Tulsa Golden Hurricane Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

Tulsa Golden Hurricane Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Tulsa season with what you need to know and keys to the season.

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Tulsa Golden Hurricane Preview
Head Coach: Philip Montgomery, 8th year at 38-46
2021 Preview: Overall: 7-6, Conference: 5-3
Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Tulsa Top 10 Players | Tulsa Schedule

Tulsa Golden Hurricane Preview 2022

Just when it seemed like the Philip Montgomery era was coming to a close with a three-year run dip going 9-27, the Golden Hurricane picked it back up with a big 2020 with an appearance in the American Athletic Conference title game.


Just when it seemed like that was all a fluke with an 0-3 start as part of a 3-6 record – including losses to UC Davis and Navy and a struggle against USF – boom. Four straight wins and a bowl victory for a second straight winning season.

However, there were several close calls, it could’ve easily have been a 3-9 season with a few bad breaks, there’s plenty of rebuilding to do, and …

Whatever. Tulsa has found a way to be more than just competitive, and this year it has to get everything together fast to show that it’s going to make some noise in the new and far easier AAC next year when Houston, Cincinnati, and UCF bolt to the Big 12.

The schedule is manageable enough to get to six wins and a bowl game, but again, it’s going to take some reworking. It’s nothing Montgomery and this program haven’t dealt with before.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane Preview 2022: Offense

The offense all worked just fine. It might not have always been efficient, and there were way too many turnovers, but it finished second overall in the conference averaging 442 yards per game. Now the attack has to convert those yards into more points, failing to get to 24 on the board seven times in the first ten games.

There are a whole lot of lost parts, but there’s a decent returning base to work around as long as the Golden Hurricane can restock the …

Offensive line. It needs work. Great last year for the running game and good enough in pass protection, Tulsa loses two NFL starting-caliber tackles in Tyler Smith and Chris Paul and only returns one starter. There’s size, and there are options, but this is going to take fall camp to revamp.

Leading rusher Shamari Brooks is done, but Anthony Watkins averaged over seven yards per carry with 634 yards and four scores, and Demeric Prince is a potentially strong No. 1 back coming off a 524-yard, five-touchdown season.

The passing attack will need a little time to come up with new parts. It was great at pushing the ball down the field, and QB Davis Brin is back after throwing for 3,254 yards and 18 touchdowns. However, he threw 16 picks and has to be a bit more accurate.

The top seven yardage receivers last year were seniors, but two of them are back. JuanCarlos Santana was second on the team with 50 catches for 674 yards and there scores, and Keylon Stokes is a No. 1 caliber target who’s back after missing most of last year hurt. On the way is Isaiah Epps, a good-sized veteran from Kentucky.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane Preview 2022: Defense

The defense loses even more talent and parts than the offense does, but there’s help from the transfer portal and a few key top tacklers back after finishing fifth overall in the AAC in total and scoring defense, allowing 371 yards and 27 points per game.

The linebacking corps needs more options. Justin Wright led the team with 82 tackles in an all-star season, but the outside brings in two new starters and the depth isn’t quite there.

Leading pass rusher Anthony Goodlow is back at one end job after coming up with six sacks, but tackle Jaxon Player left for Baylor and there’s not a ton of size on the front threw with the massive Tyarise Stevenson done on the nose.

On the way is Ani Izuchukwu from Mississippi State and Jayden Simon from Colorado to try adding some options up front.

The secondary should be the early strength of the defense. It’s got a great all-around corner in Tyon Davis – he should be one of the statistical stars of the AAC – and the safety trio of Kendarin Ray, Tyree Carlisle, and Jaise Oliver is experienced and strong against the run.

Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Tulsa Top 10 Players | Tulsa Schedule

Tulsa Golden Hurricane: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats NEXT

Tulsa Golden Hurricane: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats

Tulsa Golden Hurricane: Key To The 2022 Offense

Chill out the turnovers.

The defense was able to do enough keep the turnover margin from getting out of hand, but the offense made things way too hard on itself with too many giveaways.

