Tulsa vs. Arkansas: Complete Game Preview

Jacob B.Contributor IIIOctober 30, 2012

Tulsa vs. Arkansas: Complete Game Preview

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    The Arkansas Razorbacks return to Fayetteville, Ark. this week to take on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in Week 10.

    Arkansas had hopes of a three-game win-streak snapped last week by an Ole Miss field goal as time expired in Little Rock. The Razorbacks are looking to get back on track and secure what should be a win against a Conference-USA team in preparation for their tough schedule the rest of the season.

    Tulsa will be looking to win its eighth consecutive game and secure its first victory of the season against an opponent from a strong conference.

    Here is the complete preview to this week’s game.

Game Day Information

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    Who: Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

    When: Saturday, November 3, 12:21 p.m. EST

    Where: Fayetteville, Ark.

    Stadium: Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium (Capacity: 72,000)

    TV: SEC Network

    Radio: KEZA FM 107.9 (Fayetteville, Ark.)

                KABZ FM 103.7 (Little Rock, Ark.)

                KRMG AM 740 (Tulsa, Okla.)

                KRMG FM 102.3 (Tulsa, Okla.)

Arkansas Depth Chart: Offense

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    QB: Tyler Wilson, Brandon Allen

    RB: Dennis Johnson, Knile Davis

    WR: Cobi Hamilton, Javontee Herndon

    WR: Julian Horton, Brandon Mitchell

    WR: Mekale McKay, Demetrius Wilson

    TE: Chris Gragg, Austin Tate

    OT: David Hurd, Chris Stringer

    OG: Tyler Deacon, Luke Charpentier

    C: Travis Swanson, Mitch Smothers

    OG: Alvin Bailey, Luke Charpentier

    OT: Jason Peacock, Brey Cook

    FB: Morgan Linton, Jonathan Williams

Arkansas Depth Chart: Defense

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    DE: Trey Flowers, Austin Flynn

    DT: Alfred Davis, Jared Green

    DT: Byran Jones, Robert Thomas

    DE: Chris Smith, Colton Miles-Nash

    OLB: A.J. Turner, Jarrett Lake

    MLB: Terrell Williams, Otha Peters

    STAR: Ross Rasner, Kaelon Kelleybrew

    CB: Tevin Mitchel, Davyon McKinney

    S: Eric Bennett, Jerry Mitchell

    S: Rohan Gaines, Alan Turner

    CB: Will Hines, Darius Winston

Tulsa Depth Chart: Offense

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    WR: Keyarris Garrett, Khiry Cooper

    LT: Jared Grigg, Garrett Gladd     

    LG: Jake Alexander, Gabe Moyer

    C: Trent Dupy, Billy Lafortune

    RG : Stetson Burnett, Gabe Moyer

    RT: Brian DeShane, Davis Walton

    QB: Cody Green, Kalen Henderson

    TB: Trey Watts, Ja’Terian Douglas

    HB: Willie Carter, Michael Sorrells

    FL: Jordan James, Derek Patterson

    SE: Thomas Roberson, Conner Floyd

    TE: Charlie Copa, Cody Wilson

Tulsa Depth Chart: Defense

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    DE: Jared St. John, Brentom Todd

    DT: Daeshon Bufford, Jack Jewell

    DT: Derrick Jackson, Derrick Luetjen

    DE: Cory Dorris, Derrick Alexander

    CANE: Mitchell Osborne, DeWitt Jennings

    MIKE: DeAundre Brown, Shawn Jackson

    WILL: Shawn Jackson, Jake Sizelove

    BAN: Dexter McCoil, Luke Snider

    FS: Demarco Nelson, Michael Mudoh

    BCB: Lowell Rose, J.D. Ratliff

    FCB: John Flanders, Dwight Dobbins

What Happened in Arkansas’ Last Game?

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    Arkansas experienced a setback against Ole Miss. Arkansas had won its previous two contests against Auburn and Kentucky, but came up short against the Rebels.

    Running back Dennis Johnson had his best game of the season with 161 rushing yards and 19 receiving yards.

    Cobi Hamilton continued to prove why he is the top-ranked wide receiver in the SEC with 146 yards.

    Tyler Wilson passed for 297 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions.

    The Arkansas defense took a step forward in stopping the run, holding Ole Miss to 77 yards, the least amount of rushing yards for the Rebels all season.

    However, the Arkansas defense took a step back in their passing defense, allowing Ole Miss, a rushing team, to accumulate 278 passing yards. The Hogs also allowed Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace to achieve a 78.4 completion percentage, his highest all season.

What Happened in Tulsa’s Last Game?

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    Tulsa added to its seven-game win-streak by squeaking out a 28-24 victory over Rice.

