For the first time in two seasons, the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane football team is going bowling. Finishing the regular season with a record of 9-3, Tulsa was rewarded with a trip to sunny Hawaii where they will take on the 25th ranked Hawaii Warriors in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl on December 24 at 7 p.m. Central time.
"We are excited to be hosting Coach Graham and his Golden Hurricane football squad in the ninth annual Sheraton Hawaii Bowl," Said Hawaii Bowl Executive Director David A.K. Martin. "Spending the Christmas season in Hawaii will be a well-deserved reward for the players, coaches and loyal Tulsa fans," he added.
Tulsa and Hawaii will look to rekindle their rivalry that dates back to Tulsa’s stint in the Western Athletic Conference between 1996-2004. Hawaii won the last meeting between the two squads 44-16 on October 2, 2004 at Aloha Stadium.
There are more similarities between the two programs than their identical 9-3 records. Both squads are known for offense. Hawaii leads the nation in passing offense, averaging 384.8 yards per game and is ranked tenth in total offense.
Tulsa, behind junior quarterback G.J. Kinne‘s 3,307 yards and 28 touchdowns, ranks fifth in total offense. Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz, a junior, is first in the nation in passing yards and total offense. Moniz has completed 66.2 percent of his passes while throwing 32 touchdown passes. Kinne has completed 60-percent of his passes this season.
Tulsa Head Coach Todd Graham is looking forward to taking the Golden Hurricane to their fifth bowl game in the last six years.
"We’re very excited about the opportunity to go to the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl and play a quality opponent in a 9-3 Hawaii team," he said. "This team has had a great season. We faced some adversity early on and were able to overcome that, had one of the biggest wins in school history over Notre Dame and went on a six-game winning streak at the end. Being 9-3 and getting the opportunity to compete in a bowl game is huge for our program," he said.
"We’ve played well on the road this season," said Graham. "In Hawaii, the key is staying focused on the game and that’s pretty difficult to do. We’ll have to be focused on football, yet enjoy the reward of going to a bowl game, especially going to an unbelievable place like Hawaii. We’ll have to be prepared and ready to play," he added.
Tickets for the game, which will be carried nationally by ESPN, are priced at $40 and are available at TulsaHurricane.com. TU and C-USA are also offering the chance for Hurricane fans to give the gift of tickets to military personnel. The tickets will be distributed to members of all five military branches located on and around the island of Oahu. Fans can also order tickets, or support the tickets for troops campaign by calling 918-631-GOTU (4688).