Five Bowl participants are featured on the 2013 Tulsa Golden Hurricane football schedule, as it was announced today. Tulsa will face Bowling Green, Oklahoma, Iowa State, Rice and East Carolina.
TU is coming off an 11-3 record, Conference USA and AutoZone Liberty Bowl Championships in 2012. The six-game home schedule for Tulsa features non-conference foes Colorado State and Iowa State, as well as Conference USA opponents Marshall, North Texas, Rice and UTSA.
"There are some familiar teams that we know will be challenging. We're excited about our non-conference schedule against two Big 12 teams, the Mountain West and Mid American Conference teams," said Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship. "Three of those four opponents made bowl games last season. We know that the home game against Iowa State will be especially interesting given the brief history between the two teams, and Oklahoma is always one of the nation's best teams."
"We know the toughness of our conference schedule with the returning league teams that we have played recently, and adding three new teams - Louisiana Tech, UTSA and North Texas - to the mix will be fun for our players and fans," added Blankenship.
The Hurricane will open the season with four consecutive nonconference games, including the season opener at Bowling Green on Aug. 31. The Falcons posted an 8-5 record in 2012. This is the first time Tulsa will travel to Bowling Green, Ohio in the series. Tulsa holds a 3-0 series record against BGSU, winning two home games and the 2008 GMAC Bowl by a score of 63-7. The last meeting came in 2010 as the Hurricane claimed a 33-20 home victory.
Tulsa will open the home season a week later on Sept. 7 against Colorado State (4-8 in 2012) of the Mountain West Conference. This will be the eighth game in the series as Tulsa holds a 4-3 advantage against the Rams. Tulsa and Colorado State were former co-members of the Western Athletic Conference in the 1990s.
The Hurricane will take a trip down the turnpike to face the Oklahoma Sooners (10-3) a week later on Sept. 14th. The Sooners hold a 17-7-1 edge in the series and has won the last six meetings.
A rematch of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl between Tulsa and Iowa State (6-7) takes place at H.A. Chapman Stadium on Sept. 21st. Tulsa claimed a 31-17 victory against the Cyclones at the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, avenging a season-opening 38-23 loss in Ames against Iowa State.
Following the Iowa State game, TU gets a bye week to prepare for Conference USA play. TU opens up at home against Rice on Oct. 5, whom TU defeated this past season 28-24 without starting quarterback Cody Green.
TU will play its first conference road game on Oct. 12 at UTEP. The Miners were crushed 33-11 in their trip to Tulsa last season. TU follows the UTEP game with its second and final bye week of the season.
The Hurricane gets back at it on Oct. 26 at Tulane, whom they crushed last season 45-10. It was in that game that Tulane defensive back Devon Walker was paralyzed on the final play of the first half.
TU follows that up by hosting conference-newcomer UTSA on Nov. 2. The Roadrunners are entering their third season of football, at any level.
Perhaps the toughest conference game of all will come Nov. 9 when TU must travel across the country to face East Carolina at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. The perennially-contending Pirates will host the Golden Hurricane for the first time since their epic 51-49 triumph in 2010. ECU won on a 33-yard heave to the end zone on the game's final play.
The Hurricane returns home on Nov. 16 to host the Marshall Thundering Herd. TU defeated Marshall 45-38 in 2012 and is 4-0 all-time against them.
Tulsa's final road test of the season comes against another newcomer Louisiana Tech on Nov. 23. The Bulldogs were an impressive 9-3 in 2012 but didn't play in a bowl game due to their indecisiveness.
The Golden Hurricane finishes the 2013 slate by hosting North Texas on Nov. 30. The Mean Green struggled to a 4-8 record in 2012.