Golden Hurricane Favored to Win C-USA West

GREAT STAFF: Head Coach Steve Kragthorpe has assembled an excellent staff at Tulsa. From left are assistant AD for football operations Ross Parmley, cornerback coach Derek Jones, co-defensive coordinator Mark Nelson, linebacker coach Darin Eliot, defensive coordinator Keith Patterson, Kragthorpe, assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Charlie Stubbs, running back coach Brad Calip, receiver coach Bob Schultz, tight end coach Matt Wells and offensive line coach Spencer Leftwich.


A year ago, Tulsa wasn’t on the map when it came to talking about the nation’s top teams, but by seasons’ end the Hurricane had proven to the country that this private school in Oklahoma could play football.

Picked to finish in fourth-place in the Conference USA West Division in 2005, Tulsa posted a 9-4 record, won the C-USA West title and the Conference USA Football Championship with a 44-27 win over Eastern Division Champion Central Florida.
Tulsa went on to hand Fresno State a 31-24 defeat in the 2005 AutoZone Liberty Bowl.

In 2006, Tulsa returns 43 letter winners, including 17 on offense, 24 on the defensive side of the ball and two specialists.

Offensively, Tulsa loses All-American tight end Garrett Mills to graduation, but other than finding a replacement and more ways to make up for the loss of Mills’ production, the Hurricane offense returns some solid weapons.

“I really believe we have an opportunity to be an explosive offense with the capabilities of making big plays and yet still maintain consistency that we will need to sustain drives,” says fourth-year Head Coach Steve Kragthorpe.

Tulsa returns seven starters to an offense that averages a league-heading 33 points per game and amassed over 400 yards in total offense. A year ago, Tulsa’s offense passed for 237 yards per game and rushed for another 165 yards. The Hurricane ranked 23rd nationally in scoring offense, 39th in total offense, 40th in rush offense and 41st in passing offense.
“We return four of five starters on the offensive line as well as our quarterback, Paul Smith, and back-up quarterback, David Johnson,” says Kragthorpe.

Tulsa’s offensive front is the most experienced in college football with 95 career starts between the four returning starters. Senior Jeff Perrett, a preseason candidate for the Outland Trophy, anchors the offensive front.

“Our running back depth is the best it’s been with quality players from top to bottom. Although we graduate Uril Parrish, we gain a healthy Brandon (Diles), and an experienced Tarrion (Adams) and transfer Courtney Tennial,” says Kragthorpe.

The Hurricane defensive unit is stocked with solid talent, depth and size, with 10 returning starters.

Updated 08-24-2006

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