November 15, 2010

Tulsa Team Report

At times this year, when Tulsa's defense earned the description "remarkable", it wasn't flattering.

It's easy to look at some of the Golden Hurricane's box scores and be in shock at how many yards and points Tulsa's maligned defense has surrendered this season. But when Golden Hurricane coach Todd Graham used "remarkable" in referring to Saturday's game against Houston, it was with pride.

"I've been doing this for 25 years," Graham said after his team's 28-25 win in Houston. "I told the kids in that locker room, and naturally you're always emotionally attached to the kids on your team, but I told them that's the best performance -- from a heart standpoint, from the intensity and the passion standpoint -- that's the best performance that I've witnessed."

There were many impressive elements.

Tulsa's pass defense, the worst in the nation coming into the game, held high-powered Houston below its season average through the air. The Golden Hurricane got five interceptions against the Cougars, three by defensive back Marco Nelson. Linebacker Curnelius Arnick had two interceptions, the first of his career.

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