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Preview: Tulsa at UCF
Nov 11, 2014
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Game time: November 14th 8:00 PM

ESPN2

The Tulsa Golden Hurricane take on the UCF Knights under the Friday night lights this week. UCF will look to rebound after a very disappointing eight point loss at UConn, while Tulsa will try to build momentum after their 38-28 home victory over arguably the worst team playing in the FBS, SMU. Tulsa is led by two very talented receivers, sophomore Keevan Lucas and junior Keyarris Garrett. UCF’s secondary is going to have to bounce back after a very mediocre performance against UConn.

It was previewed by many that ball security would be pertinent in UCF’s game against UConn with a bone chilling low 40 degree and rainy day. UCF’s ball security was awful, however this was not necessarily because of the weather. Instead, it was because of Justin Holman’s inaccuracy and overthrows resulting in easy interceptions for UConn, giving them good field position to make key plays against UCF’s defense. Running back Will Stanback had a strong performance, and Breshad Perriman added another touchdown, and UCF actually moved the ball pretty well on offense. The turnovers were the downfall in the end for UCF, along with mental errors such as poor kickoff return decisions.

Meanwhile, Tulsa had struggled mightily before getting to play a pancake SMU team and they managed to end up with a solid victory. Tulsa quarterback Dane Evans threw for five touchdowns and 14 of SMU’s 28 points came in garbage time. To better gauge Tulsa however, their performances the rest of the season has been lackluster. Their only other win is a double overtime win over Tulane, and they have suffered losses to Florida Atlantic, Texas State, and USF, which are other struggling teams. There is no doubt that Tulsa is dangerous offensively, ranking 20th in passing yards thanks to solid quarterback play from Dane Evans (19TDs to 9 INTs, 56% passing) and a two headed monster wide receiver attack with Lucas and Garrett. Nevertheless, Tulsa struggles defensively, as they are ranked 121st in points against in the FBS, which is not good.

This is another game that UCF should have the talent to win. Cornerback Jacoby Glenn will have to play like the lockdown corner that he can be, and cornerback Jordan Ozerities and safety Brandon Alexander will have to bounce back after poor performances against UConn. It should be a beautiful evening for football, clear and in the low 70s or high 60s, so UCF will not have to worry about the miserable conditions they played in at Connecticut. Justin Holman will have to bounce back, but look for the Knights to control tempo and run with William Stanback a lot to keep Tulsa’s offense off of the field. If UCF is able to rebound from two weeks ago and secure a victory they will become bowl eligible, which is just another reason to put the UConn loss in the rearview mirror.

The history between UCF and Tulsa is interesting as well. In 2007 UCF beat Tulsa twice, the second time for the Conference USA championship to send UCF to the Liberty Bowl. However, in 2012 Tulsa beat UCF twice in close nail biting games, the latter one for the Conference USA championship as well.

There is some good news for UCF: They still control their own destiny to win a share of the American Athletic Conference championship. ECU also got upset by Temple this past week, creating some chaos in the American standings. Even if they had beaten UConn, their chance for an access bowl was very slim, and the race for the AAC championship is wide open between ECU, UCF, Memphis, and Cincinnati. Will UCF play with a fire under their bellies and rebound against Tulsa? I think so, as they play well on week night games and at home. Tulsa QB Evans has been sacked a whopping 23 times already this season, so look for UCF’s defensive line to try and create pressure, which would make the lives for UCF’s secondary much easier. What will also make UCF’s life easier is if they are able to have Rannell Hall back for kickoff return duty.

Prediction: UCF 34 Tulsa 21

Players to watch for UCF: Justin Holman (Will good or bad Holman show up)? William Stanback (Improving as the season goes on along with the O-line), Safety Clayton Geathers, Corner Jacoby Glenn, DE Thomas Niles, and DL Jaryl Mamea

Players to watch for Tulsa: QB Dane Evans, WR Keevan Lucas, WR Keyarris Garrett, RB Zack Langer, Safety Michael Mudoh (Leads team in tackles and 2 forced fumbles)

Injuries

Tulsa: Brentom Todd (Out for year), Jesse Brubaker (Out indefinitely), Billy Lafortune (Questionable)

UCF: Colby Watson (Out for year), Chavis Dickey (Questionable), Joey Grant (Questionable), Rannell Hall (Questionable)

About author

Profile photo of Daniel Glass

Daniel Glass

I currently work for my family business in New Jersey and attended UCF from 2007-2011. I graduated with a degree in general business and when not working I am watching college football or the NFL. I am not an experienced writer, but have always been curious to test the turbulent waters of writing about my favorite team. Follow me on twitter @Dgyn14.

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