Tulsa's offense struggled last year. Keyarris Garrett's return is one reason the Golden Hurricane believe they can improve as they enter the American Athletic Conference.
Garrett missed most of last season with a broken leg. The previous year, the wide receiver caught 67 passes for 845 yards and nine touchdowns. Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship said Garrett looks good heading into the season opener Thursday at home against Tulane.
"He is a matchup problem for most people, and because of that, you tend to get some safety helping over the top, or at least getting close," Blankenship said. "If they leave him one-on-one, he's definitely a guy that we want to throw to one on one."
Dane Evans returns as the quarterback. He threw just four touchdown passes and 10 interceptions while completing just 43 percent of his passes last season. Blankenship said Evans should be much better in 2014.
"I am very confident about what we have seen through fall camp," Blankenship said. "It's got to manifest itself on the field on Thursday night. That's what we have to see, is that we continue to do what we've prepared to do, that we don't take steps backward, and I'm confident that's going to happen."
Here are some things to watch for from the Golden Hurricane this season:
WHO REPLACES WATTS? Trey Watts was most of the offense last season. He ran for 1,329 yards and 11 touchdowns and caught 46 passes for 395 yards and another score. Blankenship is excited about freshman D'Angelo Brewer.
"He's definitely a guy that's going to get action as we go along. Hopefully he's splitting that with two or three other guys, but there is no way we're not going to be using D'Angelo. He's too big a playmaker.
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