The Golden Hurricane football team saw their season go from cautious hope to another disappointing campaign, with the man at the helm, Bill Blankenship, relieved of his duties.
In a season that ended 2–10, the Hurricane finished in the bottom ten in the country on defense and barely cracked the top 100 in offense. The Tulsa defense gave up 39.3 points per game and 487 yards per game. Offensively, the Hurricane scored 24.7 points per game and gained 413 yards per game.
Though the season was a disappointment, the team had some major standouts. The most notable is wide receiver Keevan Lucas, whose 1219 receiving yards rank eighth in the nation. Quarterback Dane Evans threw for 3,102 yards, good for 25th in the nation. On the defensive side of the ball, defensive end Derrick Alexander led the team with eight sacks.
The season started out well, with the Hurricane beating Tulane in a 28–26 overtime thriller. The next week, however, the Oklahoma Sooners washed away Tulsa 52–7 on a wet first Saturday of September.
The next week saw the Hurricane go on the road for the first time, losing to Florida Atlantic 50–21. After a bye week, the Hurricane rounded out September with a late comeback against Texas State at home, only to fall in triple overtime, 37–34.
Tulsa’s October began with the final non-conference matchup of the season, a 42–17 road loss to the Colorado State Rams. Following this contest was another road trip, this time to Philadelphia, where the team fell 35–24 to the Temple Owls.
Homecoming weekend saw Tulsa gain a 20-point lead on South Florida, only for it to be squandered in a 38–30 loss. October (mercifully) ended with a Halloween contest against Memphis, a 40–20 loss.
November began well for the Hurricane, with a 38–28 victory over SMU. However, the momentum didn’t carry over into the next two weeks, with road losses to UCF (31–7) and Houston (38–28). A final 49–32 home loss to East Carolina spelled the end for Tulsa’s 2014 football season and head coach Bill Blankenship’s tenure at TU.
Though this year turned out to be much worse than anyone imagined, things are looking up for next year. Only seven starters are leaving due to graduation, leaving 15 returning for next season.
The tentative schedule seems somewhat favorable, trading an impressive Colorado State and Texas State for New Mexico and Louisiana-Monroe. The conference games in the new divisional setup for the AAC, include games against Houston, Memphis, SMU, Tulane and Navy, with SMU and Tulane being Tulsa’s only wins this season. Add this with a new coach to lead the team, and there is plenty to be hopeful for in 2015.