TU football notebook: Close calls
BY MIKE AVERILL World Sports Writer
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
10/10/12 at 2:35 AM
Tulsa is making a habit out of winning close games, starting with a one-point victory at home against Fresno State followed by seven-point victories at the University of Alabama Birmingham and Marshall. The last two road games were not supposed to be such close contests.
"Very pleased to be able to survive those," said TU head coach Bill Blankenship. "I think both of those teams did a good job of fighting back and staying in the game."
Whether or not the games were closer than expected, TU has found ways to win.
"I think we're very resourceful. I think this is a team that believes in each other. I think this is a team that believes they can be a conference champion and they're finding a way to win each week," Blankenship said. "It's been a little different (each week), different heroes, different circumstances, but yet they're still finding ways to come up with those plays at the end."
Hidden yards: Last week against Marshall, the Thundering Herd outgained the Golden Hurricane 572 yards to 340. However TU had 261 return yards on special teams.
"Those are hidden yards, but those return yards make a difference," Blankenship said.
Trey Watts led the special team's unit with 144 return yards including a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
"Special teams are just such a big deal, and sometimes we overlook that part of the game and don't realize that it can actually change the flow and outcome of the game," Blankenship said.
QB running game: Two weeks ago TU quarterback Cody Green ran for his first rushing touchdown of the season.
Last week at Marshall he injured his right shoulder during a running play. Don't look for Green to be running the ball Saturday against UTEP. When asked if the Cody Green running game is going away, Blankenship responded: "Yeah, if you're UTEP it's going away."
Food drive: Before Thursday's 7 p.m. game at H.A. Chapman Stadium, TU volunteers will be collecting food donations for the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma's Food for Kids Backpack Program.
The program provides weekly sacks of shelf-stable food during the school year for at-risk children to take home so they don't go hungry during the weekends.