I got sunburnt, Brett got Monty’s hat, and TU got the victory.
Tulsa took care of business today. This was a game to build confidence on offense, and for the defense to keep their momentum going, they did all that and more.
While the first two home games of the season haven’t been very exciting, seeing Tulsa getting a blowout win will never get old. It’s tough to know how much we can learn vs an FCS team, but regardless here are my thoughts on Tulsa’s 58-21 victory over NC A&T.
1) Physical Domination
Tulsa was able to do to NC A&T what Ohio State was unable to do to us, just dominate both sides of the ball. This game made me realize how wide the gap is between FBS and FCS football. NC A&T is a top 20 FCS team, they went 11-2 last year, and Tulsa was just bigger, better, and faster than the Aggies at every position.
2) Defensive stops are now the status quo
Tulsa’s defense has allowed 1 first half touchdown in the first 3 games this season. They have forced 15 three-and-outs in the first 3 games, that’s incredible! A lot of it has been their 3rd down defense when they bring in Petera Wilson to rush the passer, he pressured the QB to force the pick-6 today. At the beginning of the season I thought Tulsa’s defense would be successful is they forced turnovers, and occasionally got a stop. I used to say last year that I’d rather Tulsa have the ball down 4, than the other team with the ball and us leading with the game on the line. Now, I honestly trust Tulsa’s defense to get a stop if needed.
3) Loved Spreading The Ball Out To WRs
The very first play of the game, Dane threw it out to Josh Atkinson to give him an easy catch. #MontyListensToThePodcast. Dane continued to be generous with his passes, as 4 players caught four or more balls in the first half. I really loved this Nigel Carter who struggled last week, he ended up with 4 catches for 40 yards. This was also good for Atkinson, because as we mentioned, he needs to be a larger part of this offense (He finished with 5 for 52). Hobbs had a big day, ending up with 7 for 114.
Then of course our boy Keevan Lucas had a huge day, finishing with 3 big touchdowns, including this one.
All. Season. Long. pic.twitter.com/sQ7hOlvTQo
— Reign Cane Sports (@ReignCaneSports) September 17, 2016
Hopefully this game allowed Dane to build chemistry with his WRs.
4) Offense was humming
For the first time all season, Tulsa’s offense looked like 2015. The 58 points scored in this game were the most ever in the Montgomery era. The Golden Hurricane finished with 493 yards. Granted, this is one of the worst teams Tulsa will play this season, but it was still nice to see us find a rhythm.
5) Keep it up Red’
Redford has done a great job getting the ball into the endzone on kickoffs, and before his 44-yard miss, he had been perfect on his FGs for the season. If he can remain perfect inside 40 yards, that will be good enough for Tulsa.
6) What in the world was up with NC A&T’s offense??
Who was calling plays for the Aggies, Woody Hayes? I was expecting them to run a tempo offense, and try to get the ball to their players in space, but instead they ran their 5 foot 6 running back between the tackles, and an 60’s version of the option. I know Cohen getting injured didn’t help, but I totally overestimated this offense.
7) Is Wadley Fool’s Gold?
Redshirt freshman Keidrien Wadley has been in charge of punt return duties in the first three games, and he has done a really solid job making moves and busting it loose on a few returns. However, with the good has come some bad. Wadley has seen the ball go between his arms 4 times so far this season, luckily he has recovered it every time. Is it worth the risk of a turnover for an extra 20 yards of field position? I’m not so sure, but if Wadley can secure the ball then he will be a valuable asset for us this season.
8) Redzone offense still needs some help
The only concern in this game was that on Tulsa’s first possession, they had to settle for a field goal after getting inside the 5 yard line. This time, Tulsa decided to spread it out for a play (#MontyListensToThePodcast), but Dane Evans was sacked for a loss. I’m slightly concerned with Tulsa’s struggles, TU needs to take advantage of those opportunities. I would consider adding new redzone packages.
Next up for Tulsa, a trip to the struggling Fresno State.