TU sports journalist Tristan Peterson covers the Golden Hurricane football team’s shutout loss in Fayetteville against the Razorbacks.
This week in TU football, the Golden Hurricane faced the University of Arkansas Razorbacks in non-conference play. The first quarter proved frustrating for TU, their first two drives ending in missed field goals by kicker Nathan Walker. Arkansas took the lead — one they would never relinquish — on a 33-yard field goal with four minutes left in the frame.
Neither team scored again until freshman Arkansas quarterback Connor Noland found tight end Grayson Gunter in the end zone near the end of the first half. In Noland’s first game as a starter, he threw for 124 yards, with Arkansas doing most of their damage on the ground. The game ended Arkansas 23 – Tulsa 0, earning the Razorbacks their first shutout since 2014.
Though Arkansas managed to keep Tulsa off the scoreboard, they couldn’t keep the Hurricane players from racking up stats. On offense, sophomore wide receiver Keylon Stokes recorded 74 yards on three catches, a new career-high. Zaven Collins had a career night as well, leading TU’s defense with 14 tackles. Not far behind, senior safety McKinley Whitfield added a season-best 11 tackles to go along with three pass break-ups and an interception.
Tulsa needs to connect on offense, starting with the quarterback, Seth Boomer. Out of his 25 attempts against the Razorbacks, he completed just eight (including one interception). As of Oct. 20, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane were averaging 165.7 passing yards per game. That is 7.4 yards worse than last year, which was itself Tulsa’s worst passing season since 1995. Rushing effectiveness is down even further, from 247.3 rushing yards per game to 198.1. Coach Phillip Montgomery didn’t have much specific to say after the game, stating bluntly “Our quarterbacks and receivers have to do better in the passing game.”
The Tulsa Golden Hurricane will return to American Athletic Conference play when they host Tulane on Saturday, Oct. 27.