Tulsa turned it over 24 times last year with two or more in nine games and multiple giveaways in six straight games to close out the regular season.

The wins were still there, but the three turnovers were a killer in the season opening stunner of a loss to UC Davis, and the two lost fumbles were devastating in the loss to Cincinnati.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane: Key To The 2022 Defense

Be better on third down conversions.

The defense was able to improve at getting off the field as the season went on, and it was able to still beat Memphis and get by Old Dominion in the Myrtle Beach Bowl despite having third down problems, but in general, the team had problems when offenses kept the chains moving.

Tulsa started the season 0-3 after allowing teams to combine to hit half of their third down tries, Cincinnati was able to settle things down by converting 58% of its changes, and Navy pulled out the upset by keeping everything moving.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane: Key Player To The 2022 Season

OT Jaden Muskrat, Soph.
Is he ready to step in and star? Tulsa had a pair of NFL tackles to work around last year with Tyler Smith and Chris Paul two fantastic pounders – you don’t just replace talents like that.

The 6-3, 303-pound Muskrat has to step in for Smith, the 24th overall pick in the draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He spent last year as the understudy, but he could kick inside if the Golden Hurricane get big production in fall camp from …

Tulsa Golden Hurricane: Key Transfer

OT Darrell Simpson, Sr.
And go ahead and throw in Brody Wisecarver from Illinois. Tulsa needs to do some shuffling up front, and if Simpson – a 6-8, 348-pound former big recruit for Oklahoma – and/or Wisecarver can make a push for a starting tackle job, that changes things up and gives the staff a slew of options to try working on the guard situation.

Tulsa Key Game To The 2022 Season

Cincinnati, Oct. 1
Tulsa had them. It had the shot to knock off Cincinnati, and it couldn’t close in last year’s 28-20 thriller. It also gave the Bearcats a push in the 27-24 loss in the 2020 American Athletic Conference Championship, and has now lost eight of the last nine in the series going back to the season-opener in 1980.

It’s the Golden Hurricane’s AAC opener, it’s at home, and it’s coming before going away from home for three weeks and coming off a trip to Ole Miss.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane: 2021 Fun Stats

– Field Goals: Tulsa 22-of-23 – Opponents 17-of-26
– Punt Return Average: Opponents 14.31 – Tulsa 3.3
– Tulsa 1st Quarter Scoring 57 – Tulsa 2nd Quarter Scoring 113

Offense, Defense Breakdown
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Tulsa Top 10 Players | Tulsa Schedule

Tulsa Golden Hurricane Season Prediction, What Will Happen NEXT

Tulsa Golden Hurricane Season Prediction, What Will Happen

Tulsa was able to get away with a few losses in games it should’ve won – home dates with UC Davis and Navy – but it won’t be able to do that this year.

Last year’s version was far better on the lines and was loaded with upperclassmen who came together in tight games.

This year’s team needs a bunch of work, there are still things to improve, and there are just enough tough games to make this a fight of a run.

But anything less than another bowl appearance will be a major disappointment.

Set The Tulsa Golden Hurricane Regular Season Win Total At … 5.5

Missing UCF is a huge plus, and not having to deal with East Carolina is a good thing, too.

However, starting out the season at Wyoming is dangerous, and be careful of hosting defending MAC champion Northern Illinois. Considering last year’s loss to UC Davis, dealing with Jacksonville State is hardly easy, but …

Tulsa has to be at least 2-1 to start the season before going to Ole Miss, dealing with Cincinnati, and having just one home game from September 17th to October 29th.

Throw in the road games at Houston, Memphis, and Navy – and against an improved Temple – along with 50/50 home gains against SMU and Tulane, and it’s not going to be easy.

However, assume five wins somehow, and it’s going to probably come down to the November 18th home game against USF to get that sixth.

Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Tulsa Top 10 Players | Tulsa Schedule

2022 College Football Schedules: All 131 Teams

Story originally appeared on College Football News