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Cincinnati Opponent Preview: Tulsa

This is Going to be a Battle

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Tulsa v South Florida Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Tulsa is going to be a tough bunch to handle this Saturday. Earlier in the season, I perused their game films against both Oklahoma State (whom they hung in with for all four quarters) and UCF (whom they vanquished). More recently, I’ve watched their games against Tulane and Navy, both of which were highly competitive.

Either in early or late season form, this 6-1 Tulsa team is a frightening opponent

The Golden Hurricanes are led by one of the AAC’s most consistent and efficient passers Zach Smith.

Smith may lack some of the physical attributes of elite passers but he rarely makes a bad decision. The veteran signal caller makes the team around him better each week.

Smith relies on an array of pass receivers: steady eddie Keylon Stokes, pocket rocket Josh Jackson, and the ever robust Sam Crawford Jr.

The Golden Hurricanes’ offensive line held their own in each of their 2020 contests, opening consistent holes for their currently three-headed backfield monster. Sophomore halfback Deneric Prince is a load, reminiscent of former Alabama tailback Kenyan Drake. Fellow sophomore T.K. Wilkerson is even more of a between-the-tackles banger, bringing a 230 pound sledgehammer with him every time he hits the hole. Senior running back Corey Taylor, who is a smaller, more elusive back, also plays a prominent role in the rotation.

Tulsa’s defense also jumps out on the tape.

Linebacker Zaven Collins is a veritable Luke Kuechly out there, trolling from sideline-to-sideline, picking his spots as a pass rusher, and snagging balls out of the air.

Lined up in front of Collins is quintessential War Daddy who goes by the name of Anthony Goodlow. This disruptive force on the defensive line is going to be a pain in our collective behinds all afternoon.

The Golden Hurricanes’ secret weapon on defense is a linebacker masquerading as a safety by the name of Kendarin Ray, who is a veritable beast in the running game.

Cincinnati must find a way to consistently move the ball through the air to score on this stout unit.

This will be a tough, physical game. Expect nothing less than a legitimate clash of the titans in Tulsa.