Game Preview: TU vs. San Jose State


Wednesday, August 31st 2016, 4:26 pm
By: News On 6


THE STORYLINES . . .
•     Tulsa kicks off its 117th season of football in 2016.
•     This is the sixth meeting between Tulsa and San Jose State, as the series is tied at three games apiece.
•     Tulsa has the smallest undergraduate enrollment of FBS schools with 3,473 students . . . San Jose State's enrollment is 32,471.
•     Both teams finished the 2016 season with 6-7 records and each participated in a Bowl Game . . . Tulsa fell to Virginia Tech (55-52) in the 2015 Camping World Independence Bowl, while San Jose State defeated Georgia State (27-16) in the AutoNation Cure Bowl.
 
QUICK HITS . . .

•     On Tulsa's 44-man offensive-defensive two-deep, there are 17 players that are true freshmen, red-shirt freshmen or sophomores.
•     Tulsa returns 27 different players who have started at least one game in their careers, either on offense (15) or defense (12).
•     Tulsa returns two 2014 starters to the offensive unit – guard Blake Belcher and receiverKeevan Lucas – who missed most of the 2015 season with injuries.
•     Four of Tulsa's top-5 tacklers from the 2015 season return to the lineup –– Matt Linscott(107), Trent Martin (104), Jeremy Brady (71) and Kerwin Thomas (60).
•         Tulsa returns a 4,000-yard passer (Dane Evans) and two 1,000-yard receivers (Josh Atkinsonand Keevan Lucas) to the roster.
 
THE SERIES . . .
•     This is the seventh meeting between Tulsa and San Jose State.
•     The series is tied 3-3, as both teams have won once on the road in the series.
•     All of the previous meetings were when the schools were each members of the Western Athletic Conference . . . Tulsa was a WAC member from 1996-2004.
•     San Jose State won the first game in 1999 at home by a score of 34-10, while Tulsa won a year later at home, 28-17.
•     Tulsa has won the last two meetings, including a 34-32 win in 2003 in San Jose and a home win in 2004 by a score of 34-24.
•     Tulsa has averaged 32.0 points in its three wins in the series, while San Jose State has averaged 48.7 points in its three wins.
 
TULSA IN SEASON OPENERS . . .

•     In the 116-year history of Tulsa football, the Golden Hurricane has posted a 67-48-1 record in season openers.
•     The most consecutive seasons in which Tulsa won the season opener is seven, winning the openers from 1925 to 1931.
•     Tulsa opens the season at home for the third consecutive season, following seven straight road openers, where Tulsa posted a 3-4 record in those openers.
•     Tulsa won each of its last two openers, both going into overtime.
•     Tulsa won last year's season opener by a 47-44 score against FAU in overtime.
•     Since Tulsa began playing football, the Hurricane has a 51-15 record when opening the season at home.
•     Tulsa has a 62-24 record for a .721 winning percentage in home openers (not necessarily the season opener) at Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium since it was built in 1930 . . . before that, Tulsa was 15-6 at other home sites.
 
GRADUATES ON THE TULSA ROSTER . . . 
•     Tulsa has 12 student-athletes on its roster that have already graduated with their bachelor's degrees from The University of Tulsa.
•     The offensive players already with their bachelor's degree includes: Josh Atkinson (WR), Blake Belcher (OL), Dane Evans (QB), Rod Riederer (TE).
•     Defensive players who have their degrees are: Jeremy Brady (DB), Hayden Carman (DT), Matt Hickman (LB), Matt Linscott (LB), Trent Martin (LB), Conner Sherwood (LB), Craig Suits (LB) andJerry Uwaezuoke (DT).
•     In addition, graduate transfer running back Raymond Taylor, earned his bachelor's degree from Oklahoma State before transferring this season to Tulsa.
 
THE AMERICAN'S SECOND-BEST OFFENSE RETURNS SIX STARTERS . . . 
•     In 2015, Tulsa averaged 507.4 yards of total offense to rank second in the American Athletic Conference and second in passing offense with 333.2 yards per game.
•     Tulsa ranked behind Cincinnati's 559.9 yards per game of total offense.
•     Six starters and 22 lettermen return from that offense, including 4,000-yard passer Dane Evans, 1,000-yard receiver Josh Atkinson and running back D'Angelo Brewer, who gained 837 yards and six TDs on the ground.
•     Two players, who started in 2014, return to the offense after having missed most of the 2015 season with injuries, including receiver Keevan Lucas and lineman Blake Belcher.
•     Lucas was off to a great start to the season with 409 yards, five TDs and a 102.2 average in four games before suffering a knee injury against Houston.
•     Belcher suffered an ACL injury in the first game of the season.
 
THE DEFENSE HAS SEVEN RETURNING STARTERS . . . 

•     Following spring drills, Coach Montgomery said "we made huge strides with our defense. We've added a lot of speed, length and explosiveness to our defense".
•     Tulsa's defense returns 23 lettermen, including seven returning starters and another five players who have started at least one game in their careers.
•     Four of Tulsa's top-5 tacklers from 2015 return to the roster.
•     The linebacker corps of Matt Linscott, Trent Martin and Craig Suits return as starters from last season.
•     Linscott and Martin each had over 100 tackles to ranked second and third on the roster year, with Linscott totaling 107 and Martin 104 stops.
•     Defensive line starters Jeremy Smith and Jesse Brubaker return as does secondary startersKerwin Thomas as corner and safety Jeremy Brady . . . Brubaker has moved from tackle to end this season.
 
HE'S BAAAAAACK . . . 
•     Atkinson isn't the only receiver back for Tulsa that has had a 1,000-yard season receiving for the Hurricane.
•     Senior receiver Keevan Lucas, who missed all but the first four games in 2015 with an injury, was a 1,000-yard receiver in 2014.
•     He had 101 catches for 1,219 yards and 11 TDs as a sophomore in 2014.
•     Lucas has career numbers of 158 receptions for 2,070 yards and 17 touchdowns.
•     In less than four full games in 2015, Lucas had 409 ayrds and five TDs on 26 receptions.
•     Lucas has six career 100-yard receiving games, including five in 2014 and one last year.
 
QB EVANS RETURNS FOR SENIOR SEASON . . .
•     Dane Evans became only the third quarterback in school history to surpass
       4,000 passing yards in a single season – Paul Smith is the leader at 5,065 yards in 2007 and David Johnson threw for 4,059 yards in 2008.
•     Evans had the second-most passing yards last year with 4,332 yards and 25 TDs.
•     He is only the second quarterback in school history to go over 3,000 yards in separate seasons . . . the first was G.J. Kinne in 2010 and 2011 . . . only a total of five QBs have ever thrown for more than 3,000 yards, while it has happened seven times.
•     Evans has four 400+ passing games in his career, tying Billy Guy Anderson (1965) for the most in school history.
•     Evans' first 400+ game came in the 2014 season opener with 438 yards vs. Tulane. . . he had three 400+ passing games in 2015, coming against FAU (424), #16 Oklahoma  (427) and #17 Memphis (421).
•     Billy Guy Anderson quarterbacked Tulsa in 1965 and had 400+ passing games of 502, 477, 477 and 451 yards in just that one season.
•     Evans has 13 career 300+ passing games, including nine in 2015, to rank third for the most 300-yard passing games in school history behind Paul Smith (15) and G.J. Kinne (14).
•     He has moved into the top-4 on the school's all-time charts for passing, total offense and passing TDs.
•     Evans has thrown for 8,332 career passing yards, has 8,423 yards in total offense and 52 passing TDs, all putting him in fourth place on Tulsa's career charts.