Tough luck for Tulsa as Golden Hurricane now has to weather Boise State’s storm

Posted: 09/23/2011 in college football
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The weather prognosticators are forecasting 90 degrees at kickoff for Boise State’s game against Tulsa on Saturday evening.

I’m guessing the 90s – and 80-degree temps through most of the game – sound pretty good to the Golden Hurricane players and coach Bill Blankenship.

Tulsa won’t have to worry about any bizarre weather delays like the one last Saturday that led to its contest against Oklahoma State starting after midnight. Yes, the game actually began on Sunday morning and didn’t conclude until around 3:30 a.m. Central time.

“That sounded awful,” Boise State receiver Tyler Shoemaker said in response to my question earlier this week. “To have that kind of delay, that would be tough to go out there and play that late. Hopefully we won’t have any issues like that here and just get a normal game going.”

Boise State’s normal game is trouncing opponents and the No. 4 Broncos (2-0) have opened the season with victories against Georgia and Toledo.

Meanwhile, Tulsa (1-2) is facing a Top 10 program for the third time in September, having already been clobbered by both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

Worse for the Golden Hurricane is that standout quarterback G.J. Kinne will miss the game with a knee injury. Tulsa was already without all-purpose star Damaris Johnson after his arrest on felony embezzlement charges. (see stellar preview here –

Redshirt freshman quarterback Kalen Henderson makes his first career start in what ranks as an excruciating tough initial assignment.

The contest is Boise State’s home opener and the Broncos have won 62 consecutive regular-season home games on their famed Blue Turf. In addition, quarterback Kellen Moore has completed 78.9 percent of his passes and has eight touchdown passes through two games.

Making Moore’s fast start even more impressive is that he is putting up huge numbers despite losing two NFL draft picks – Titus Young (Detroit Lions) and Austin Pettis (St. Louis Rams) – amid a lot of preseason question marks about the remaining receivers.

Shoemaker quieted a lot of that chatter with a three-touchdown performance against Toledo. I mentioned to Shoemaker that the term “receiver by committee” is often used when it is perceived that a team lacks a go-to receiver.

He said such sentiments provided incentive in terms of making sure the loss of Pettis and Young wouldn’t be an issue.

“It has been a motivation,” Shoemaker said. “We heard a lot of talk in the offseason about losing Austin and Titus and who the ball was going to go to and we decided as a group that it’s not going to be a one person show this year and we know that. Every game there might be a different person that’s really stepping up.

“You’ve just got to be ready to take advantage of the opportunities when they come and just continue to get better as a group.”

Trying to defend the Broncos’ receivers on a picture-perfect night in Boise might be a chore for the Golden Hurricane but it has to be better than waiting up all night for lightning to go away to play a game in the early morning hours.

However, weathering Boise State’s storm might prove to be just as painful for the Golden Hurricane.


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