TU football notebook: Blankenship's priority
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Saturday, October 06, 2012
10/06/12 at 5:26 AM
With Tulsa facing a fast-paced and potent Marshall offense, it would seem that ball control would be a Hurricane priority.
"To some degree," TU coach Bill Blankenship said. "The biggest thing is not about controlling the clock. It's about getting in the end zone. If you can control the clock and get in the end zone, there's absolutely no difference in that and scoring on two plays. The biggest change is that it might give your defense a little rest.
"If you hand it off and score in two plays, we're going to be happy. The thing we can't be satisfied with is grinding six minutes off the clock and not scoring. You just can't accept that. You've got to be aggressive and get the ball in the end zone."
Marshall's offense averages 41 points per game. Marshall's defense allows 44.
TU run game: Addressing the possibility that 260-pound tailback Alex Singleton might play a larger role on Saturday, Tulsa quarterback Cody Green said, "He could be a deciding factor in this game.
"We don't have to throw the ball 60 times a game. We can also run the ball, and we've been very successful in the past five games of just running the ball down people's throat. There will probably be a time and a place for that come Saturday."
Productivity: Blankenship savors TU's backfield situation - three productive tailbacks in Trey Watts, Ja'Terian Douglas and Singleton. From the tailback position, Tulsa is on pace to get a 12-game, regular-season total of 2,549 rushing yards.
"It's a big deal," Blankenship said. "For what we're doing on offense, it's who we are. It's what we've become. It's nice when you have more than one that you can go to.
"When you have competition, they drive each other."
Hurricane fashion: In commemoration of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Tulsa players will wear pink gloves at Marshall.
Jackson's value: In two starts since returning from a three-game suspension, Hurricane junior linebacker Shawn Jackson has recorded a total of 18 tackles.
"He's just a ballplayer," Blankenship said. "He sees things that are hard to coach. He has become a very experienced, very savvy player.
"Marshall has a high percentage of runs toward the boundary where Shawn is, and he's got to do a good job of diagnosing and reading the difference between run and pass."
Shadowing Shuler: Referring to Marshall wide receiver Tommy Shuler, who had 19 catches against Purdue last week, Blankenship said, "He's pretty good. He might be a little of the Wes Welker type of guy - an underneath receiver who can shake and bake. Purdue got a pretty good lead (42-14 halftime) and then they probably played it a little safe and made it a little easier for (Marshall) than hopefully we're going to do."
On the web: Follow along with college football writers from across the state on gameday at tulsaworld.com/collegegameday
On Twitter: Follow TU beat writer Bill Haisten (@BillHaisten)
Tulsa At Marshall
2:30 p.m. Saturday
Joan C. Edwards Stadium, Huntington, W.Va.
TV: CBS Sports Network-249
Radio: KRMG-102.3/740, KITO-96.1, KRIG-104.9, KUSH-1600, KOKL-1240
Weather: A temperature of 54 degrees and a chance of showers.
Records: Tulsa 4-1 overall, 2-0 C-USA; Marshall 2-3, 1-0.
Last meeting: Last year, Tulsa defeated Marshall 59-17 at H.A. Chapman Stadium.
Series: Tulsa leads 3-0.