TULSA OPENS AAC SEASON WITH FRIDAY NIGHT GAME AGAINST HOUSTON
TULSA (1-3, 0-0 AAC) vs. HOUSTON (3-1, 1-0 AAC)
Friday, Oct. 1, 6:30 pm (CT)
Stadium: H.A. Chapman Stadium (30,000), Tulsa, Okla.
Radio: Big Country 99.5 FM
TULSA 1-3, 0-0 The American
Head Coach: Philip Montgomery
(Tarleton State ’95)
7th year at Tulsa
Career Record: 32-43 (7 years)
TU Record: same
HOUSTON 3-1, 1-0 The American
Head Coach: Dana Holgorsen
(Iowa Wesleyan ’93)
3rd year at Houston
Career Record: 71-55 (11 years)
UH Record: 10-14 (3 years)
THE STORYLINES . . .
- Tulsa is in its 125th season of Tulsa football.
- Tulsa has the smallest FBS enrollment with 2,929 undergraduate students (based off 2020-21 statistics) … Tulsa’s overall enrollment is 3,961 … Houston’s enrollment is 46,000 students.
- This is Tulsa’s American Athletic Conference opener, while Houston opened the league season last week with a 28-20 home win over Navy.
- Houston comes into the game ranked first in the AAC for total defense, allowing 255.6 yards per game, while Tulsa is second in total offense at 489.7 yards per game.
- The Cougars are second for pass defense in the AAC (126.0), while Tulsa is second for passing offense (302.0) … Houston is third for rush defense (129.6) and Tulsa is third for rush offense (187.7).
THE SERIES . . .
- This is the 45th meeting between Tulsa and Houston.
- The Cougars lead the series 25-19, while the series is tied in Tulsa at 10-10.
- Houston has won the last two meetings, including a 24-14 win in the last meeting, which came in Tulsa in 2019.
- Last year’s game in Houston was canceled due to COVID-19.
QUICK STRIKE . . .
- In the first three games and 10 offensive scoring drives the quickest drive, in time of possession for Tulsa, was 1:20, coming in the season opener.
- In the fourth game, Tulsa had four scoring drives less than 1:20, including one that covered 1:13 and three drives under one minute.
- Tulsa’s three sub-one-minute drives were also one-play drives … Tulsa scored 21 points in 0:29 on those one-play drives.
- Tulsa scored in 0:12 on an 88-yard pass from Davis Brin to Sam Crawford … Brin hit JC Santana on a 3-yard pass in 0:06 … Anthony Watkins’ 75-yard run took just 0:11 off the clock
500+ IN TOTAL OFFENSE . . .
- Tulsa has gone over 500 yards in total offense in each of the last two games.
- Tulsa gained 663 yards on 74 plays for a 9.0 average per play against Arkansas State …
Tulsa had 343 yards passing and 308 yards on the ground.
- A week before, Tulsa totaled 501 yards against No. 9-ranked Ohio State, throwing for 428 and rushing for 73 yards.
- The last time Tulsa had back-to-back 500+ total offensive games came in 2017 with 667 vs. Louisiana and 548 yards at Toledo.
- The last time Tulsa went over 600 rushing yards in a game came in the 2019 season finale with 669 yards at East Carolina.
- Tulsa has now gone over 500 yards in the Philip Montgomery era in 26 games, registering a 17-9 record.
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF 500 . . .
- In the last 37 games, Tulsa has only given up 500 yards in two games.
- Ohio State was the second team to accomplish that feat during the timespan with 508 yards against the Hurricane.
- The previous 500+ total offense game in that stretch was by Oklahoma State with 506 yards in 2019.
UNDER MONTY . . .
- In 75 games under Philip Montgomery, Tulsa has scored over 40 points 25 times and has posted a 20-5 record when doing so.
- Tulsa has gone over 500 yards of total offense in 26 games under Montgomery for a 17-9 record.
- The Golden Hurricane has gone over 600 yards 10 times under Montgomery, including this year’s 663 this year against Arkansas State … Tulsa had a high game of 667 yards in 2017 against Louisiana-Lafayette.
- Tulsa has 14 300+ yard rushing games in the Montgomery era, with a school record eight in 2016, three in 2017, two in 2019 and one this season (308 vs. Arkansas State).
- Tulsa is 11-1 when two players have gone over 100 rushing yards in the same game since 2015 under Montgomery … the last time that happened came this year against Arkansas State with 155 yards by Shamari Brooks and 115 yards by Anthony Watkins.
- Tulsa has three 400+ rushing games under Montgomery, two coming in back-to-back games in 2017 (424 vs. Louisiana, 423 at Toledo) and one in 2016 (470 vs. UConn).
2 AND 2 . . .
- In Tulsa’s last outing, Tulsa had two 100-yard rushers and two -100-yard receivers against Arkansas State.
- Shamari Brooks rushed for 155 yards and Antony Watkins had 115 yards on the ground, while Josh Johnson had 127 yards on nine receptions and Sam Crawford caught two passes for 105 yards.
