Game Preview: UCF vs. Tulsa

The University of Central Florida Knights (4-4, 2-2 C-USA) continued their undefeated run at home last weekend beating Memphis 41-0. The Knights rolled up 505 yards of total offense with four different players rushing for touchdowns and freshman kicker Shawn Moffitt added on two field goals. Jonathan Davis led the defensive effort with eight tackles and a sack.
The University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane (5-3, 4-0 C-USA) fly down to Orlando after a 38-7 thrashing of SMU in Tulsa. On the strength of four turnovers, G.J. Kinne guided the Tulsa offense to 451 yards of offense with two touchdowns of his own. Alex Singleton ran for two touchdowns to add to the domination.
More about Tulsa
Series Record: The series is tied at 2-2 with Tulsa winning the last meeting 49-19 on their home turf in 2008.
Head Coach: Bill Blankenship is in his first year as head coach at Tulsa with a 5-3 record. He is a graduate of University of Tulsa in 1979, having played quarterback. From 1986 to 2005, he coached high school football with a highly successful stint as head coach at Union High School in Tulsa, amassing a 205-68 record. He was hired as a WR coach for Tulsa in 2007, and later special teams until he replaced Todd Graham, who left after the 2010 season to take the head coaching job at Pittsburgh.
Team Star: G.J. Kinne, Texas transfer and former Colt McCoy backup (2007), is a lot like McCoy in that he can put up big numbers in the air, but is also a dangerous threat on the ground, leading the Hurricane in rushing over the last two seasons (including 190 yards on the ground against Houston last year). He led the top offense in Conference USA in 2010, scoring 41.4 points and gaining 505 yards per contest. Also had the fewest interceptions, 10, of any returning starter.
His career record as a starter: 20-13 overall, 13-7 C-USA, 1-0 in bowls (2010 Hawaii Bowl) and one top 25 win (2010 Hawaii Bowl against No. 25 Hawaii).
Offensive Style: No/quick huddle, balanced spread.
Defensive Style: 4-3.
Statistical Leaders
Passing: QB Jeff Godfrey, 123-180, 68.3 % Comp, 1451 yards, 3 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: RB Brynn Harvey, 116 attempts, 544 yards, 3 TD
Receiving: WR Quincy McDuffie, 24 receptions, 271 yards, 1 TD
Tackles: Kemal Ishmael, 48 tackles, 1 TFL
Sacks: WLB Jonathan Davis, 3 sacks
Interceptions: (tied) CB Josh Robinson, CB A.J. Bouye, 2 INT
Passing: QB G.J. Kinne, 151-235, 64.3 % Comp, 1895 yards 16 TD, 8 INT
Rushing: RB Ja'Terian Douglas, 74 attempts, 525 yards, 7.1 avg/rush, 3 TD
Receiving: WR Willie Carter, 49 receptions, 702 yards, 14.3 avg/rec , 5 TD
Tackles: LB Curnelius Arnick, 94 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 INT
Sacks: DE Tyrunn Walker, 4 sacks
Interceptions: DB Milton Howell, 4 INT
Key Statistics
-Tulsa's yards per pass attemptdifferential: +0.6
-UCF's YPPAD: + 2.9
-UCF's pass/run ratio 42/58
-Tulsa's pass/run ratio 45/55
-69 plays a game for UCF, 73 for Tulsa.
UCF is ranked 2nd in total defense, and 3rd in scoring defense.
Key Matchup
UCF Secondary vs. Tulsa WRs. Tulsa is a very balanced offensive team. Many folks think of them as a passing team, when in reality 44 percent of their first downs are gained on the ground be it by running back or Kinne running out of the pocket. Knowing O'Leary, he will elect to try to constrain the Tulsa running game by moving safety Kemal Ishmael closer to the line of scrimmage, while leaving more of a cushion for the cornerbacks on the wideouts. This gives a 3 deep zone look, but can easily be adapted to take advantage of Jonathan Davis' speed on the edge to blitz. Yards after catch will be the stat to look for Thursday night. Alexander played well last week against the tall and rangy Memphis wideouts. This week, it will be all about wrapping up.
What's on the Line
UCF: Continuing to defend home field and getting a win against one of the best teams in the C-USA West. Also, keeping hopes alive to win the East Division.
Tulsa: Proving they can win inside the loud Bright House Networks Stadium, something the Tulsa coaching staff has made the players aware of this week. Beating UCF in Orlando a week after taking down defending West champion SMU sets up a huge game later this month against undefeated Houston.
The Line
UCF is favored by 1.0