Tulsa aims to stop skid at home vs. Arkansas State

Field Level Media

September 21, 2021 at 8:46 pm.

Last week Tulsa was within striking distance at Ohio State while Arkansas State was blown away at Washington.

Coming off significantly different results against Power Five opponents, the schools get together Saturday when Tulsa hosts Arkansas State.

Tulsa (0-3) is off to its worst start since 2004, but it is not for lack of competitiveness. After opening with a 19-17 loss to UC Davis and a 28-23 setback at Oklahoma State, the Golden Hurricane dropped a 41-20 decision to the then-No. 9 Buckeyes in a game that was closer than the final score.

The Golden Hurricane racked up 501 yards of total offense. Quarterback Davis Brin threw for a career-best 428 yards and Josh Johnson had eight receptions for a career-high 149 yards in a game where Tulsa trailed 13-6 at halftime and 27-20 early in the fourth.

“I’m really proud of the way we played today,” Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery said afterward. “We did some good things and gave ourselves some good opportunities. We went toe-to-toe with an exceptional team. It’s been a tough start, but I am encouraged by the way we played today.

“We still have a lot of football ahead of us. We have a good football team and now we have to focus on getting over the hump.”

Arkansas State (1-2) is looking to avoid a third straight loss after a 52-3 defeat at Washington that followed a 55-50 loss to Memphis.

Quarterback James Blackman threw for 306 yards and four touchdowns against Memphis when he replaced Layne Hatcher. But against Washington, he was 16-of-38 passing for 176 yards while the Red Wolves were outgained 200-48 in yards rushing and went 5-of-18 on third down conversions.

“When you play a quality opponent like Washington, everything is magnified,” Arkansas State coach Butch Jones said. “Every critical mistake you make — not being locked in, not trusting your keys, not reacting.

“We have to go back and look at all that. All this is on me.”

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