Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
BYU vs Tulsa
Dec. 30, 12:00 pm
Gerald J. Ford Stadium (Dallas, TX)
Line: Tulsa -1
The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will match the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (8-4, 7-1) – making its 18th bowl appearance under the direction of first year head coach Bill Blankenship – against the BYU Cougars (9-3), who will be making their 30th bowl appearance under seventh year head coach Bronco Mendenhall.
Making This All Possible
Bell Helicopter joined the Armed Forces Bowl as the title sponsor on August 23, 2006. Bell Helicopter-Textron is an American helicopter and tilt rotor aircraft manufacturer headquartered in Fort Worth.
Get to know: Tulsa
At 8-4, Tulsa’s record is a tad misleading. Tulsa faced four AP top-10 nationally-ranked teams this season: No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 8 Oklahoma State, No. 4 Boise State and No. 8 Houston, losing to all of them.
Tulsa is a team that wants, and needs, to establish the run to get the rest of its offense in sync; the key there is the two-headed tandem of sophomores RB Ja’Terian Douglas and Trey Watts. The two combined this season for 1,744 yards on the ground.
Tulsa QB G.J Kinne is the glue of the offense; he added 405 yards on the ground himself while passing for 2,859 yards and 25 TDs in 2011.
If Tulsa hopes to be victorious in the Armed Forces Bowl they’ll need to pay attention to the defensive side of the ball. Tulsa has performed very adequately against the run this season; against the pass though the Golden Hurricane has been torched all… year… long.
Get to know: BYU
I imagine BYU junior QB Riley Nelson in the film room breaking down Tulsa’s secondary with a sly-grin; again, the Golden Hurricane are pretty bad in the secondary. But can the Cougars take advantage?
BYU does not enter with an overly impressive offense; it has relied on a solid, and very consistent, defense to get to 9-3 on the year but that record, like Tulsa’s, can be misleading as well.
The Cougars nine wins came against Ole Miss (14-13), UCF (24-17), Utah State(27-24), San Jose St (29-18), Oregon St (38-28) Idaho St (56-3), Idaho(42-7), New Mexico State (42-7) and Hawaii (41-20); searching for the Cougars best win is a big disconcerting.
BYU’s three losses came against Texas (17-16), Utah (54-10), and TCU (38-28). Playing the independent-route, BYU has not exactly put together anything too dangerous of a schedule.
To defeat Tulsa and recreate last year’s bowl win versus UTEP (52-24), Riley Nelson (1,467, 16 TDs, five INTs) will have to exploit an undermanned Golden Hurricane secondary. Senior running back J.J Di Luigi (546 yards, three TDs) and sophomore RB Michael Alisa (455 yards) will also need to establish adequate-enough running to keep Tulsa off the field.
You Should Know…
This is the eighth meeting between Tulsa and BYU; the Cougars lead the series 6-1. The first meeting came in 1971 when BYU captured a 27-7 victory in Tulsa.
Tulsa’s lone win was in the last meeting when the Hurricane defeated visiting BYU, 55-47, on Sept. 15, 2007. Also, the two schools have combined to average 73.3 points a contest in the seven meetings.
The Cougars have played a bowl game on Dec. 30 three times before, going 0-2-1. BYU lost to UCLA in the 1986 Freedom Bowl and Ohio State in the 1993 Holiday Bowl while tying Iowa in the 1991 Holiday Bowl.
If You’re Going
For the history-buffs like me, The Sixth Floor Museum is a site to behold. At The Sixth Floor Museum you can view the life, death and heritage of President Kennedy; as it is detailed in an educational and historic exhibit.
Also in Dallas, on Main Street, is the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza.
Keeping with the historical-theme Dallas Holocaust Museum is a great spot for the stories and events of the Holocaust during WWII.
Restaurant suggestion: Bread Winners.
If You’re Watching At Home
Everything is bigger in Texas right? Well then, you must seer you the biggest steak you can find – 22 oz. preferably – with all the fixings including, but not limited to; a baked potato (or four) and one of those
giant beer mugs. Fill the mug to the top and for dessert top off your coma-inducing meal from heart of Texas with a red velvet cake- a whole one, for yourself.
This is a tough one; I am not impressed with what I have seen out of BYU this year but I do feel that they have the weapons to exploit some weaknesses on the Tulsa side.
When it comes down to it though; Tulsa has faced the tougher schedule and I think they make a play or two more to prevail.
Tulsa 31, BYU 24