Thursday, July 18, 2024

CFB-FBS: Tulsa Golden Hurricane (3-2, 1-0 AAC) vs. Florida Atlantic Owls (1-3, 0-0 AAC)

Saturday, Oct. 7, 6 pm (ET) / 5 pm (CT)

Stadium: FAU Stadium (29,945)

TV: ESPN+

Radio: Big Country 99.5 FM

TULSA 3-2, 0-0 The American

Head Coach:          Kevin Wilson

                                    (North Carolina ’84)

                                    1st year at Tulsa

Career Record:     29-49 (7 years)

TU Record:             3-2 (1 year)

FAU  1-3, 0-0 The American

Head Coach:          Tom Herman

                                    (Texas ’99)

                                    1st year at FAU

Career Record:     77-57 (7 years)

FAU Record:      1-3 (1 year)

THE STORYLINES . . .

•     Tulsa opened American Athletic Conference play last week with a 48-26 win at home vs. Temple, while FAU plays its first AAC game

this week against the Hurricane.

•     Tulsa is in its 127th season of football … Tulsa’s first football season was 1895, (TU did not field a team in 1907), while FAU’s

first year of football was 2001.

•     Tulsa has the smallest FBS enrollment with 3,777 students, while FAU has a student enrollment of 30,000.

•     This is the second of three straight Owls Tulsa faces – last week the Temple Owls, this week the FAU Owls and next week the Rice Owls.

•     On the field, Tulsa has been balanced offensively with 194 yards through the air and 193.4 yards on the ground.

•     FAU has thrown for 231.5 yards and gained 99.5 yards rushing.

THE SERIES . . .

•     This is the third meeting between Tulsa and FAU.

•     The series is tied 1-1 as each team won on their home field.

•     The first game came in 2014 as FAU claimed a 50-21 win at home, while Tulsa won a year later in the season opener with a 47-44 overtime win.

QUICK HITTERS . . .

•     Tulsa’s defense has 10 takeaways for a 2.0 average per game to rank 16th nationally for turnovers gained.

•     Tulsa has been efficient in the red zone this season, converting 19-of-21 attempts (90.5%), with 14 of those going for touchdowns.

•     The Hurricane ranks 30th nationally for run defense and 31st for run offense.

•     Three Tulsa have started at least one game this year due to injuries … Braylon Braxton started the opener, Cardell Williams vs. #8 Washington, NIU and Temple and Roman Fuller against #19 Oklahoma.

•     Tulsa has back-to-back AAC Player of the Week selections … Kendarin Ray was named the AAC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance at NIU on Sept. 23 and Cardell Williams was the Offensive Player of the Week for his outing agaisnt Temple on Sept. 28.

LEADING IN THE AAC . . .

•     Kendarin Ray leads the AAC with 46 tackles, while ranking 30th in the NCAA.

•     Redshirt freshman QB Cardell Williams leads the AAC in passing efficiency and 18th in NCAA at 169.46 … has completed 63.4% for 840 yards and eight TDs.

•     Sophomore placekicker Chase Meyer shares The American and NCAA lead for field goal percentage at 100%, connecting on 6-of-6 field goals.

RUSH O, RUSH D . . .

•     Tulsa ranks second in The American for both rushing offense and rushing defense.

•     Tulsa’s run defense has allowed 108.2 yards, while Tulane sits atop the American Athletic Conference holding the opposition to just 84.2 yards on the ground.

•     The Hurricane offense has gained 193.4 rushing yards, second to Navy’s average of 227.5 yards.

THE LAST MEETING vs. FAU . . .

•     Tulsa opened the 2015 season with a 47-44 overtime victory over the FAU Owls in front of 24,001 fans at H.A. Chapman Stadium, scoring a touchdown to FAU’s

field goal in the first overtime session for the win.

•     The Hurricane took a 21-7 lead on a Dane Evans to Keevan Lucas 43-yard pass at the 12:49 mark of the first quarter, but the Owls cut the Hurricane lead to four points at the half, 21-17.

•     FAU out-scored Tulsa 21-7 in the third quarter and held a 10-point lead at 38-28 entering the final stanza.

•     A Zack Langer touchdown and two Redford Jones field goals, the final one covering 39 yards with 0:03 left in regulation, tied the score at 41-41 to force the extra period.

•     The Tulsa defense forced the Owls to kick a 27-yard field goal on the first possession of OT, while Tulsa went the full 25 yards in five plays, with Langer going the final three yards for the score and 3-point victory

K-RAY LEADING THE WAY . . .

•     Sixth-year senior safety Kendarin Ray has been the leader of the Tulsa defense this season.

•     He has a team-high 46 tackles thru five games this year to lead the Hurricane defense and all the American Athletic Conference defenders.

•     Ray was named the AAC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Northern Illinois game (Sept. 23).

•     Ray had a team-high 10 tackles and came up with a game-clinching interception to lead Tulsa to a 22-14 win at NIU … he made a pivotal tackle on a 4th-and-1 play from the NIU 28-yard line that allowed Tulsa to get a key field goal, while his interception came at the Tulsa 21 with 26 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

•     Ray entered the 2023 season with 222 career tackles and now has 268 career stops in 44 games and 31 starting assignments.

•     Ray has 3 double-digit tackle games this year and 10 for his career … he led or shared the lead for tackles in the first 4 games this season.

•     In the season opener, Ray had 10 stops, 5 solos and 5 assists … he totaled 11 stops against #19 Oklahoma and added 10 more tackles at Northern Illinois.

•     In his career, Ray has added 13 pass breakups, eight TFL for -19 yards, four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and two interceptions.

WILLIAMS HITTING THE MARK …

•     Redshirt freshman QB Cardell Williams had played in all five games this season, starting three and coming off the bench in two contests.

•     He leads the American Athletic Conference and ranks 18th in NCAA stats with a passing efficiency of 169.5.

•     In posting a 2-1 record as a starter, Williams has completed 52-of-82 passes for 840 yards and eight TDs in his five appearances.

•     After entering the season opener after a Braylon Braxton injury in the first quarter, Williams was sacked twice on his first collegiate possession, but in the second period he led Tulsa on four straight scoring drives.

•     He finished the first half completing 9-of-9 passes for 169 yards and 3 TDs … his TD passes covered 80, 15 and 19 yards.

•     For the game. Williams finished 13-of-14 for 233 yards and 3 TDs … he converted on 13 straight passes before his first incompletion.

•     His 80-yard TD pass to Marquis Shoulders tied for the 10th longest pass in school history… it was the longest pass since an 88-yarder in the fourth game of the 2021 season.

YOUNG GUYS LEAD RECEIVING CORPS . . .

•     Leading the Tulsa receiving corps for Tulsa are sophomore Marquis Shoulders and freshman redshirt Devan Williams.

•     Heading into the season, only Shoulders had seen collegiate action, playing in eight games in 2022 with three receptions for 23 yards.

•     This year the twosome has collected 34 receptions for 548 yards and 7 TDs between them, combining for 56.5% of Tulsa’s total receiving yards.

•     Shoulders leads the way with 283 yards and 5 TDs on 16 catches, while Williams has caught 18 passes for 265 yards and 2 scores.

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