TULSA HOSTS UTEP TONIGHT
Oct. 10, 2012
Tulsa, Oklahoma - "If you watch them on film, you would not dream that this is a 1-5 team," said Tulsa Head Coach Bill Blankenship.
The Tulsa Golden Hurricane football team puts it 5-1 overall record and 3-0 Conference USA mark on the line tonight in a nationally-televised game on FOX Sports Network against the UTEP Miners at Tulsa's H.A. Chapman Stadium.
Tulsa has a 12-8 series record against the Miners and is coming off of a 57-28 win last year in El Paso.
The Hurricane has scored 40+ points in four of its five victories this year, while only one UTEP opponent has scored more than 28 points against the Miners. UTEP played a No. 4-ranked Oklahoma team to a 24-7 score, while playing the Big 10's Wisconsin Badgers to an 11-point decision at 37-26.
Tulsa comes into the contest with the nation's 11th-ranked rushing offense with 245.7 yards per game, while UTEP has allowed 202.8 yards rushing for its opponents. The Hurricane used a solid rushing attack a week ago in a 45-38 victory overall Marshall, while running 53 times for 250 yards, but will have to get more production through the air this week.
Trey Watts rushed for 111 yards last week, while Alex Singleton had 94 yards and three touchdowns. Singleton will enter Thursday night's contest needing two more touchdowns to tie the school record for rushing TDs at 32. Along with fellow tailback Ja'Terian Douglas, the trio of Hurricane tailbacks has rushed for 1,215 yards for 202.5 yards of Tulsa's total offense per game and 16 touchdowns.
Quarterback Cody Green, 9-1 as a starter, including 4-0 at Nebraska and 5-1 this season for the Hurricane, will most likely use his arm more than the 17 passes he attempted a week ago.
UTEP's defense has been an extremely strong point for the Miners this year. UTEP has allowed opponents to score just 27.0 points per game. "This is a Miner defense that can fly," said Blankenship. "They are very talented on defense. If you watch them on film, you would not dream that this is a 1-5 team."
The Miners are led on defense by linebacker Josh Fely, safety DeShawn Grayson and linebacker Aubrey Alexius. Fely has garnered 47 tackles and four pass breakups, while Grayson has 39 stops and four pass deflections.
The nation's No.1-ranked team for tackles for lost yardage and quarterback sacks, Tulsa's defense will have to keep the pressure on the UTEP offense. The front seven, led up front by tackles Daeshon Bufford and Derrick Jackson and ends Cory Dorris and Jared St. John, have been able to get to the quarterback, but will have its hands full this week trying to contain Miner running back Nathan Jeffery, who averages 5.1 yards per carry.
St. John has totaled six TFLs for -35 yards, including five sacks for -34 yards, and Bufford has totaled seven TFLs for -32 yards.
Linebacker DeAundre Brown leads the Hurricane in tackles (55), stops for lost yardage with 7.5 for -51 yards and quarterback sacks with five for -43 yards. Junior Shawn Jackson, who missed the first three games, has averaged 11.7 tackles in his three contests since returning to the lineup.
Tickets for the Tulsa-UTEP game are still available online at TulsaHurricane.com, by calling 918.631.GoTU (4688) or in person at the Donald W. Reynolds Center Athletic Ticket Office.
ATHLETICS TICKET OFFICE