Time and Place: 12 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.
Where to Watch: ESPNU, channel 50.2 on Storrs TV listings.
Last Meeting: UConn and Tulsa have never met on the football field before.
Last Time Out: The Huskies pulled off a 28-24 win over American Athletic Conference rival Temple in Philadelphia, powered by a strong defensive effort, to snap a four-game losing streak. The Golden Hurricane ripped Houston 45-17 in their Homecoming game to snap a four-game losing streak of their own.
Key Players: UConn (2-4, 1-3 the American) vs. Tulsa (2-5, 1-2 the American)
UConn quarterback Bryant Shirreffs:
After back-to-back 400-yard passing efforts, both in losses, Shirreffs slowed down through the air against Temple, throwing for only 105 yards. However, he tossed three touchdowns, and he had an important 49-yard run late in the game that helped put the Owls away.
UConn linebacker Junior Joseph:
Joseph led the resurgent defense with 11 tackles and a sack against Temple, and he will have his hands full against a Tulsa rushing attack that has gone for 271.7 yards per game on the ground.
Tulsa quarterback Chad President:
President isn’t much of a thrower, averaging 6.42 yards per attempt, but he’s a major threat on the ground as part of a three-headed rushing attack. He has run 53 times for 397 yards and seven touchdowns.
Tulsa running backs D’Angelo Brewer and Shamari Brooks:
Brewer: 166 carries, 824 yards, seven scores. Brooks: 82 carries, 504 yards, seven scores. Tulsa keeps their runners fresh, and they get into the end zone often. If the Golden Hurricane win, it will probably be because they ran wild.
Tulsa’s Road Defensive Woes: Tulsa has played three games on the road this season, and they have given up at least 50 points in each of those three games, all losses. On their last road trip, the Golden Hurricane gave up 62 points to Tulane. UConn averages 32 points per game at home.
Defense Comes Alive: One week after allowing an all-time program high of 70 points to Memphis, the Huskies’ defense was the better unit in the win over Temple. Most crucially, UConn forced two huge turnovers, including a fumble recovery to set up a six-yard touchdown pass and a pick-six from Tyler Coyle.
Homecoming: Saturday’s game represents Homecoming for UConn at Rentschler Field. Last year on Homecoming, the Huskies lost 24-16 to UCF.
The Randy Report
On Tulsa’s offense: “They got two outstanding running backs…those guys are very impressive…good, solid offensive line.”
On gaining momentum after a win: “I would hope that our guys got some more confidence and understanding that if you play for a full 60 minutes, and you communicate and go out and execute to the best of your ability, then [winning a game] is what can happen.”
On the first half of the season: “I’d love to have more wins, but that’s behind us. All I want to is keep getting better each week.”
Tyler Keating is the sports editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @tylerskeating.