of those wins came against Starkville, which is coached by Sylvester Croom, but no team has ranked outside the top 25.