Preview: What To Expect From Tulsa Football In 2023

TU enters Thursday's season opener with an undisputed starter at quarterback in Braylon Braxton, a revamped American Athletic Conference with six new members, and an electric transfer wide receiver from Oklahoma State in Braylin Presley. It's also the start of a new era as Head Coach Kevin Wilson takes over the program.

Tuesday, August 29th 2023, 10:53 am

By: Drake Johnson


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The 2023 season for Tulsa is the start of a new era for the Golden Hurricane with new head coach Kevin Wilson.

TU enters Thursday's season opener with an undisputed starter at quarterback in Braylon Braxton, a revamped American Athletic Conference with six new members, and an electric transfer wide receiver from Oklahoma State in Braylin Presley.

A Look Back At 2022 For Tulsa Football

The Golden Hurricane finished with a record of 5-7 in 2022, narrowly missing a third-consecutive bowl appearance.

Davis Brin started for the Golden Hurricane against Wyoming to start the season and TU fell in a double overtime battle, 40-37.

During the SMU game in late October in which Tulsa lost 34-45, both Brin and Braxton got snaps as QB1. Braxton threw for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Brin passed for 96 yards and a single touchdown.

The Golden Hurricane dropped three straight to SMU, Tulane and Memphis before Braxton took over the starting job and beat South Florida and Houston to end the season 5-7.

Over the offseason, both the quarterbacks entered the transfer portal, with Brin heading to Georgia Southern and Braxton opting to return to Tulsa.

TU let go of Head Coach Philip Montgomery after eight seasons and a 43-53 record.

In 2022, Braxton appeared in nine games, throwing for 1,122 passing yards with 10 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane Offensive Preview

A new offensive mind in Kevin Wilson takes over the Golden Hurricane this season with hopes of improving the team's 51st-ranked total offense in 2022.

Tulsa not only keeps Braxton, who received transfer interest from SEC schools according to News On 6's Jonathan Huskey, but gained an instant-impact transfer in Presley. Presley is a local player who gained recognition at Bixby in high school and after one season in Stillwater, decided he wanted to rep the Royal Blue and Old Gold.

Former NFL receiver Ryan Switzer also joined the Tulsa coaching staff this offseason, which should help Presley prosper into a true lead receiver.

Presley has big shoes to fill with the departures of receivers Keylon Stokes and JuanCarlos Santana, who together combined for over 2,000 yards and 15 touchdowns last season.

The Golden Hurricane also returned several upperclassmen to the offensive line in starting positions, including Kai-Leon Herbert, Will Farniok and Bryce Bray.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane Defensive Preview

While the excitement this season is on the offensive side of the ball, the Golden Hurricane will need massive improvements on defense if it wants to make a bowl game with new head coach Kevin Wilson in 2023.

TU's defense ranked 117 out of 131 for FBS teams in 2022, giving up over 200 passing and rushing yards per game, independently.

Defensive Coordinator Chris Polizzi and company get a tune-up game to start the season but head straight into top-tier competition with games against Washington and Oklahoma.

TU hit the portal to revamp the defense this offseason, bringing in seven defensive players from across the nation with a couple announced as starters ahead of Week 1.

Former Cowboy Demarco Jones earned the starting spot at corner and Julien Simon from USC takes over at linebacker. Simon looks to fill the role of productive linebacker Justin Wright, who transferred to OSU this offseason.


The 2023 Tulsa Football Schedule


8/31 vs. Arkansas - Pine Bluff

9/9 @ Washington

9/16 vs. Oklahoma

9/23 @ Northern Illinois

9/28 vs. Temple

10/7 @ Florida Atlantic

10/19 vs. Rice

10/28 @ SMU

11/4 vs. Charlotte

11/11 @ Tulane

11/18 vs. North Texas

11/25 @ East Carolina

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