Tulsa spring wrap

May, 10, 2011
5/10/11
8:00
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2010 overall record: 10-3

2010 conference record: 6-2, second in West

Returning starters

Offense: 10, defense 8, punter/kicker 1

Top returners

QB G.J. Kinne, AP Damaris Johnson, LB Curnelius Arnick, CB Marco Nelson

Key losses

FB Charles Clay, WR Trae Johnson, LB Tanner Antle

2010 statistical leaders (* denotes returners)

Rushing: Kinne* (158 carries for 561 yards, 7 TDs)

Passing: Kinne* (275-of-460 for 3,650 yards, 31 TDs, 10 INTs)

Receiving: D. Johnson* (57 catches, 872 yards, 4 TDs)

Tackles: Arnick* (115)

Sacks: Shawn Jackson* (8.5)

Interceptions: Nelson*, Dexter McCoil* (six each)

Spring nswers

1. Trey Watts could be a go-to running back. The Golden Hurricane have had a hard time getting their running backs going, but Watts showed flashes this spring. Perhaps a running back will end up leading the team in rushing this season.

2. Jordan James emerged. After finishing last season with just one catch in limited action, James caught the eye of new coach Bill Blankenship this spring. James had 65 yards and a touchdown in the spring game and could be a playmaker this season, especially after Jameel Owens left the team.

3. Lowell Rose impressed. The transfer cornerback out of UCLA had a good spring and is near the top of the depth chart to start in place of the departed Charles Davis.

Fall Questions

1. How does the coaching change impact the team? Kinne will be playing for his third offensive coordinator at Tulsa, making you wonder just how many plays he has had to memorize over his career. He had a breakout year in 2010, but with somebody else in charge once again, will he be able to keep up the pace?

2. How will the defense do in the new 4-3? New defensive coordinator Brent Guy switched the defense up this spring and now the Golden Hurricane will feature four starting down linemen. Blankenship thought his front seven dominated the spring scrimmage, so that is a good sign.

3. Can Tulsa survive a tough nonconference schedule? Many believe Tulsa could be poised for a breakout year (myself included), but the nonconference schedule is highly challenging with games against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Boise State.

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