I know, I know... it's only one game.
That's absolutely true. Because it's true, Cody Green remains Tulsa's starting quarterback. Green should remain Tulsa's starting quarterback. I'm glad he's Tulsa's starting quarterback... for now.
Let me state for the record: Green was not Tulsa Football's only problem in the season-opening loss to Bowling Green Thursday night.
The Golden Hurricane's senior quarterback had plenty of company when it comes to assigning blame for the 27-point defeat against a team from the not-so-mighty MAC:
Tulsa's special teams spent the evening failing to put points on the board for the Golden Hurricane (two missed field goals) or setting up scores for the Falcons (failed fake punt, fumbled punt return).
The Tulsa running game, one of the nation's very best in 2012 (245 yards/game), went M.I.A. JaTerian Douglas and Trey Watts (who combined to rush for more than 2,000 yards one year ago) managed just 30 yards rushing on 16 carries. Both backs and their new O-Line were manhandled by Bowling Green's front-7.
But going forward, Green's showing is more alarming and more damaging than any of it.
Green finished the night 17-34, for 172 yards. Comparable to many of his less-than-stellar (yet victorious) performances from one season ago. The problem is, this season, with this particular team, the senior quarterback (who has a conference championship under his belt) can't afford to regress or even remain stagnant. This version of Tulsa Football needs Cody Green to be a better passer than he's ever been.
Now, defensively, Bowling Green is no joke, but Tulsa's inability to run the ball with any success was completely unexpected. With a strong running game in place, Green's erratic passing game can be overcome. His intangibles -leadership, selflessness- become quite valuable. Without a strong running game, Green's greatest weakness becomes oh, so glaring.
TU leaned on its defense many times in 2012. That senior-laden group delivered. Making game-changing, game-saving plays in several close victories.
TU leaned on its offensive line many times in 2012. That group ran on anybody and everybody on the schedule, whether the opponent knew it was coming or not.
In light of last night's showing, it would appear this year's offense will need to score more and throw more if Tulsa is to defend its C-USA crown.
I really like Green. Good leader, good kid, great soundbyte. But if the 2013 Tulsa offense can't run with an effectiveness that parallels last season's and if Green doesn't immediately become a much more reliable passer; Cody Green won't be Tulsa's best option at quarterback.
Disagree? Let me hear it -- https://twitter.com/caydenmc