With a new year comes new optimism.
Season number two for Tulsa football under head coach Philip Montgomery gets underway Saturday evening at Chapman Stadium.
Montgomery admits he's more comfortable as a coach and he likes the veterans that are leading his team, so he’s excited about the season and to watch his team take the field on Saturday.
"We've been to battle together for a year, knowing how guys are going to react on the field, knowing how certain situations are going to be taking place and how we'll adjust and make those adjustments throughout games,” said Montgomery. “You know we have great leadership on this team and I feel good about that standpoint from our football team, and that's always positive when you go into the season."
During year one, the Golden Hurricane saw a return to a bowl game, and some of the key players who helped them get there are back.
And for players like wide receiver Keevan Lucas, it's a return to the field.
"I'm just anxious,” stated Lucas. “[It’s] going on 11 months of not being able to be in the element that I'm so comfortable in, you know, so really, I'm just trying to control that, control those emotions."
The opponent, San Jose State, has a new defense under new coordinator Ron English. He could give TU some problems.
"I've been scratching my head over it for a while now,” said Montgomery. “You know, I still think he's going to be in a four-man front and that's about the extent that we have. Those first couple of series, we've got to do a good job of recognizing what they're trying to accomplish and what they're trying to take away."
Lucas added, "Going into this game we really don't know what they're going to try to do. But really the first game is important because it's the first game, that's setting the tone for the whole season. You know, we're just coming out there hitting them in the mouth early on."
Nonetheless, it's football night Saturday night at Chapman Stadium. A white-out is expected at TU as the Golden Hurricane face a very good test of a team that should be a barometer of how their season will go on throughout the year.