HUNTINGTON - In an afternoon of infamy about 11 months ago, Tulsa won the coin toss, took the wind and proceeded to blow Marshall away.
The score ended 59-17, but that didn't tell the full story of how the Golden Hurricane tore through the Thundering Herd on a sunny, windy day in Oklahoma. Some elements of a game in which the word "debacle" was not strong enough:
This week at Joan C. Edwards Stadium, the Herd (2-3, 1-0) can make amends for that wretched afternoon by taking down the Hurricane (4-1, 2-0) in a homecoming battle. Kickoff Saturday is at 3:30 p.m., with the contest airing on CBS Sports Network (channel 512 on Suddenlink in the Kanawha Valley).
"It was a very windy game, that's what I remember," said left tackle Jordan Jeffries. "Couldn't really pass the ball, ball's going all over the place. Couldn't establish a running game. They whooped us pretty good. It will be good to have them come down here and experience this atmosphere and our new retooled offense, and see if we can't change that a little bit."
Tulsa has overcome an opening 38-23 loss at Iowa State with big wins over Tulane (45-10) and Nicholls State (66-16), followed by a comeback win over Fresno State (27-26) which featured dominating defense in the final three quarters.
Last week, the Hurricane was drawn into a shootout at Legion Field, beating Alabama-Birmingham 49-42. A.J. Singleton, the 260-pound bruiser of a running back, scored on a 6-yard run with 5:31 left, and then Mitchell Osborne forced UAB quarterback Austin Brown to cough up the ball to seal the issue.
The three running backs who tormented the Herd are all back: junior Ja'Terian Douglass (194 rushing yards in that game), junior Trey Watts (144) and senior Singleton (22 yards, but three touchdowns). Senior Willie Carter returns in the do-it-all H-back position.