Golden Hurricane Defense shines in first Spring Scrimmage

Tulsa, Oklahoma - The Tulsa Golden Hurricane football team practiced for two hours on Saturday in helmets and shoulder pads. Tulsa ended the morning workout with a 45-minute, 68-play scrimmage to close out its fifth day of spring practice.

In a situational scrimmage, Tulsa ran through nine series without advancing the ball offensively. Tulsa began a normal scrimmage on its 10th series and had just six drives moving the ball

Head Coach Bill Blankenship had good things to say about Tulsa's defensive performance. "This was a good test for us. It was really the first day for us to hook it up in a serious format where we were trying to move the chains. We did a lot of situational work," said Blankenship. "I thought the defense got the best of the day. I think they're really playing fast. We need to do a little better fundamentally on offense, but we're still very explosive. You still see the things that you expect from G.J. (Kinne) and Damaris (Johnson). I thought Curnelius (Arnick) had a great day on defense.

"I really like the way our guys were flying around," added Blankenship.

"Spring is where somebody wins every practice, where it's offense vs. defense - It's a little different in the season when it's us against the world. In spring there's always a winner and loser each day, and if it's a tie, maybe nobody won. But today, I'd have to give it to the defense. I thought they had a better day," said Blankenship.

Senior quarterback G.J. Kinne and red-shirt freshman Kalen Henderson directed the offense for the Hurricane on Saturday, while junior quarterback Shavodrick Beaver has been limited in workouts due to injury.

The offense took its' opening possession 30 yards and settled for a 48-yard Kevin Fitzpatrick field goal, as Kinne completed passes of eight yards to Bryan Burnham and 18 yards to Willie Carter. On Kinne's second possession, he guided the offense to a 55-yard scoring drive as he threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Damaris Johnson down the right sideline.

The remainder of the scoring came on a 27-yard Kevin Fitzpatrick field goal and a 37-yard field goal by Matt Hulse.

For the game, Kinne completed 7-of-17 passes for 75 yards and one TD, while Henderson threw for 112 yards while completing 6-of-15 passes. Sophomore Trey Watts had a team-high 39 yards on seven carries. On the receiving end, sophomore Freeman Kelley caught three passes for 62 yards, junior Willie Carter had two catches for 40 yards and senior Damaris Johnson caught two passes for 39 yards and one touchdown.

Blankenship has been pleased with his team through five practices this spring. "I think our guys are performing well. I like the way our coaches have them. I think the attitude, the culture, the camaraderie is really strong right now," said Blankenship.

The Annual Tulsa Spring Game is scheduled for 7:00 pm on Friday, April 15th at H.A. Chapman Stadium. There is no admission charge for the spring game. FanFest with a live band and inflatable games will begin at 6 pm.

Tulsa football season tickets are on sale now. Fans can go online at, call 918-631-GoTU (4688) or top by the Donald W. Reynolds Center Athletic Ticket Office on the TU campus, Mon-Fri., 8:30-5 pm. The Tulsa home schedule includes Oklahoma State, North Texas, SMU, Houston, Marshall and UAB.

Print this article Back to Top