For a team that was favored to win Conference USA, Tulsa’s not only shown a lack of experience on defense, but the offense could be the most troubling part of the Golden Hurricane’s 1-2 start. The offense returns enough weapons that have seen the Iowa State Cyclones twice already, and they’ll be well prepared to win their second game at home.
Tulsa offense quick stats
- Scoring offense: averaging 19 points per game (94th in nation).
- Throwing 37.7 passes per game (35th in nation), but completing just 51.3 percent of them (107th in nation).
- 1.8 percent of passes are interceptions (39th in nation).
What will Tulsa’s plan of attack be on offense? They’re right in the top quarter of the nation in passes thrown, probably due to a meager 120.3 rushing yards picked up per game. But with a completion percentage right around 50 percent, will the Golden Hurricane have more focus on pounding the ball against a young Iowa State defensive line?
As long as Trey Watts is around, expect to see more of an emphasis on running the ball. Last season, Watts picked up 125 yards on just 10 attempts and had another 149 yards on 25 carries in the Liberty Bowl.
Throwing around 50 percent isn’t new with Cody Green at quarterback, either. He averaged a 54.4 percent completion percentage last season, the sole reason why Tulsa finished ranked 112th nationally in overall passing completion percentage.
In the last two games of the season, the Conference USA Championship and the Liberty Bowl, Tulsa took the ball out of Green’s hands and gave Watts plenty more attempts. In this season, Watts had 22 carries for 152 yards in their lone win against Colorado State. He had 18 carries for just 68 yards combined in both losses to Bowling Green and Oklahoma.
Expect to see a heavy dose of Watts, and if Iowa State wants to make a game of it in the second half, they’ll have to limit his production and force Green to throw.