2021 Bearcats Opponent Preview: Tulsa

After a week of highs and lows for Bearcat Nation, we’re finally ready for Game Day and GameDay. The Bearcats host College GameDay and a match-up against the College Football Invitational Committee and ESPN before taking the field against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. How will the Bearcats stack up against the 2020 West Division Champs?

Ride the Wave

The Bearcats steamied a first half high tide from the Tulane Green Wave and struggled to get off the boat, going into halftime up 14-12. Tulane clearly studied the game against Navy as they went heavy on the run and went for it on a lot of 4th Downs, forcing the Bearcats repeatedly into poor field position. That led to a bit of chaos for the Bearcats as Desmond Ridder got sacked for a safety early in the second quarter.

It was a tale of two halves as the Bearcats went into the locker room, presumably for an ass chewing from Coach Fick. The Bearcats came out and scored 17 more points, gave up 0, and forced 3 turnovers to leave New Orleans with a 31-12 victory in which they trailed for a whopping 1:39.

Overall Tulane was able to move the ball rushing the ball 45 times for 187 yards, but the Blackcats defense shut down their passing attack allowing only 93 yards and forcing 2 interceptions. It was a game in which the Bearcats should have scored more, but Ridder finally used his legs to get a big run which seemed to open up things for them. The Bearcats need to figure out how to be more effective in stopping the run going forward if they want to have that magical undefeated season.

Hurricane Watch

The last time the Golden Hurricane came into Nippert Stadium it was last season in the AAC Championship Game, after their regular season match-up was cancelled due to Covid. In a game that the Bearcats never trailed, they left a rain soaked Nippert Stadium the AAC Champions for the first time in the Conference Championship era off the foot of Cole Smith and a 34 yard field goal as Time Expired.

It was Desmond Ridder who was the star of the show that game, passing for 269 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 83 more yards and a touchdown. The Blackcats defense forced 2 interceptions off Tulsa QB Zach Smith and allowed 166 yards passing as well as 166 yards rushing, it was a solid day for them as well.

This year Tulsa comes into Nippert Stadium fresh off a loss to Navy 20-17. The Golden Hurricane are 3-5 on the year and are missing their All American Linebacker Zaven Collins who went on to be the #16 pick in the NFL Draft last year.

Tulsa has been pretty bad on defense this year, allowing 30.9 points per game which ranks #102 in the country and allowing 397 yards per game which ranks #79. They allow on average 164 yards/game rushing and that should be a point of focus for the Bearcats Offense. We need to get Ford going again and keep him on track for his Single Season Rushing Record and Touchdown Record. I’d also like to see Ridder get a couple big runs as well to keep them honest. Ridder needs to continue to feed the ball to Josh Whyle, who has 4 TDs in the last two games if I have any prayer of not running the Cincy Slangin’ Beer Mile at the end of the season.

On offense, Tulsa gets a lot of yards but fails to convert. They average 439 yard per game, but 24.4 points per game, which is good for #92 overall. Their QB Davis Bryn has been a turnover machine, he has 11 touchdown passes on the season, but also 11 interceptions, which has to have Mike Tressel and his defense chomping at the bit. Tulsa is #95 in the country in Turnover Margin to compare to the Bearcats who are currently sitting at #3.

Once again, the AAC Schedule isn’t doing us any favors. Tulsa is another bad team in a stretch where the Bearcats have needed to dominate opponents more than they have. I look for UC to get back to it’s ways after some disappointing news this week and the excitement from the crowd that’s been partying at The Commons and The Grid since 9 am.

Bearcats – 56
Golden Hurricane – 10

Juncta Juvant

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