Tulsa Football Notebook: TU vs. Houston

Tuesday, September 29th 2015, 5:33 pm
By: News On 6

The Golden Hurricane (2-1) will take on Houston (3-0) October 3. Kickoff is set for 11:00 a.m. and will air on CBS Sports Network. 

Tulsa is currently 2-1 after its comeback bid fell short (52-38) against No. 16 Oklahoma. Although TU didn’t win, all wasn’t bad for the Golden Hurricane. The team racked up 603 yards of total offense, Keyarris Garrett had a career day with 14 catches, 189 receiving yards and one touchdown, and Dane Evans upped his rank to second in the nation in passing.

If the Golden Hurricane plays at the same caliber they did when they took on the Sooners, the team should prevail against Houston and prove that they should’ve been picked higher in the American Athletic preseason poll. 

Expect these two teams to score early. Tulsa ranks 4th in total offense and the Cougars rank 7th. In scoring offense, Houston ranks 6th and the Golden Hurricane ranks 16th. 

If you're big on Vegas point spreads, Houston is favorite on the road with a point spread of -6. The over under betting line is set at 81 points.

The Series

Houston currently leads the overall series 21-18, with four wins in the last six meetings. The last time the two teams met, the Cougars left the field with a 38-28 fourth-quarter home victory.

In TU’s nine home wins, the Golden Hurricane has a 12.1 win margin, but in its eight home losses, Houston has won by a margin of 15.1.

About the Opponent

-Houston’s rush defense only gives up an average of 66 yards per game, ranking fifth nationally.

-Twenty-eight of the team’s full or part-time starters returned for the 2015-2016 season, including the Cougars leaders in rushing, passing, field goals, punting, tackles for loss, sacks, and interceptions.

-Named Houston’s starting quarterback vs. Memphis in 2014, Greg Ward Jr. returned to the position he saw action at in ten games as a true freshman. He opened 2015 with his first career 100-yard rushing game with 101 yards and two scores on 13 attempts vs. Tennessee Tech. Ward is the eighth Houston QB to top 100 yards in rushing and passing in the same game. He barely missed a second consecutive 100-yard rushing game with 98 rushing yards in Houston’s win over Louisville three Saturdays ago.

-The Cougars backfield features senior-combo Kenneth Farrow and Ryan Jackson. Last season, the duo combined for nine 100-yard games, four more than any other team in the AAC.

-On special teams, Cougars junior Demarcus Ayers was named AAC Co-Special Teams Player of the Year in 2013 after finishing the year with 37 kick returns for 1,021 yards. He also had the AAC’s best average return of 27.6 yards.

What’s At Stake

A win will elevate the Golden Hurricane to 3-1 on the overall season and 1-0 in the American.