TU Keeping Focus On Itself In Preparation For Sooners
By John Laws
TULSA, Okla. — It's a storyline that dates way back into the 20th century; a college football program trying to step out from big brother's shadow as its own elite program. And that's in reference to Big 12 rival Oklahoma State, let alone a smaller FBS program like the University of Tulsa. But for fourth year head coach Bill Blankenship, the Golden Hurricane appear to have the utmost respect for the team in Norman."You don't grow up in Oklahoma and work here as long as I have in this state and not have great admiration for what they do and what they've done," Blankenship said during his regularly scheduled media press conference Tuesday. "It's a very good football team. They're certainly ranked high, but that ranking I think is well deserved if you watch how they play."Blankenship also acknowledged the fact it's highly beneficial for the Golden Hurricane to welcome in big name programs like Oklahoma and Oklahoma State because it all but guarantees their sellout crowd of 30,000. But from a TU fan's perspective, does Tulsa ever expect to actually win these games?Junior offensive tackle Garrett Stafford believes so. "We definitely have what we need to succeed," said Stafford. "We just have to fall back on the technique that the coaches have taught us and execute the game plan and do it with fanatical effort."In the eyes of sophomore cornerback Will Barrow, it's just as important to prepare for this game as they would any other on their schedule. "Although, it is OU and some people will just look at the logo, but we look at it like it's another team. It's week two and we have to prepare like it," explained Barrow.Bill Blankenship claimed he isn't the type of coach to give pregame pep talks but he is emphasizing to his players this week about how much a win like this can do for the program. "This is one of those games that's all about opportunity," Blankenship said."It's about Tulsa taking care of Tulsa. If we want to have a chance to win this game -- and I do believe we do -- we have to play well. You don't have to play over your head."History has shown it's not an impossibility for Tulsa to beat OU. Of their 26 meetings dating back to 1914, the Golden Hurricane have won 7 (7-18-1.) But for an OU team ranked in the top 5 with realistic national championship aspirations, a Tulsa win would be the biggest upset in the program's history.
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