2007 Army look ahead: Tulsa

Tulsa might be the sexiest name in college football, but the Golden Hurricanes are still a damn good team. A team that Army could have problems with this fall. Tulsa finished 8-5 last year, losing to Utah 25-12 in Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas. The Golden Hurricanes compete in a league, Conference USA, that the Black Knights were hammered in.

Tulsa, 17-9, over the last two years invades Michie Stadium on Nov. 17. Here is a scouting report on Tulsa.

New coach: Tulsa lost a good one in Steve Kragthorpe, who took the Louisville job this offseason.

Kragthorpe, 42, lifted the Tulsa program from a 1-11 season, going 29-22 in four years at Tulsa. But Tulsa filled Kragthorpe's opening with a very capable coach: Todd Graham.

Army fans know Graham as the architect of Rice's 48-14 win over Army last year that sent the season into a tailspin. Rice went 7-5 last year under Graham, a year after going 1-11.

Good arm: Tulsa has a very able quarterback in senior Paul Smith. Smith threw for 2,727 yards last year with 15 touchdowns last season. He should benefit from Graham running an up-tempo offense.

Smith ranks second on the school's all-time passing list with 5,871 yards and 36 touchdowns. He is just the third Tulsa quarterback to top 2,000 passing yards in consecutive seasons.

The OC: Not only did Tulsa find itself a good coach, it landed a top-notch offensive coordinator.

Gus Malzahn is a coaching legend in Arkansas and previously served as the University of Arkansas's offensive coordinator. His Springdale (Ark) squad at went 14-0, easily winning the state's Class 5A championship. Springdale outscored its opponents 664-118, including a 54-20 victory over West Memphis in the state championship game. Star quarterback Mitch Mustain who went to Arkansas and later transferred to USC, starred on that team.

Double trouble: Tulsa has a pair of capable running backs in Courtney Tennial and Tarrion Adams.

Tennial rushed for 845 yards and 15 touchdowns last season. Tennial is a transfer from the University of Oklahoma. Adams rushed for 329 yards, but showed have more this season.

Stingy D: Remember how many points opponents put up on Army when it was in C-USA. It's a good offensive league and Tulsa held its ground. Tulsa's 'D' led C-USA in yards allowed per game and pass defense. Leading the way on defense for Tulsa is linebacker Marcus Coleman, who made 98 tackles last year. Graham will run an aggressive 3-3-5 style to Tulsa.


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