TULSA, OK -- The Tulsa Golden Hurricane football team will face seven Bowl Teams from a year ago on its 2009 schedule, as announced Tuesday by Tulsa's Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham.
Tulsa will face the top two winningest football programs in the Football Bowl Subdivision since the 2000 campaign, including No. 1 Oklahoma (102-19) and No. 2 Boise State (98-17). The five other 2008 Bowl teams include Conference USA members East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, Rice and Southern Miss.
"Naturally, we're excited about the schedule and the opportunities it presents our football team. It is a challenging one with seven bowl teams including Oklahoma and Boise State," said Graham. "Oklahoma and Boise State are two premier games that we think our fans will be excited about seeing us playing."
The Hurricane will play four games on ESPN, all four of those contests coming on the non-traditional Saturday game day. Tulsa will play its first three games on the road before opening the home season at H.A. Chapman Stadium.
"We are extremely excited about the national exposure of playing four ESPN games, and that speaks volumes about our program and how far we have come over the last few seasons. To be selected four times for ESPN television shows the national attention that our program is beginning to attract," said Graham.
"Five of our first seven games and our first three Conference USA games are on the road. We talk with our players about being road warriors. We have to be able to win on the road," added Graham.
Tulsa kicks off the 2009 campaign with a Conference USA tilt against the Tulane Green Wave on ESPN, Friday, September 4 at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana at 7:00 pm. The Hurricane has a 4-1 record against Tulane, having won the last four contests by an average of 33 points per game.
Tulsa will continue its road swing in a return game to New Mexico, as the Lobos and Hurricane play on Saturday, Sept. 1 in Albuquerque. Tulsa captured a 56-14 win last year and took the overall lead in the series 3-2.
The third consecutive road game finds the Hurricane traveling down the turnpike to take on the defending BCS runners-up and sure to be another highly ranked Oklahoma Sooner team on Sept. 19, in Norman. The two teams last played in 2007 at Tulsa's Chapman Stadium. The Sooners closed out the 2008 season with a 10-2 record as the only losses came against Texas and Florida in the national championship game.
Tulsa's last visit to Norman saw the Sooners capture a close 31-15 decision in the 2005 campaign.
The Hurricane makes its home debut on Sept. 26, in a non-conference match-up against Sam Houston State. It will be the first meeting between the two schools.
Tulsa begins the month of October with a conference road game as the Hurricane travels to Houston to face the Rice Owls on Oct. 3. Rice finished with a 10-3 record and a win over Western Michigan in the Texas Bowl. After Tulsa's 63-28 victory over Rice last year, the Owls went on a seven-game winning streak to end the season. Tulsa will be looking to knot up a series that stands at 7-6-1 in favor of the Owls.
Back-to-back non-traditional day games will be played as Tulsa faces Boise State on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 7:00 pm, and a week later travels to El Paso to face play the UTEP Miners on Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 7:00 pm. Both contests will be carried live on ESPN television.
Tulsa and Boise State were members of the Western Athletic Conference from 2001-04, and the Broncos won all four of the meetings. The last game in the series came in October 2004 in Tulsa when the 18th-ranked Broncos defeated the Hurricane by a score of 45-42. Boise State finished the 2008 campaign with a 12-1 record after losing to TCU Poinsettia Bowl.
The Tulsa-UTEP series has been a high-scoring series, as Tulsa has a 5-3 series advantage in El Paso, and a 5-4 series lead at home. Tulsa claimed a 77-35 win at home last year, while the last meeting in El Paso saw the Miners grab a 48-47 victory.
The Hurricane returns home to close out the month of October and begin a trek that sees Tulsa play four of its last five games at H.A. Chapman Stadium. Tulsa hosts SMU on Oct. 31. The Hurricane has won three of the last four games including the last two contests.
Tulsa's four games in November come against teams that each made a Bowl appearance in 2008. Houston in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, East Carolina in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Southern Miss in the New Orleans Bowl and Memphis in the St. Petersburg Bowl.
Tulsa will look to avenge a loss at Houston when the Cougars visit town on Nov. 7.
The final three games on the Tulsa schedule comes against the Eastern Division of Conference USA, all three new to the Hurricane regular season slate this year as the schools return to the Tulsa schedule on the two-year rotation.
A rematch of the 2008 C-USA Championship Game will take place on Sunday, Nov. 15, as the East Carolina Pirates visit Chapman Stadium for another ESPN televised contest. Tulsa will look to avenge the 27-24 championship game loss against the Pirates.
Tulsa closes out the road campaign with a Nov. 21 game at Southern Miss. Tulsa returns home to close out the regular season with a game against Memphis on Nov. 28. The Hurricane leads the series against USM 3-2-1, while Memphis holds an 14-8 series edge against Tulsa.
The Hurricane is 2-0 against both Southern Miss and Memphis since joining C-USA in 2005. Against USM, Tulsa won on the road in 2005, 34-17, and at home in 2006 by a score of 20-6. Tulsa's C-USA victories against Memphis came in 2005 by a 37-31 score in overtime and a 35-14 score in 2006.
Tulsa opens spring drills on March 24th. The Annual Spring Game is set for Saturday, April 18 at 6:00 pm at H.A. Chapman Stadium.
2009 Tulsa Football Schedule
DATE OPPONENT TIME
Sept. 4 (Fri.) at Tulane* (ESPN) 7:00 pm
Sept. 12 at New Mexico TBA
Sept. 19 at Oklahoma TBA
Sept. 26 SAM HOUSTON STATE TBA
Oct. 3 at Rice* TBA
Oct. 14 (Wed.) BOISE STATE (ESPN) 7:00 pm
Oct. 21 (Wed.) at UTEP* (ESPN) 7:00 pm
Oct. 31 SMU* TBA
Nov. 7 HOUSTON* TBA
Nov. 15 (Sun.) EAST CAROLINA* (ESPN) 7:15 pm
Nov. 21 at Southern Miss* TBA
Nov. 28 MEMPHIS* TBA
Dec. 5 C-USA Championship Game TBA
*Conference USA Games
BOLD indicates home games
All Game Times are Central Time Zone