    Running backs Ja’Terian Douglas and Alex Singleton provided the bulk of Tulsa’s offense. The two rushed for 232 yards with three touchdowns.

    Starting quarterback Cody Green missed the Rice game due to injury. Passing duties fell to sophomore Kalen Henderson who completed 8-of-23 attempts with one touchdown and one interception.

    According to TulsaWorld.com, Green is still questionable in Saturday’s game against Arkansas. 

What It Means to Both Teams

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    Arkansas is looking to secure at least one more win against an unranked opponent before having to face South Carolina (No. 7), Mississippi State (No. 15) and LSU (No. 5). The Hogs will have to upset at least two of those teams to have a chance at playing postseason football.

    The Razorbacks desperately need positive momentum as they enter into the last few weeks of their season.

    Tulsa’s only loss of the season came at the hands of Iowa State. Tulsa has not played an SEC opponent since 2008 when it lost to Arkansas 30-23 in Fayetteville, Ark.

    A win over an SEC opponent could help Tulsa land a slot in a slightly more prominent bowl game than their Conference-USA victories alone.

    Tulsa is also looking to continue its winning momentum as it closes out its season against C-USA opponents Houston, UCF and Southern Methodist.

    If Tulsa remains on track, the Hurricane will play in the C-USA title game. It will be the team’s first appearance in the game since 2008. Tulsa is hoping to win its first conference title since 2005. 

Key Players for Arkansas: Julian Horton and Mekale McKay

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    Tulsa is ranked No. 26 in rushing defense. It is No. 95 in passing defense. Offensive coordinator Paul Petrino has displayed a reluctance to run the ball this season in tight situations such as in overtime against Louisiana-Monroe. Petrino likes to call passes, and Tulsa’s defense statistics say he should.

    Julian Horton and Mekale McKay are listed at the top of the receiver depth chart for Arkansas. Brandon Mitchell has fallen behind Horton and is questionable for Saturday following Mitchell’s violation of team rules. Tight end Chris Gragg has also been ruled out for Saturday.

    This leaves Horton and McKay with the opportunity to step up and provide Tyler Wilson with some targets other than Cobi Hamilton. Hamilton has been phenomenal and leads the SEC in receiving yards, but he cannot be Wilson’s only consistent target game after game.

    The fact that Hamilton has done as well as he has when opposing defenses know the ball is coming his way is a testament to his talent and work ethic.

    Neither Horton or McKay have had a game this season where they caught more than three passes. If Petrino wants to focus on a passing attack, Wilson needs receivers to throw the ball to.

Key Player for Tulsa: Ja’Terian Douglas

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    Out of the eight games Ja-Terian Douglas has played this season, he has averaged more than five yards per carry in five of them. He has averaged nearly 10 yards-per-rush in his last two games.

    If Kalen Henderson has to take the snaps for Tulsa again this week, Douglas will be called upon to provide the bulk of Tulsa’s offense.

    Arkansas held Ole Miss to 77 rushing yards last week. The Hurricane have greatly improved their rushing defense over the past few weeks, but they also still have an issue with finishing strong.

    Douglas may have his work cut out for him, but if he can establish his game early and be consistent Saturday afternoon, he will have the opportunity to do some damage.  

Arkansas Will Win If…

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    They give Tyler Wilson someone to pass to.

    Chris Gragg is out for Saturday’s game and Cobi Hamilton can not be solely responsible for Arkansas’ receiving yards. Tyler Wilson will need his receivers to get open and make plays.

    Whenever Wilson has receivers to throw to, he does not throw interceptions. Whenever he does not throw interceptions, the Razorbacks win.

    The Razorbacks will also need to shore up their passing defense. Last week’s game against Ole Miss saw Arkansas stop a running team only to lose by being passed to death.

    There will be the same temptation this week to see Tulsa as a running team and neglect the pass. If Arkansas ignores a team’s passing offense again this week, they will be in a position to lose the ballgame. 

Tulsa Will Win If…

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    Tulsa needs to establish the run game early and keep the ball moving on the ground throughout the entire game. Especially if they have to rely on Kalen Henderson.

    Henderson may have gained some experience from last week’s game and be more of a passing threat this week, but the safe bet will be on giving running backs Ja’Terian Douglas and Alex Singleton the football.

Prediction

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    Arkansas is a 7.5-point favorite going into this week’s game and should be expected to beat a team in a weaker conference, but the Hogs have lost a lot of games this season to team’s in weaker conferences.

    Tulsa is on a seven-game win-streak and have all the momentum going to Week 10. It has experienced nothing but success so far this season in its conference and will put up a good fight against the Razorbacks.

    Arkansas’ passing game should be the deciding factor here. If Tyler Wilson and his receivers avoid interceptions and develop a balanced passing attack throughout the game, Hogs should come out with the win.

    Arkansas 28, Tulsa 20