TU Notebook: Benefiting from stress
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
9/26/12 at 5:20 AM
Related Story: Chemistry problems to blame for TU's passing-game issues
While emphasizing his preference for one-sided victories, University of Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship says his football team should benefit from having survived a 27-26 victory over Fresno State. The Golden Hurricane prevailed after trailing by 13 points in the first period.
"I think it's better for your team long-term that you had to get a hard win," Blankenship said during his Tuesday news conference. "I don't like hard wins as much as I like easy wins, but there is so much more satisfaction and so much more that you learn from (tough victories)."
On Saturday, TU (3-1 overall, 1-0 in Conference USA) resumes league play with a 2 p.m., non-televised contest at UAB. The Blazers are 0-3 overall and haven't yet faced a conference opponent.
Blankenship described the Fresno State experience as "very tough (and) very physical. You overcome a gut-wrenching start - turnovers, giving up a big TD run (and) a tipped-ball TD. All that stuff early in the game. I was so proud of our guys. The best thing that happened was the sideline. No finger-pointing. No blame game. No quit."
Even when trailing 20-7, Hurricane safety Dexter McCoil said, Tulsa coaches and players remained composed.
"We don't need negativity," McCoil said. "We don't need to point fingers. That's when a team starts to break apart."
Blankenship said game balls were awarded to linebacker DeAundre Brown, McCoil, freshman kicker Daniel Schwarz, the starting offensive linemen, tailback Alex Singleton and defensive coordinator Brent Guy.
McGee vs. TU: For the second consecutive week, Blankenship faces an opposing coach - Fresno State's Tim DeRuyter last week, UAB's Garrick McGee this week - who spoke with TU officials about the Hurricane's head-coaching position after Todd Graham departed for Pittsburgh. Blankenship wound up getting the job.
Of McGee, a Tulsa native and former Oklahoma quarterback, Blankenship said, "I've known him since he was in high school (at Booker T. Washington). I knew his dad very well. I kind of watched Garrick grow up and followed his career when he went to Oklahoma. Garrick is a personable young man, so when he got into the coaching profession, we would visit occasionally.
"He's a natural-born leader. I know from the visits I've had with him that he's an outstanding offensive football coach. I think he'll be an exceptional head coach."