The UTEP Miners close out the season on the road against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. A few months ago I wrote an extensive preview on the Golden Hurricane and I asked the Tulsa World's Eric Bailey for his insight on the squad. he Bottom Line was this:
Tulsa is breaking in a new offensive coordinator, but should be fine on offense. Kinne is a veteran now and has one of the league's best weapons, Damaris Johnson, to help him move the ball. TU has to have improved offensive line play if they are going to challenge for the C-USA West. Can they win the West? It's about as wide open as any division in college football. Houston, UTEP, SMU, and Tulsa all have legitimate chances to win the division. What will separate those squads is who can make defensive stops when it matters. Last year, Tulsa couldn't quite get over the hump in big games because their defense couldn't make one final play. By their late October bye week, if their defensive backs are leading the team in sacks, tackles, and tackles for loss, then we'll know if the Hurricane have improved enough to really challenge Houston & Co. in the West.
TU has some weapons on offense but runs the worst defensive scheme in college football. Recenly, we've learned that Tulsa will use some offensive players on defense to help get more speed on the field. If that doesn't say how worried TU's coaches are about the defense, I don't know what does.
Tulsa and UTEP had a great, epic, contest last season. Will this year be the same? Who you got?