Wow, what a performance from Tulsa. TU covered the 5 point spread by 30 points, and held San Jose State to only 10 points. This was definitely Tulsa’s most convincing win with Montgomery as the coach, and it came against probably their second most difficult nonconference opponent this season. The Spartans were in the game for the first few drives, but the floodgates were opened in the late first quarter, and poured into the second quarter as Tulsa built a 38-7 halftime lead and never looked back.
Almost everything went right for Tulsa, and they were the second most impressive AAC team this weekend. Here are some thoughts on Saturday night.
- D’Angelo Brewer is awesome
Brewer finished with 22 carries for 164 yards and 3 TDs. He looked strong, he ran hard, his cuts were crisp, and his speed was blazing. Going from Zac Langer to D’Angelo Brewer is like trading in your 1999 Ford F-150 for a 2016 Maserati. Brewer looked like a beast on the field Saturday night, and 7.5 yards per carry average will definitely do. James Flanders also looked strong running the ball, as he had 14 carries for 84 yards. Tulsa ended up with 305 yards on the ground, and actually outgained the passing game by nearly 100 yards. To be fair, SJSU did have a bottom 20 rush defense last season, but still a great performance for Tulsa’s RBs.
- Keevan is even more awesome
The Return of 2 was long awaited, and the start was so perfect. You know that Dane, Keevan, and Montgomery talked before the game and said “Listen, we are going deep to Keevan the very first play, everyone knows it and no one will be able to stop it.” I could see it coming from a mile away, but the excitement whenever he elevated and came down with the ball was electric. Keevan, we missed you. Lucas finished with 6 catches for 112 yards (all in the first half), but was held without a score. That’s okay, he’s saving it for next week.
- Give it up for the Tulsa defense!
This was an incredible performance for the Tulsa defense. San Jose State scored more than 10 points in all but one of their games last season, and Tulsa hadn’t held a team to 10 points since 2012. The Spartans only ended up with 284 yards, a full 250 yards below what Tulsa opponents averaged last season! There are still a lot of games left, and the secondary had some holes, but hats off to Bill Young and the defensive unit for their performance tonight.
- Keanu Hill: Extremely impressive
The Juco transfer from Long Beach City College showed out in his first game for the Golden Hurricane, as he was the best corner for Tulsa all night long. Hill is fast, and was able to cover receivers on deep routes which is much needed, and his ball skills were on display when he swatted a pass away from the receiver’s hands on a deep pass for the Spartans. The highlight of the night for Hill though was his hit and forced fumble on Deontae Cooper in the second quarter. Having Hill on the team is going to improve this secondary immensely, and perhaps it will motivate his counterpart Kerwin Thomas to become an even better player.
- Front 7 was strong
We knew the linebackers were going to be good, but the defensive line really impressed me Saturday night. Tulsa held the Spartans to only 54 yards rushing, SJSU averaged 182.4 yards per game last season! The defense was also very active with their hands, batting down numerous passes, and one ended up as a Jesse Brubaker pick-six.
- Turnovers were huge
The reason that Tulsa ran away with this one was turnovers. The pick 6 by Brubaker was a huge swing of momentum, and Keanu forcing a fumble on the very next possession really had the Spartans reeling. The 3rd turnover was flukey, but ended in a TD for Tulsa nonetheless. This is how Tulsa’s defense needs to play all season. Active hands, stripping at the football, and taking advantage of every careless mistake that the opposing offense makes.
- Should we be concerned with Dane’s numbers? (No)
Dane finished with a lackluster 198 yards and only a 52% competition percentage. This is not a concern in my mind though. He was certainly off a bit on some deep balls, but he also threw some beauties as well. He was just shaking off the rust, and he didn’t make any crucial mistakes which is what we need from the senior leader. Also, when D’Angelo is running like that, Dane can be on his B game and we’ll be just fine.
- Should we be concerned with the number of sacks we allowed? (Yes)
However, what is concerning about the passing attack is that Dane was sacked 2, maybe 3 times? (Sorry ESPN doesn’t list sacks in the box score). Credit to San Jose State though, last season they had 17 sacks and they weren’t afraid to get after the QB tonight either. It is crucial for Dane to have time to throw though, and having him hit like that causes him to look at the rush and not his receivers, which is the only thing that can throw his game off. That needs to be corrected this week.
- Strong start for Redford Jones
It was certainly a relief when Redford nailed his 34-yard field goal in the first half, and his extra points and kickoffs were encouraging! Keep it up “Red”.Uniforms look good!
I am thoroughly impressed with how the uniforms looked on the field. They were flashy and classic all-in-one, and I heard they looked sharp on TV as well. I wish they had saved this uniform for next week’s nationally televised game, but alas.
- Montgomery and co. had the boys ready to play today
This was a game where everything went right for TU, and everything went wrong for SJSU. Don’t get me wrong, Tulsa deserves a lot of credit for the problems that the Spartans had. Coach Montgomery came in here with an awesome game plan, the players executed, and Tulsa came away with a huge victory. Coach has his players buying into the team, and the fans are buying in too. Tonight, Tulsa looked like an 8 win team. Next week is going to be so much fun.
Zac and I will do a podcast tomorrow discussing this game, and the rest of the college football universe, we’ll also introduce anonymous! Keep an eye out for that.