The Tulsa football team finished up fall camp on Saturday with an 83-play scrimmage and will begin preparation for its season opener against Oklahoma. The Hurricane has almost two weeks to gear up for the No. 1 ranked Sooners.
"They're itching to play, but their also ready to get through with fall camp," Tulsa Head Coach Bill Blankenship said of his players. "This is kind of the formal ending of fall camp. We'll start school on Monday, so we'll be into a regular game week mentality. I think our guys are looking forward to that.
"We'll specifically start (Sunday) evening with our game week. Fortunately, for this one, you get two weeks of game week. Everything from (Sunday) forward is focused on our first game and trying to get our guys ready for the Sooners."
Tulsa did not keep stats for its scrimmage on Saturday, but Blankenship says he felt good about the results.
"We got a lot of work done and that is what we wanted to do," he said. "This will be our last full scrimmage that we need to get in. We held several guys out who were a little dinged up. Fortunately, they're not too serious. It made us a little thin defensively, especially in the secondary, but I thought overall our first unit did very well defensively. We gave up a couple of plays, but other than that, I thought they bowed their neck and played very well.
"Offensively, we had really good execution. I thought G.J. (Kinne) was spot-on with his calls and reads. The running game, I think, is in good shape."
That running game busted a big play during the scrimmage when Ja'Terian Douglas blew through the line for a long scoring run. The trio of Douglas, Trey Watts and Alex Singleton has been strong in fall camp.
"All of those guys can do different things, and we're trying to get them to all be complete players," said TU running back coach Holman Wiggins.
Watts enters the 2011 season at the top of the depth chart after playing in 11 games last season and starting four as a redshirt freshman. He carried the ball 62 times for 197 yards and a score, and he also recorded 20 receptions for 172 yards and two scores.
"Trey Watts is a complete back," said Coach Wiggins. "He's done a great job all camp, and he's been working his tail off. It's an attribute to our team for him to part of this position."
Last season, Alex Singleton served as Tulsa's bruiser when the team was in the red-zone or was trying to run clock and preserve a lead. He played in 12 games and finished with 391 yards rushing to lead all running backs. He also scored nine times on the ground to lead the team and caught three passes for 21 yards.
"Alex Singleton is a big powerful back, but he will fool you because he's a guy who can also play out in space," Wiggins explained. "He catches the ball well, and he's faster than most guys think."
Speedy Ja'Terian Douglas played in 12 games with one start last year as a true freshman. He carried the ball 43 times and was second amongst running backs with 335 yards rushing and three touchdowns but is still growing into the position.
"Douglas is growing into a complete back," Wiggins described. "Things are starting to slow down for him. He took some growing pains as a true freshman, but now he's starting to see blitzes, and he's doing a good job of slowing down his feet and running between the tackles. He's our home-run hitter."
Bill Blankenship is looking for good things from his running backs as he navigates his first season as head coach of the Golden Hurricane.
"I think we're a lot stronger at the running back spot than we've been," he said earlier in camp. "It's the same guys, but they have really grown up and seem to be maturing."
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