Armed Forces Bowl Odds and Prediction: Tulsa vs BYU Cougars
Thursday, December 29, 2011
by Frank Martin
BYU Cougars started 1-2 before winning nine of its last 10 and Tulsa Golden Hurricanes rebounded from a 1-3 start to win seven in a row before losing to Houston in its last game. All four of Tulsa’s losses are to teams that were in the top 10 at the time.
Fifth-year senior quarterback G.J. Kinne and running back JaTerian Douglas, who leads the nation with 8.2 yards a carry, key a Tulsa offense which ranks 23rd in the country in scoring (34.1) and yards (454.4). BYU is ranked 17th in the nation in total defense.
Tulsa has won three straight bowl games, averaging 56.7 points. BYU has won four of its last five bowl outings and will try to win its 10th game for the fifth time in six seasons.
BYU won the first six meetings between the two former Western Athletic Conference teams, but Tulsa won the last one 55-47 in 2007.
Tulsa Golden Hurricanes (8-4): The Golden Hurricane have plenty of weapons. Douglas and Trey Watts have both rushed for more than 800 yards. Kinne, with 900 career passing yards, has 25 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions – two against Houston. Willie Carter is Kinne's top target with 61 catches for 868 yards. Kicker Kevin Fitzpatrick is 15-for-17 this season and is the school's all-time leading scorer with 296 points. Linebacker Curnelius Arnick averaged 11.8 tackles, tied for sixth in the nation. All-Conference USA defensive end Tyrunn Walker is listed as questionable with a leg injury. The Golden Hurricane has an 8-9 all-time bowl record.
BYU Cougars (9-3): The Cougars have put up good numbers defensively in their first season as an independent, averaging 15 points against in wins and losing only 17-16 to Texas. But BYU, which has an 11-7-1 all-time record in bowls, has only one victory over a team with a winning record (Utah State). Quarterback Riley Nelson is 5-1 as a starter after replacing Jake Heaps. Nelson has 16 touchdown passes, only five interceptions and 376 yards rushing. Wide receiver Cody Hoffman has caught 53 passes for 821 yards and Ross Apo has nine touchdown receptions. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy leads the team with 10 tackles for loss and five sacks.
NCAA FOOTBALL PREDICTION: Tulsa 41, BYU 31 – Kinne shakes off a rough game as the Golden Hurricane win a shootout.
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