The Connecticut Huskies hope to build off last week’s win when they host the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes. Kickoff is at noon EST on Saturday, October 21 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. Fans can watch the game on ESPNU.
Oddsmakers have the Golden Hurricanes as 6-point favorites on the road. The over/under is an ambitious 70 points. Click here for a full list of Week 8 betting odds and links to game previews.
Tulsa vs Connecticut Vegas Odds & Game Preview
Tulsa’s bowl hopes were quickly slipping away until last week’s upset of Houston. The Golden Hurricanes were nearly two-touchdown underdogs but won convincingly 45-17. However, Tulsa is still just 2-5 on the season. If the Hurricanes can’t keep winning, they will likely find themselves staying home during bowl season, especially with top-25 teams Memphis and South Florida still on their schedule.
Things are nearly as bleak for the Huskies, even after last week’s win over Temple. UConn is 2-4 and still has to play South Florida and Central Florida inside the conference, as well as Missouri and Boston College out of conference. Needless to say, if the Huskies don’t win this game, it’s highly unlikely that Randy Edsall will be able to take his team to bowl in his first season back at Connecticut.
Free College Football Against the Spread Pick: Tulsa -6
Like a majority of games in the American Athletic Conference, I expect this game to be a high-scoring affair. In fact, taking the over isn’t a bad bet. However, I’ll lean toward Tulsa to win and cover the spread. The Golden Hurricanes can score with the best of them, but I’m not convinced the UConn will be able to keep up.
A lack of consistent play at quarterback held back Tulsa early in the season. It may have been why they lost several close games. But since Luke Skipper took over at halftime of their loss to Tulane a couple weeks ago, things have improved dramatically, as evidenced by the team’s blowout of Houston last week.
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Skipper does not give the Hurricanes a running threat, a dimension they had with Chad President early in the year. But Tulsa has rarely had a problem running the ball this year. D’Angelo Brewer has over 800 yards and seven touchdowns this season, while Shamari Brooks has rushed for over 500 yards and just as many touchdowns. With Skipper at quarterback, the Hurricanes are more balanced offensively and more of a threat to score through the air.
The UConn defense hasn’t been effective at stopping either the run or pass all season. The Huskies are giving up over 40 points per game. Even if you take out the game that Memphis put 70 points on the scoreboard, UConn is still allowing more than 30 points per game. Against an improved and more balanced Tulsa offense, there’s little chance of them slowing down the Hurricanes.
Of course, the Tulsa defense has been just as porous this season. The difference is that the UConn offense is far less dynamic. Senior quarterback Bryant Shirreffs has had some big games against bad defenses this year. But the Huskies don’t run the ball well and aren’t that adept at scoring quickly.
As long as the Tulsa offense can keep it going after last week’s win over Houston and turn this game into a track meet, the Golden Hurricanes should have the upper hand in this matchup. With the volume of points I expect in this game, a 6-point spread isn’t all that much. Tulsa should eventually pull away and win comfortably.