BYU fans are more than aware of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. After easily dispatching Steve Kragthorpe-led Tulsa in 2006 at LaVell Edwards Stadium, the Cougars were ambushed by first year coach Todd Graham and his evil genius offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn when BYU faced the Golden Hurricanes in 2007. It was one of the only instances I can remember where Bronco Mendenhall was out-schemed for a complete four quarters of action. The 55-47 loss was a bitter pill which BYU fans surely haven't forgotten. And neither has Bronco Mendenhall.
The 2011 Tulsa squad, however, bears only vague resemblance to the one BYU saw four years ago. Gone are Graham and Malzahn, replaced by Bill Blankenship and Greg Peterson. The Golden Hurricane won seven of eight Conference USA games this season and are looking for their ninth win of the season, a benchmark they have met in three of the past four seasons. So, who exactly is the Tulsa Golden Hurricane? KNOW THE FOE after the jump.
- Tulsa University is a private, Presbyterian school located in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- Tulsa has just 4,165 students, the lowest enrollment of any FBS institution.
- "The Sound of the Golden Hurricanes"
- NFL Hall of Famer Steve Largent is a Tulsa alumnus.
- BYU leads the all-time series 6-1.
- Tulsa has four losses this season. Each of these losses came to teams who were ranked in the AP Top 10 at the time of the matchup. (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Boise State, and Houston)
- Tulsa has been a stepping stone for offensive minds during the past few seasons. Malzahn used his success at TU to land a job as the Auburn offensive coordinator. Malzahn was the offensive coordinator during Cam Newton's Heisman and National Title run last season. Tulsa's 2010 coordinator was Chad Morris, who after a dynamic opening season in Tulsa, moved on to Clemson, where he is now one of the nation's highest paid assistants.
- The Tulsa Offense is extremely balanced, ranking in the top 50 nationally in both rushing and passing yards. Quarterback G.J. Kinne was the 2010 Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year.
- Greg Peterson runs a spread offense with emphasis on balance. This Tulsa team, unlike in years past, is not as unconventional schematically.
- Tulsa and BYU share a common opponent: UCF. Both the Golden Hurricane and the Cougars beat the Knights by the same 24-17 score.
- Other than the close game against the Knights, Tulsa has won its other contests in convincing fashion. The Golden Hurricane have won by 28, 17, 17, 18, 31, 42, and 39 point margins this season.
- College Football Reference ranks Tulsa as the 39th best FBS team in America.
- Tulsa has four players who have amassed at least 737 yards from scrimmage in the 2011 campaign. They have five players who have scored at least six touchdowns.
- G.J. Kinne is the team's third leading rusher.
- Linebacker Curnelius Arnick accounted for 142 tackles during the regular season, 91 of which were solo, good enough for third-best nationally.
- Dexter McColl and Milton Howell each have four interceptions this year, placing them in the upper-tier of all FBS secondary players.