Tulsa vs. Wyoming: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction
The Cowboys look to rebound from their season-opening loss at home against the Golden Hurricane. Here’s how to watch and what to watch for.
Will the Pokes get back on track?
WEEK 1: Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs. Wyoming Cowboys (0-1)
WHEN: Saturday, September 3 — 2:30 PM MT/1:30 PM MT
WHERE: War Memorial Stadium; Laramie, WY
WEATHER: Sunny, high of 84 degrees
STREAMING: Fans can sign up to receive a free one-week trial of Fubo, which includes FS1, by following this link.
RADIO: The Tulsa broadcast can be found on Big Country 99.5 FM (KXBL). The Wyoming broadcast can be found on the affiliates of the Cowboy Radio Network, including flagship 1240 AM (KFBC) in Cheyenne.
SERIES RECORD: The series between Tulsa and Wyoming is tied, 3-3. In the last meeting on September 21, 2019, the Golden Hurricane defeated the Cowboys, 24-21, in Tulsa.
ODDS: Tulsa -6.5
SP+ PROJECTION: Tulsa by 5.3
FEI PROJECTION: Tulsa by 4.7
PARKER FLEMING PROJECTION: Tulsa 75.58% win probability (39.82-30.18)
Saturday. We defend our War. pic.twitter.com/SSmeW1qx44
— Wyoming Cowboy Football (@wyo_football) September 2, 2022
After a lopsided loss on the road to open the 2022 season, the Wyoming Cowboys will look to turn things around in their first home game of the year against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.
Trying to figure out what Tulsa team will show up on Saturday might be an exercise in futility — this is a team that lost one score games to UC Davis, Navy, Cincinnati, and Oklahoma State but beat SMU and Memphis — but after last week’s showing at Illinois, the Cowboys simply need to find some offensive traction while avoiding big plays on defense.
Three Keys to a Wyoming Victory
1. Get more out of the ground game.
Despite last Saturday’s ugliness, there’s no doubt running back Titus Swen did his part, rushing for 98 yards on 17 carries. The performance came with a cost, though, as it was reported earlier this week that he suffered bruised ribs in the loss to the Illini, so with Dawaiian McNeely’s status still up in the air, it becomes that much more important for Wyoming’s depth at the position, Joseph Braasch and D.Q. James, to make their touches count.
In Week 0, that redshirt freshman duo combined for eight yards on six carries, which is simply not good enough. Against a Tulsa defensive front that features Anthony Goodlow, Justin Wright, and Joseph Anderson, who combined for 16 tackles for loss in 2021, but is replacing their top two disruptors (Jaxon Player and Cullen Wick), that’s an element of the game Wyoming can win if the offensive line can open lanes for them.
2. Try again to get Andrew Peasley in a rhythm.
The two-deep doesn’t seem to suggest that Craig Bohl’s confidence in his anointed QB1 has been shaken after last weekend’s poor performance. The friendlier confines of Laradise might help matters, as well as the reality that offensive coordinator Tim Polasek wasn’t asking him to make a lot of difficult throws early against Illinois. Peasley simply overthrew most of his short passes, something which could have been corrected during the week’s practice.
In other words, don’t let last week’s results dictate a change in process. The Cowboys want to be at least slightly more balanced overall, so Peasley will need to connect on those easier attempts to get things moving in a more positive direction.
3. Force Davis Brin into mistakes.
Another thing that went wrong for Wyoming in last week’s game against Illinois is that they couldn’t force any turnovers, but that could change against the Golden Hurricane, especially if the secondary can find a way to create its own breaks.
That’s because Brin, Tulsa’s incumbent starting quarterback, led the country last year with 16 interceptions. The senior was lackluster on third downs in particular, with an interception rate of 6.8% (!) and just 6.2 yards per attempt on 117 throws in such situations, so if the defense can win early downs and force the Golden Hurricane into third-and-mid-to-long, Wyoming could play their way into a short field or two.
It’s tempting to call for an entire season’s worth of doom and gloom after last week’s loss, but the Cowboys still have the defensive talent to remain competitive against teams likelier to be on their level. That includes Tulsa, but the longer offensive questions remain, the more frustrating the season will be. Even if Swen gets it done again, it seems likely the Golden Hurricane will be able to bottle up everyone else on that side of the ball.
Tulsa 20, Wyoming 9