Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Tulsa Golden Hurricane: First Look

Navy squeaked out a close win over Notre Dame in non-conference play and now returns to the AAC to take on a Tulsa team that his free-scoring and on a roll.

Navy takes on Tulsa in the AAC game of the week as both teams have identical 4-1 records in conference play. This matchup of the two AAC West leaders will likely decide the division's representative in the AAC Title game.

Season so far

Tulsa is a team that can put up a lot of points quickly thanks to its balanced attack. This form was on show on the opening day of the season when the Golden Hurricane beat San Jose State 45-10 in Oklahoma.

Tulsa followed this win by splitting their next two non-conference games against schools with very different pedigrees. The first of these games was a trip to Columbus where #4 Ohio State beat down Tulsa, holding them to by far their fewest points of the season in a 48-3. The following week Tulsa returned home t put up their second-highest score of the season in a 58-21 victory over North Carolina A&T. A win at Fresno State in two overtimes saw Tulsa round out their non-conference schedule at 3-1.

The first game of AAC play saw Tulsa taken to overtime for the second time in a row, eventually outlasting SMU at home 43-40. That momentum could not be carried into next week however as the Golden Hurricane dropped a seven-point decision to No. 13 Houston. This though was the last Tulsa loss of the season at this point and the team has scored at least 45 points per game in wins over Tulane, Memphis, and East Carolina. Tulsa currently sits at 7-2 (4-1) on the season.

Injuries and Suspensions

Tulsa has just four players on the injury report and that represents a pretty good total as we reach the second Saturday in November. Two of those players, RB Raymond Taylor and DE Jake Hicks, are listed either as out indefinitely or out for the season.

The other two players listed on the report are currently question marks for the game against Navy. DE Jeremy Smith has a leg injury, while CB Keanu Hill is battling a knee problem. Smith was hurt in the last game against ECU and Hill has been out for a couple of weeks after getting injured against Memphis. As both players are starters it would hurt Tulsa if they are not able to return to face the tricky Navy option attack.

Challenges

Slowing down Tulsa is going to be the biggest challenge for Navy against Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane are ninth in the nation in total offense and they average over 500 yards and 42 points per game. The offense is balanced and it is dynamic and only Ohio State has been able to shut it down to any degree. The flip side to this is that Tulsa also gives up points in bunches, so it could easily be a case where the last team with the ball wins the game. Navy will look to control the clock and keep QB Dane Evens and the rest of the Tulsa offensive machine off of the field as much as possible.


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