Tulsa Golden Hurricane Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Tulsa season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Tulsa Golden Hurricane Preview
Head Coach: Philip Montgomery, 8th year at 38-46
2021 Preview: Overall: 7-6, Conference: 5-3
Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Tulsa Top 10 Players | Tulsa Schedule
Tulsa Golden Hurricane Preview 2022
Just when it seemed like the Philip Montgomery era was coming to a close with a three-year run dip going 9-27, the Golden Hurricane picked it back up with a big 2020 with an appearance in the American Athletic Conference title game.
Just when it seemed like that was all a fluke with an 0-3 start as part of a 3-6 record – including losses to UC Davis and Navy and a struggle against USF – boom. Four straight wins and a bowl victory for a second straight winning season.
However, there were several close calls, it could’ve easily have been a 3-9 season with a few bad breaks, there’s plenty of rebuilding to do, and …
Whatever. Tulsa has found a way to be more than just competitive, and this year it has to get everything together fast to show that it’s going to make some noise in the new and far easier AAC next year when Houston, Cincinnati, and UCF bolt to the Big 12.
The schedule is manageable enough to get to six wins and a bowl game, but again, it’s going to take some reworking. It’s nothing Montgomery and this program haven’t dealt with before.
Tulsa Golden Hurricane Preview 2022: Offense
The offense all worked just fine. It might not have always been efficient, and there were way too many turnovers, but it finished second overall in the conference averaging 442 yards per game. Now the attack has to convert those yards into more points, failing to get to 24 on the board seven times in the first ten games.
There are a whole lot of lost parts, but there’s a decent returning base to work around as long as the Golden Hurricane can restock the …
Offensive line. It needs work. Great last year for the running game and good enough in pass protection, Tulsa loses two NFL starting-caliber tackles in Tyler Smith and Chris Paul and only returns one starter. There’s size, and there are options, but this is going to take fall camp to revamp.
Leading rusher Shamari Brooks is done, but Anthony Watkins averaged over seven yards per carry with 634 yards and four scores, and Demeric Prince is a potentially strong No. 1 back coming off a 524-yard, five-touchdown season.
The passing attack will need a little time to come up with new parts. It was great at pushing the ball down the field, and QB Davis Brin is back after throwing for 3,254 yards and 18 touchdowns. However, he threw 16 picks and has to be a bit more accurate.
The top seven yardage receivers last year were seniors, but two of them are back. JuanCarlos Santana was second on the team with 50 catches for 674 yards and there scores, and Keylon Stokes is a No. 1 caliber target who’s back after missing most of last year hurt. On the way is Isaiah Epps, a good-sized veteran from Kentucky.
Tulsa Golden Hurricane Preview 2022: Defense
The defense loses even more talent and parts than the offense does, but there’s help from the transfer portal and a few key top tacklers back after finishing fifth overall in the AAC in total and scoring defense, allowing 371 yards and 27 points per game.
The linebacking corps needs more options. Justin Wright led the team with 82 tackles in an all-star season, but the outside brings in two new starters and the depth isn’t quite there.
Leading pass rusher Anthony Goodlow is back at one end job after coming up with six sacks, but tackle Jaxon Player left for Baylor and there’s not a ton of size on the front threw with the massive Tyarise Stevenson done on the nose.
On the way is Ani Izuchukwu from Mississippi State and Jayden Simon from Colorado to try adding some options up front.
The secondary should be the early strength of the defense. It’s got a great all-around corner in Tyon Davis – he should be one of the statistical stars of the AAC – and the safety trio of Kendarin Ray, Tyree Carlisle, and Jaise Oliver is experienced and strong against the run.