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Tulsa Scouting Report

This week's Scouting Report, breaking down OU's Week 3 opponent, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, including roster, strengths, weaknesses, stats, and more.

Last Week

Washington defeated Tulsa 43-10 in Seattle.

Box Score

Tulsa Golden Hurricanes300710
Washington Huskies14814743
Saturday, September 9th, 2023. Husky Stadium, Seattle, WA

Stat Leaders

Roman Fuller – 12/18 (66.7%), 85 yards, 4.7 Y/A, 1 TD, 0 INT, 69.9 QBR
Jordan Ford – 15 carries, 67 yards, 4.5 avg, 0 TD, 19 long
Bill Jackson – 10 carries, 55 yards, 5.5 avg, 0 TD, 15 long
Anthony Watkins – 11 carries, 51 yards, 4.6 avg, 0 TD, 9 long
Braylin Presley – 3 catches, 54 yards, 18.0 avg, 0 TD, 32 long
Marquis Shoulders – 3 catches, 23 yards, 7.7 avg, 0 TD, 10 long

Kanion Williams – 7 tackles, 0.5 TFL, 1 PD
Kendarin Ray – 7 tackles
Keuan Parker – 5 tackles
Jaise Oliver – 5 tackles
Zaid Hamden – 3 tackles, 1.0 TFL

Find the full season stats below.


Washington started slow, trodding to a 22-3 halftime lead before pulling away in the 3rd.

Quarterback Michael Penix finished the day 28-38 (73.7%) for 409 yards (10.8 avg) and 3 touchdown passes along with an interception on a miscommunication with his receiver.

For Tulsa, freshman QB Cardell Williams started the game, but was removed in the second quarter with an apparent thumb injury. Williams had started the game 6-14 (42.9%) for 65 yards and an interception. He was replaced by Roman Fuller, who put together a 12-18 (66.7%) for 85 yards effort, adding in the lone touchdown score for the Golden Hurricanes.

Tulsa was able to find some success on the ground, with three backs finishing with more than 50 yards on the way to 168 total ground yards on the day (4.2 avg). On the flip side, the Hurricane run defense may have performed even better, holding Washington to only 49 yards on the ground. The run game allowed Tulsa to win the Time of Possession battle slightly.

Sooner fans should be familiar with new Tulsa head coach Kevin Wilson and his run game, something the new-look OU defense has found early success stopping in 2023.


Sooner Defense

At QB for Tulsa, it feels like it’s going to be Cardell Williams. While he is a good mover, he doesn’t put a ton of velocity on the ball and tends to float passes, therefore, I see the Oklahoma secondary hauling in a couple interceptions today. The starter coming into the season was Braylon Braxton, but he has been dealing with an ankle injury and it may be too soon to see him in action, especially in a game that Tulsa may be overmatched. Roman Fuller has seen some action, tossing 2 touchdowns of his own in 2023. Fuller is more of a pocket passer and doesn’t present some of the dynamic abilities as Williams.

I really like #3 Bill Jackson at RB.  I think he poses the biggest threat to the OU defense because he gets vertical quickly and plays with a ferocity at the point of attack that will make it a tough tackle. Jackson has 6.4 yards per touch so far on the season with a long of 25. Backs Jordan Ford (34 carries) and Anthony Watkins (20) will also see plenty of time in Tulsa’s backfield.

Oklahoma State transfer Braylin Presley started to get incorporated into the passing game last week, hauling in 3 catches for 54 yards, including a 32 yarder. Look for the Hurricane to continue getting Presley involved.

Receivers will entirely depend on how much time their QB gets, which coincides with the offensive line.  If OU gets the pressure I believe they will, it’ll be a long day for the offense.  This feels like the game where the Sooners defensive line starts to create some confidence. Sophomore Marquis Shoulders (5’10”, 165) from Katy enters the game as the most productive receiver on the roster, hauling in 8 catches for 155 yards (19.4 avg) and 2 TDs on the season so far. Devan Williams is next on the list with 77 yards, and only 3 other receivers have 1 TD each. – Barry Wise

Sooner Offense

While there is some nice length in the secondary and at LB, this is a defense that does not have a lot of speed and will leave gigantic windows open for Dillon Gabriel to throw too.  I really want this to be a game where Gabriel spreads the ball throughout different areas of the field and receivers turn short passes into big gainers with their speed. After a sluggish start last week, Heisman contender Michael Penix was able to put up 405 yards through the air on this Golden Hurricane defense. Expect Gabriel to have a somewhat easier time than last week, and Jackson Arnold to get some attempts this week after only being utilized as a runner against SMU.

The offensive line should absolutely dominate this team.  While SMU rolled out legit Power Five size – and some skill – on the defensive line, this DL is composed of local products who are not a major threat to generate push in the run game. That being said, I do like their edge rushers, and even though they are undersized, it will be another test for Walter Rouse to see if he can handle a little burst off the edge. The OL played very inconsistent last week, often getting overextended and losing leverage. Can they play more controlled this week against another inferior opponent?

Lastly, I look for Blake Smith to have a bigger game today due to his gradual increase of involvement in the offense and the matchups at LB and Safety for TU. Smith has slowly overtaken Austin Stogner as the go-to tight end, and today could be the day that he solidifies himself as the top option. – Barry Wise

Tulsa Golden HurricaneOFFENSEDEFENSE
SCORING (PPG)26.025.0
PASSING (AVG)203.5302.0
Comp-Att (AVG)34-5245-66
Compl. % (AVG)65.468.2
Sacks (Against/For)44
TFL (Against/For)35
PD (Against/For)35
3rd Down12-2610-23
3rd Pct.46.243.5
4th Down2-41-2
4th Pct.50.050.0

Image courtesy of Tulsa Athletics.

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