BIG GAME SATURDAY
Sept. 21, 2012
TULSA, Okla. - The Fresno State Bulldogs invade H.A. Chapman Stadium on Saturday night to face the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in what could be a high-scoring affair. Both teams average more than 40 points and 500 yards of total offense over their first three games.
The Tulsa-Fresno State game kicks off at 7:05 pm and will be nationally televised on the CBS Sports Network. Tickets for the game are still available and can be purchased online at www.TulsaHurricane.com by calling 918.631.GoTU (4688) or stopping by the TU Athletic Ticket Office at the Reynolds Center.
"Fresno State is a very, very good football team. They obviously got everyone's attention with the huge win over Colorado," said Tulsa Head Coach Bill Blankenship.
Tulsa comes into the game having scored 44.7 points per game, while FS has averaged just one point less at 43.7 points. The Hurricane has put up 525 yards of total offense with Fresno State compiling 515 yards per game. When the Bulldogs get inside the oppositions 20-yard line, they've converted 14-of-14 opportunities to lead the nation in red zone offense.
Ja'Terian Douglas and Trey Watts have led the Hurricane running game by combining for 189 rushing yards, while a third tailback Alex Singleton leads Conference USA in scoring with 30 points on five rushing TDs. First-year quarterback Cody Green has completed 54-percent of his passes for 602 yards and six touchdowns and will be tested in this game as Fresno State defenders have gotten to the quarterback 11 times this year.
The receiving corps, depleted due to injuries to Bryan Burnham and Josh Atkinson, will have to come up big for the Hurricane. Sophomore Keyarris Garrett has a team-high 12 receptions for 151 yards and two touchdowns.'
The Fresno State offense is led by quarterback Derek Carr, who has completed of 70-percent of his passes for 832 yards and eight touchdowns. He has multiple weapons with Davante Adams leading the way with 23 receptions of 284 yards and three TDs. The Bulldogs running game is in the capable hands of the school's all-time leading rusher Robbie Rouse, whop has 3,539 career yards and 382 yards and three TDs this season.
"I think Coach DeRuyter and his staff have built the offense around Derek Carr. He manages the game very well and throws at a high percentage - around 70 percent," said Blankenship. "He's got good weapons with him. He's got their all-time leading rusher in Robbie Rouse. He's a very compact runner that breaks a lot of tackles. Isaiah Burse is a return guy who has been very effective, and he's one of their favorite receivers along with (Davante) Adams."
Where the offenses have put up big numbers, the defensive units for both teams have performed solidly as well. Tulsa has held the opposition to 329.3 yards and the Bulldogs have given up 363.0 total yards. The Hurricane lead the country in tackles for lost yardage (10.6 pg) and is second in quarterback sacks (5.6 pg).
Tulsa's defense will get a lift with the return of Shawn Jackson to the lineup at weakside linebacker, while DeAundre Brown continues to lead the defensive unit with 25 tackles, including a team-best six stops for -41 yards.
The Bulldogs defense, which has been hugely effective, are led by safeties Derron Smith and Phillip Thomas. Smith has a team-best 26 tackles, while Thomas had 17 tackles to go along with his team-high three interceptions.
Tulsa's Blankenship is impressed with Fresno State's defensive front as well.
"I'm very front and their nose tackle, Tyeler Davidson, is very active. They're a very challenging, well-coached defensive front. Their safeties are their leading tacklers by design. With a three-man front, you get a lot of blitzing and safety involvement, and those two guys are very good players."
Tickets are still available online at TulsaHurricane.com or by calling 918.631.3200. The Reynolds Center Ticket Office will be open Saturday, 10-4 pm. Tickets will be on sale at the stadium gates beginning at 5:30 pm.
Hurricane Alley at Chapman Commons opens at 4 pm with inflatable games, face tattoos, food and live entertainment.
ATHLETICS TICKET OFFICE