Friday, December 30, 2005

Special Teams, Coaching and Intangibles

Special Teams

One would think the Bulldogs would have the overwhelming advantage in this category. However, their special teams have been far from special late in the season. The coverage teams are still strong, but are not as dominant as they were earlier in the season. Adam Jennings is always threat in the return game, but kicker Kyle Zimmerman can not be expected to win the game if needed.

Tulsa counters with some decent special teams playmakers, too. Kick returner Ashlan Davis was a first team preseason all-American by numerous publications. He has returned one kick for a touchdown, but pales in comparison to the NCAA record 5 he had last year. Golden Hurricane senior kicker Brad DeVault is automatic beyond 40 yards, he is 6 for 6.

Coaching and Intangibles

Will Pat Hill have his Bulldogs ready? One thing is for sure Steve Kragthorpe will have Tulsa ready. Tulsa is far more motivated to play in this game. The Conference USA champion Golden Hurricane is on a roll, having won 6 of their last 7, while Fresno State is on a 3 game losing skid.

Tulsa fans seemed to be a bit more excited about their team's bowl bid than Bulldog fans. The Tulsa ticket office has sold over 10,000 tickets for the game. Fresno State has sold just over 1,000. None of this should matter come kickoff if the Bulldogs are motivated and ready to play.

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