- The last time Tulsa pulled off this feat came on Oct. 7, 2016 vs. SMU –– D’Angelo Brewer and James Flanders had 182 and 132 yards on the ground … Josh Atkinson and Keevan Lucas had 115 and 113 receiving, respectively.
BURNETT UP FOR MAYO CLINIC COMEBACK POY AWARD . . .
- Tulsa senior linebacker Yohance Burnett is a nominee for the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award
- Burnett has suffered two ACL injuries since joining the Tulsa football team from Navarro Junior College in 2018.
- He suffered his first ACL injury to his right knee during the 2018 preseason camp … last year in preseason camp, Burnett tore his left ACL forcing him to miss his second season in three years.
- In three games this season, Burnett has totaled 18 tackles to rank second on the team. He has totaled 36 tackles and 3.5 TFL for -6 yards in 15 career games.
- Ten times during the 2021 college football season, three inspiring student-athletes from all levels of college football who have overcome injury, illness, or other challenges, will be recognized as Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Nominees.
BROOKS EIGHT YARDS SHY OF 3,000 . . .
- Running back Shamari Brooks, who missed the 2020 season with an ACL injury, has totaled 2,992 yards on 627 career attempts in 36 career games.
- He needs just eight more yards to become just the 5th player in school history to reach the 3,000-yard rushing plateau.
- The senior from Tulsa’s Union High School came into the 2021 season ranked 5th on the school’s career rushing list with 2,700 yards.
- Brooks had his 13th career 100+ rushing game with 155 yards on 22 carries against Arkansas State … he also scored his 24th career rushing TD in that game to move into 11th place on the school’s all-time chart.
- Brooks is now 549 yards shy of moving into a 4th place tie with Trey Watts (2010-13, 3,515 yards) on the school’s all-time rushing chart.
BRIN THROWS FOR OVER 350 YARDS IN TWO STRAIGHT . . .
- Davis Brin threw for 355 yards last week against Arkansas State, giving him his second straight game throwing for over 350 yards.
- He also had a career-high three TDs in the ASU game, as his TD throws covered 88, 34 and 17 yards.
- A week before, Brin had a career-best 428 yards and two TDs against No.9-ranked Ohio State in just his 7th career game.
- The 428 yards is the 11th best passing performance in school history and just the 19th time a Tulsa quarterback went over the 400-yard plateau.
- Brin’s 31 completions and 54 attempts were also career highs for the Tulsa junior.
- His previous-high was 266 yards in a reserve role last year against Tulane.
- His 428 yards was the most passing yards for a Tulsa quarterback since Dane Evans threw for 421 yards against Memphis on Oct. 23, 2015 against #17 Memphis.
- In his four starts, all coming this year, Brin has completed 61-percent of his passes (82-of-134) for 1,208 yards and two TDs.
DEFENSE TOTALING UP THE TFL . . .
- In four games, Tulsa’s defense has totaled 31 TFL for -98 yards to rank 17th nationally.
- Among Tulsa’s total TFL this season, 10 have been credited as sacks for -52 yards.
- A total of 15 players have recorded at least one TFL for lost yards, while defensive end Cullen Wick leads the way with 5.5 for -21 TFL … he and fellow lineman Anthony Goodlow lead Tulsa in sacks with two for -11 yards.
- Tulsa turned in high games of 10 TFL for -31 yards vs. Arkansas State and six sacks for -25 yards.
- The Hurricane had nine TFL in each of the first two games, including nine TFL for -20 yards in the season opener against UC Davis and nine TFL for -32 yards at Oklahoma State.
WATKINS BREAKS OUT . . .
- Sophomore Anthony Watkins had a breakout game against Arkansas State.
- He came into the game with 60 yards on 10 carries in his first three games this year, and splurged for a career-high 115 yards and one TD on seven carries for a 16.4 average per attempt.
- He had a 75-yard touchdown run among his game total.
- Now, Watkins has totaled 175 yards for a 10.3 average per carry this year.
RECEIVING CORPS STEPPING UP . . .
- Without leading receiver Keylon Stokes on the field the last two games, Tulsa receivers have filled the void.
- In the Ohio State game, Tulsa QB Davis Brin targeted nine receivers, but had just four receivers catch passes a week later against Arkansas State.
- Over the two weeks, just the receiving corps has caught 50 passes for 728 yards, five TDs and 364 yards per game.
- Tulsa has had three 100-yard receivers over the past two weeks … Josh Johnson had a career-high 149 yards on eight receptions at Ohio State and followed that up with 127 yards on nine catches vs. Arkansas State.
- Sam Crawford Jr. had the other 100+ game with 105 yards on two receptions, both for touchdowns.
- Against Ohio State, Brin targeted five receivers, three running backs and one tight end as the junior completed 31 of his 54 passes for 428 yards, all career highs.
- Graduate transfer Ezra Naylor II caught his first passes in a Tulsa uniform with five receptions for 81 yards, including a long of 38 yards, against Ohio State.
• In addition, one receiver caught his first career TD on just his fourth career reception, when the Cannon Montgomery caught a 21-yard touchdown in the third quarter at Ohio State.