Seven 2014 bowl participants for Philip Montgomery's first season as the University of Tulsa's head coach are featured on the 2015 Golden Hurricane football schedule, as it was announced today.
Non-conference foe Oklahoma played in the Russell Athletic Bowl a year ago, while six bowl participants from 2014 come from the American Athletic Conference, including UCF (Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl), Cincinnati (Military Bowl), East Carolina (Birmingham Bowl) Houston (Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl), Memphis (Miami Beach Bowl) and Navy (San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl).
This season the American Athletic Conference will be divided in to two divisions. Tulsa is part of the West Division with Houston, Memphis, Navy, SMU and Tulane. The East Division will have UCF, Cincinnati, UConn, East Carolina, USF and Temple.
Tulsa kicks off the season with a home contest against Florida Atlantic of Conference USA on September 5. The teams will play the second leg of a two-game home-and-home series that began last season in Boca Raton, Florida.
A week later, Tulsa and New Mexico renew a series with the game in Albuquerque on Sept. 12. The two teams last met in the 2009 season as Tulsa captured a 44-10 road win and improved its series record over the Lobos to 4-2. Tulsa continues its schedule on the road the following week, but this time will only have to travel down the Turner Turnpike to face the Oklahoma Sooners on Sept. 19.
“We're excited to be opening the 2015 season against Florida Atlantic in front of our home fans," said First-year Head Coach Philip Montgomery. "The first month of the season with challenging road games against New Mexico and Oklahoma will help prepare us for por schedule in the American Athletic Conference.”
Following an open date, Tulsa will return to H.A. Chapman Stadium to open the conference season against the Houston Cougars on October 3. The Cougars, who finished the 2014 season with an 8-5 record and winners of the Armed Forces Bowl, lead the overall series 21-18.
Tulsa's final non-conference match-up will be a home game against Louisiana-Monroe on Oct. 10. ULM and Tulsa will be meeting for the third time in school history, as the Hurricane leads the series 2-1. The last matchup came in the 2007 season as Tulsa claimed a 35-17 victory on the road.
“Six of our league opponents played in bowl games last year, including four of those teams coming to Chapman Stadium. It will be a very challenging and entertaining home schedule, one that we'll need to have a home-field advantage with a packed stadium,” said Montgomery. “Our league games on the road will be just as important and competitive as two of the top-four teams in The American a year ago – Cincinnati and East Carolina –– are tough matchups anywhere you play them.”
As Tulsa gets back into American Athletic Conference action, it will be a road game-home game schedule the remainder of the season for the Hurricane. Tulsa gets back into league play on Oct. 17 as the Hurricane travels to the east coast to face the East Carolina Pirates. ECU had an 8-5 overall record and 5-3 league mark last season.
Tulsa returns to Chapman Stadium for its Homecoming with a matchup against the first of the three tri-champions of the American Athletic Conference that the Hurricane will face in 2015, as the Memphis Tigers visit Chapman Stadium for an ESPN-televised game on Friday night, Oct. 23. The Tigers finished the 2014 campaign with a 10-3 record and 7-1 league mark. Memphis leads the overall series 15-10, but Tulsa has won four of the last five meetings.
A visit to Dallas, Texas, on Halloween weekend has the Hurricane facing the SMU Mustangs (Oct. 31). Tulsa captured a 38-28 win against the Mustangs last season for its eighth victory against 13 defeats in the series.
The month of November has Tulsa playing back-to-back games against two of The American's tri-champions from a year ago, as the Hurricane hosts UCF on Nov. 7. It's the first time UCF has returned to Chapman Stadium since the two teams met in the 2012 Conference USA Championship Game when Tulsa grabbed a 33-27 overtime victory. The Knights, 9-4 and 7-1 in league action in 2014, won last year's meeting in Orlando by a score of 31-7.
Tulsa has a 5-3 series advantage against UCF.
A week later, Tulsa goes back on the road to renew a series with Cincinnati (Nov. 14), the 32nd meeting between the two teams. Former co-members of the Missouri Valley Conference, the two teams met for the first time in 1946 and last met in the 1997 season. Cincinnati leads the overall series 16-13-2.
The Bearcats ended the 2014 campaign as tri-champions of The American with a 7-1 league mark and an overall 9-4 record.
American Athletic Conference newcomer Navy will close out Tulsa's home slate as the Midshipmen come to Chapman Stadium on Nov. 21. It will be just the third meeting between the two schools, as each won on the others' home field in the previous games. Navy grabbed a 29-0 win in 2004 in Tulsa, and two years later the Hurricane captured a 24-23 overtime victory in 2006.
Navy closed out the 2014 season with a 17-16 victory over San Diego State in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
Tulsa closes out the regular season in New Orleans against the Tulane Green Wave on Nov. 28. The Hurricane leads the series against Tulane with a 9-2 record, while winning last year's season opener in double overtime, 38-31. Tulsa lost the first meeting of the series in 1968, then won eight straight before dropping a seven-point road decision in 2013.
2015 TULSA FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
5 FLORIDA ATLANTIC
12 @ New Mexico
19 @ Oklahoma
17 @ East Carolina*
23 (Fri.) MEMPHIS* (ESPN) – HOMECOMING
31 @ SMU*
14 @ Cincinnati*
28 @ Tulane*
5 American Athletic Conference Championship (ABC/ESPN)