Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#369 Wyoming 48 vs.
#370 Tulsa -3.5
Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 3:30pm EDT
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#369 University of Wyoming
#370 University of Tulsa
3-0
1-2
2-0
2-1
1-1
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26
20
20
27

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When and where: September 21, 2019, Chapman Stadium, Tulsa, OK, 3:30 PM ET

The Wyoming Cowboys head on their second road trip of the season for Saturday’s afternoon showdown with the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Oklahoma State spoiled the Golden Hurricane’s homecoming in a 40-21 Week 3 loss. The Cowboys, on the other hand, have won their first three games of the season against Missouri, Texas State and Idaho. They’ll try to extend that record to 4-0 when attempting to exploit Tulsa’s vulnerable run defense.

Can Smith be consistent for the Cowboys?

Imagine the sort of balance the Cowboys could have on offense if tailback Trey Smith ran the ball like he ran in Week 3 every night. Granted, Idaho couldn’t stop a cold on defense, but the ability of Smith to so adequately exploit their defensive front might have been the confidence boost he needed to play with more consistency.

He finished the game against the Vandals with 17 carries for 152 yards and two touchdowns. That performance came after he mustered only 52 yards on 16 carries against Texas State and six carries for 16 yards against Missouri State.

He should see plenty of carries on Saturday after watching running back Chuba Hubbard and Oklahoma State expose Tulsa’s defensive front. Wyoming freshman quarterback Sean Chambers can’t be depended on to drop back consistently and win with his arm. Even with Xazavian Valladay expected to return from an ankle injury and resume his running back duties, Smith should still see plenty of work on offense. The two running backs should be used early and often against a Golden Hurricane defense giving up 186.7 rushing yards per game.

Tulsa can’t stop the ground attack

Tulsa’s defensive line will have nightmares about Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard for the rest of the season. Oklahoma State basically put the passing offense on the backburner and put all of their efforts into pounding the ball on the ground with the sophomore, who finished the game with 32 carries for 256 yards and three touchdowns. It was literally a one-man circus act watching Hubbard run up and down the field.

Perhaps the most shocking part was how effortless he ran the ball. Tulsa had holes on the defensive front big enough for a car to drive through. They never gave themselves a chance by repeatedly losing the battle in the trenches.

They’ll look to clean things up with the Cowboys coming to town on Week 4. It’ll be interesting to see what adjustments they try to make when facing a team averaging 241.3 rushing yards per game. It’s no secret the Cowboys are going to try to test they run defense as well. The Golden Hurricane will be heavily-dependent on quarterback Zach Smith to be productive on offense if the defense gets exposed for a second straight week.

Smith wasn’t necessarily bad against Oklahoma State—228 passing yards for one touchdown—but they will need him to be even more productive to give them a better shot at winning.

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Tulsa’s rushing defensive numbers are obviously skewed thanks to their horrendous ground efforts against Oklahoma State in a game where they gave up a total of 337 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Given the small sample size of the season, that ugly stat-line is bound to stick out. I expect the defense to be more disciplined and competitive up front against a less talented offense.

If Tulsa can slow down the run game, the Cowboys are basically a fish out of water on offense. Chambers has only completed 18 passes over the first three games of the season. The Golden Hurricane must come into the game with the plan to force Chambers to beat them with his arm, but they obviously can’t do that if they’re getting pushed around up front in the trenches.

So the defensive line has to show up on Saturday.

On the other side, Smith should have no problems carving up a Cowboys secondary giving up 342.3 yards per game through the air. Give me the Golden Hurricane and the points.

Prediction: Tulsa Golden Hurricane (-3.5)

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The Golden Hurricane can’t consistently stop the run, and the Cowboys can’t stop the pass. So both teams will find ways to constantly march the ball down the field. Tulsa is giving up an average of 28.0 points to opposing teams, which is a surefire signal this will be a relatively high-scoring game. I’m taking the over betting total here.

Prediction: Over (44.5)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.