Previewing 2009 New Mexico Opponents: Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Tulsa will have to replace 4,059 yard passer David Johnson with junior Jacob Bower. Also, the Golden Hurricane will need to replace their top rusher Tarrion Adams who had 1,523 yards, and also their top receiver Brennan Marion who had over 1,100 yards.
All of these loses will make it very hard for Tulsa to repeat their 2008 offensive output that was second in the nation. All is not lost for Tulsa, because when David Johnson took over for Paul Johnson for the 2008 season he did a good job taking over and keeping the offense in the top 10 nationally.
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Jacob Bower is the front runner but he needs to watch out for former three star sophomore G.J. Kinne, who began his career at Texas, and true freshman Shavodrick Beaver, who enrolled early and went through spring practice.
Most likely playing time will win out, but Kinne sat out last year to learn the system and Beaver learned in the Spring, so this is a race to watch out for. So, who ever gets the started job should put up monster numbers and compete for a C-USA title.
In contrary to popular belief Tulsa does run the ball, because last year they were fifth in the nation in running the ball. Now all Tulsa has to do is replace Tarrion Adams who had over 1,500 yards and 14 scores.
That responsibility goes to Jamad Williams and Charles Opeseyitan both combined for just under 900 yards. The reason Tulsa is able to run the ball is because their passing game is so prolifent with the deep ball, and that leaves running room for the backs. The Golden Hurricane actually run about sixty percent of the time.
In the receiver department they do lose big play wide out Brennan Marion who averaged 25.9 per catch. What does this mean, well nothing really as the next player will step up and become the depth threat.
This is the position with the least worries with their next five wide outs back from 2008. The way coach Todd Graham runs his pass attack everyone gets the ball; that is the way Tulsa has been so successful since they can manipulate matchups to their advantage. One last note on the offense is that Herb Hand was promoted from line coach to offensive coordinator to replace Gus Malzahn, who went to Auburn to for the same position.
Now on to defense, umm yes defense is something Tulsa needs to improve on. They gave up 27 points per game and ranked 78th in the nation in that category, but more importantly were middle of the pack in C-USA. The difference was only six points from 2008 champ East Carolina.
They are a more experienced team with returning players, but the defense has taken the bend and not break policy and let the offense win games.
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