Tulsa Football starts the season in Wyoming

Sports writer Joe McCurdy covers TU’s first game of the 2022 season.

Tulsa Football had its first regular season game this past Saturday as they traveled to Laramie, Wyoming to face the University of Wyoming Cowboys. There has been a lot of hype surrounding the Golden Hurricane leading up to the 2022 season. Not only are they coming off a season where they went on a 3-Game winning streak in order to finish the season 6-6, becoming bowl eligible and winning the Myrtle Beach Bowl, Tulsa’s first bowl win since 2016, but the 2022 season sees many big names returns. One of these key returners is star wide receiver, Keylon Stokes. The leading wideout for three straight seasons (18-20), Stokes missed the majority of the 2021 season due to a torn quad. Coming back for his 6th season as a Golden Hurricane meant another weapon for starting Quarterback Davis Brin. Brin, going into his 2nd year as Tulsa’s starting QB has proven he can lead a team to success, and with offensive returners like Juan-Carlos Santana, Deneric Prince and Ethan Hall, Tulsa is in a position to build off of the success they had in the back half of the 2021 season. It all starts with Wyoming.

After getting off to a bad start with a fumbled snap returned for a touchdown, the offense really began to click through the air. Brin finished the game with a career-best 460 passing yards and three3 touchdowns on 30/52 from the field, connecting with Stokes, Santana, and Malachi Jones on his three3 touchdown passes. All three receivers caught for over 100 yards with Kentucky transfer Isiah Epps barely missing out on being the fourth with 79 yards on four4 receptions, it’s clear our passing attack wasn’t an issue.

A big part of Tulsa’s offense in 2021 was the run game, with coach Phillip Montgomery going with a “running back by committee” type offense. While losing the 5th leading rusher in Tulsa Football history Shamari Brooks, there was still Deneric Prince and Anthony Watkins returning for the 2022 season both of which shared the backfield with Brooks last season. So it was quite a surprise when both Prince and Watkins were not on the depth chart for the week oneWeek 1 game. The loss of these two players was crucial as the rushing attack against Wyoming just wasn’t there, as Tulsa only rushed for 61 total yards compared to Wyoming’s 143 total yards. On top of the lack of rushing, the O-line for Tulsa was composed of players that didn’t start a game the previous season.

Sloppy plays and inexperienced players were eventually Tulsa’s downfall as they lost in double overtime, 37-40, after a shank kick from Zach Long closed out hope for the Golden Hurricane, which continues the streak as Tulsa has yet to win a Season opener on the road since 2009.

While it was a devastating loss for a team that has had so many positives leading up to the season, the goals for the team are still there: a Conference Championship and a Bowl Game.

Post Author: Joe McCurdy