Wyoming at Tulsa
Time: 2:30 PM CST Saturday
Spread: TUL -3.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Tulsa Golden Hurricane are just 1-2 after falling in Week 3 to Oklahoma State.
It returns home to host the visiting Wyoming Cowboys (3-0) as 3.5-point favorites.
The game will air at 2:30 PM CST Saturday on CBS, and it has an over/under set at 44.5 total points according to NCAA Football oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.
Though Tulsa has fared just 1-2, it has not done so in entirely defeated fashion. Its opener was a loss to an AP Ranked opponent in Michigan State, and Oklahoma State was a tough draw in Week 3. It may be able to right the ship against Wyoming, before taking on SMU, Navy, Cincinnati, and Memphis in the four weeks after it.
Tulsa has received decent play from its starting quarterback Zach Smith. He has thrown for 664 yards at a 63.5 percent clip with three TDs and just one pick. He is averaging under eight yards per completion, and he has been sacked far too often (nine times for 62-yards lost). Even so, his 138.4 passer rating speaks to the prolific nature of his arm and Tulsa’s pass offense. The rush has been far less productive: Tulsa averages just 2.6 yards-per-carry, and the only backfield option that has experienced any real success (or consistency) has been No. 3 back TK Wilkerson who has rushed for 6.2 yards-per-attempt on his 19 tries.
No. 1 option Shamari Brooks averages under four yards per attempt, though he has scored three of the Golden Hurricane’s five rushing TDs. The other two came from Wilkerson. Tulsa has scored only three receiving TDs, and though Sam Crawford and Keylon Stokes have been effective, the rest of the depth chart is sheerly lacking in both talent and opportunities. The Golden Hurricane could benefit from recruiting a slot receiver this summer, but for the time being the team will have to make some adjustments to feature the options in its offense that are the best-working (That means Wilkerson mostly).
Wyoming is 3-0 after defeating Missouri in Week 1, Texas State in Week 2, and Idaho in Week 3. The Cowboys are situated in first place in the Mountain West, but it still has yet to draw many AP votes due to the underwhelming strength of its opponents thus far. With matchups against UNLV and San Diego State following this week, there is an opportunity for the Cowboys to make some statements in attempts to achieve an AP Ranking.
Wyoming has been greatly displeased with the play of its quarterback Sean Chambers. He is completing UNDER 40 percent of his passes, averaging just 5.3 yards on completions, all while having failed to throw a single TD (yet having one interception and a couple of sacks). Recruiting a QB will be a must for the program because it is doubtful Chambers turns it around in a manner that could save Wyoming’s pass offense.
Rushing, meanwhile, has gone quite well: The Cowboys have attempted 138 rushes already (with just 46 pass attempts), averaging 5.2 yards-per-carry and accounting for all seven of its touchdowns. Trey Smith has rushed for 222 yards, and Chambers while not an effective passer, is a very good rush option. The quarterback leads the team in yards-per-carry (minimum 25 attempts) at 6.3 per. No. 2 and No. 3 running backs Xazavian Valladay and Titus Swen have rushed for another 149 and 142 yards, respectively.
There probably is not a more lopsided offense from a successful team than Wyoming’s, with the possible exception of course of the teams of the armed forces which pretty much run every down. Tulsa will provide a decent opportunity for Wyoming to mix up its offense more, but the realization may end up being that doing such is entirely futile. It is, after all, just Week 4. Wyoming has plenty to sort out.