TU football notebook: Trap game
BY MIKE AVERILL World Staff Writer
Friday, November 23, 2012
11/23/12 at 3:15 AM
The University of Tulsa has already clinched Conference USA's Western Division title and secured a spot in the league championship game.
With the Hurricane going up against a 5-6 SMU team playing for its bowl life, this sets up to be a real trap game.
TU coach Bill Blankenship said his coaching staff is trying to guard against that outcome.
"We want to guard against a letdown. We want to guard against if you have guys dinged up do you hold them out, all the things you have to talk about," he said.
"Those are things we're working against. This team has been very mature in their approach and the look in their eyes when we met Sunday was they get it."
TU running back Trey Watts said the Hurricane still has a lot to play for Saturday.
"We don't want to lose any conference games. No one has ever gone undefeated and won the conference championship and these guys, we know they're playing for a bowl so we know if we don't come to play they're going to hit us in the mouth and make us look really bad if we don't come out and focus on what we have at hand right now," Watts said.
Watts said it helps that the team has a lot of veteran guys who keep everyone focused and make sure the team practices like it needs to win the SMU game to get to the conference championship.
Unfriendly territory: SMU holds a 12-7 advantage over the Hurricane and it's been tough for TU to win in Dallas. The Mustangs hold a 7-3 advantage at home over TU, and they have won seven out of the last eight games.
"We've had some tough losses and some good wins but SMU has not been an easy place for us to play," Blankenship said. "We know the history with that and our seniors know the history so I think that's caused them to be a little more focused and understand what's at stake."
Watts acknowledged that anytime TU and SMU square off, it's a tough matchup for both squads.
"No matter what either team's record is they're going to play hard. (We're) two teams that don't really like each other that much," he said.