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East Carolina vs. Tulsa CFB Week 15 Preview

College Football Betting – East Carolina Pirates vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Though it has been a wacky season in Conference USA, the two preseason favorites to meet in the championship game will hook up on Saturday afternoon in Tulsa when the East Carolina Pirates (8-4, 4-8 ATS) head into battle with the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (10-2, 7-4 ATS).

These two teams didn’t meet in the regular season and have only squared off against one another twice since 1995. Tulsa won both meetings by a combined score of 76-23, and easily covered the

line in both games. East Carolina knew that they were headed to the C-USA title game before last week’s action, but the Golden Hurricane backed into the game by parlaying a Houston loss to Rice and a win over Marshall on Saturday afternoon.

Once upon a time this season, East Carolina was primed to crash the BCS party, but a three game losing streak from the end of October to the beginning of November ruined those chances. On Saturday, Pirates sports betting fans picked up their first victory since October 18th by destroying UTEP 53-21. It was the only game this season in which the Pirates scored more than 30 points.

QB Patrick Pinkney went 17-of-23 for 228 yards and two touchdowns, but the offensive story was RB Brandon Simmons. The senior tailback toted the rock 27 times for 111 yards and three scores, and had a TD reception. The defense intercepted three passes to assure the victory.

HC Skip Holtz’ Pirates were thought to be one of the best units in the nation after holding Virginia Tech and West Virginia to just 25 points in its first two games of the season, but C-USA play really inflated their numbers. The Pirates allowed 22.1 points per game in their final 10 games, and only rank 42nd in defense (330.0 yards per game); that’s bad news for an offense that only ranks 86th in the nation (331.9 yards per game) this weekend.

Much like their counterparts, the Golden Hurricane had BCS aspirations earlier in the year. At 8-0, Tulsa was averaging 55.6 points per game and was ranked in the Top-15 in the nation. Since then, the Golden Hurricane were beaten by Arkansas, destroyed by Houston, and suddenly found themselves not even being in a position to play for the C-USA championship.

Though Rice beat Houston, giving them a chance to go to the championship game by beating Marshall, the task wasn’t easy. QB David Johnson threw for 313 yards and two scores, while RB Tarrion Adams had 30 rushes for 123 yards and three TDs. Still, it took a 22-yard field goal from K Jarod Tracy with 3:42 remaining to give Tulsa the 38-35 victory over the 4-8 Thundering Herd. Tulsa’s offense still ranks #1 in the nation with 578.8 yards per game, and only trails Oklahoma in points per game, with 49.3.

Oddsmakers have installed the hosts as 13.5-point favorites, with the game ‘total’ posted at a lofty 65.5.

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