Tulsa gets Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Invite

Sunday, December 04, 2011


TU Golden Hurricane will face the BYU Cougars on December 30th.

The University of Tulsa has accepted an invitation today to play in the 2011 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. Tulsa is making its 18th bowl game in school history and the school’s seventh bowl game in the last nine years.

Tulsa (8-4, 7-1 C-USA) will face the BYU Cougars (9-3) on Friday, December 30 at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas. The contest will kickoff at 11 a.m. (CST) on the SMU campus. BYU completed its regular season with a road victory on Saturday night at Hawaii, 41-20.

As the official bowl game that honors all branches of the United States armed forces, the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will air on ESPN and ESPN Radio. Tulsa will be competing in the NCAA postseason for the second-straight year after posting a 62-35 win over Hawai’i at the 2010 Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl.

TU Wants U! Tickets for the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl are available from the TU Athletic Ticket Office for $40 and can be purchased online at www.tulsahurricane.com by calling 918.631.GoTU (4688) or by stopping by the Reynolds Center Ticket Office, Mon-Fri., 8:30-5 pm.

TU alumni and friends, not able to attend the game, are encouraged to Send-a-Student to the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl by calling the TU athletic ticket office at 918.631.GoTU (4688) or Brian Scislo at 918.631.3725.

For all travel, hotel and pre-game reservations TU fans can go online at www.TUAlumni.com/bowl or call Spears Travel at 918.254.1608.

"It’s very exciting to be invited to the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. Anytime you’re partnered with anything having to do with our U.S. Military is a wonderful thing. There has been very good history in this bowl. Selfishly, we’re excited to be going to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I think it gives us an opportunity to engage our fan base and the timing couldn’t be better. Fans will have time to celebrate a little holiday time and then finish that up with a Friday morning Bowl game," said Tulsa Head Coach Bill Blankenship.

"There are very few teams in the country that have a richer tradition than BYU. They’re known coast-to-coast. BYU is a tremendously successful program for a long time," added Blankenship.

The BYU-Tulsa matchup will be the eighth time the two teams have faced each other with the Cougars holding a 6-1 edge. The lone Golden Hurricane win in the series was in the last meeting with Tulsa defeating visiting BYU 55-47 on September 15, 2007. In the seven games, the two schools have combined to average 73.3 points a contest.

"We’re excited to host Tulsa for the second time," said the bowl’s executive director, Brant Ringler. "Coach Blankenship’s team features an exciting brand of football and the 2011 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl should be high-scoring, featuring two of the nation’s top offenses."

Tulsa finished the 2011 regular season by winning seven of their last eight games, including a 7-1 Conference USA West Division mark where the Golden Hurricane finished second to undefeated Houston. All four of the Golden Hurricane setbacks in 2011 were to schools ranked among the top 10 teams in the current BCS rankings (Oklahoma State, third; Houston, sixth; Boise State, seventh; and Oklahoma, 10th).

The Hurricane will be making their second appearance in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl as Tulsa dropped a 25-13 decision to Utah in the 2006 game at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth. In their next three bowl appearances, the Golden Hurricane posted post-season wins at the GMAC (2008 and 2009) and Hawai’i (2010) bowls.

"We are very excited to host Tulsa for the second time," said the bowl’s executive director, Brant Ringler. "Coach Bill Blankenship’s team features an exciting brand of football and the 2011 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl should be high-scoring, featuring two of the nation’s top offenses."

Both Tulsa (454.4) and BYU (410.8) are averaging over 400 total yards per game with the Hurricane averaging 34.1 points a game and BYU scoring 29.6 points per contest. BYU will be looking to win its ninth regular-season game as the Cougars play at Hawai’i this Saturday. Two of three BYU defeats this season have been to BCS ranked teams, including TCU (18th) and Texas (22nd).

"The fact that BYU and Tulsa used to be in the same conference, the Western Athletic Conference, we certainly are no strangers to BYU and vice versa. We played a very exciting game at home in 2007 with an offensive shootout that a lot of people still talk about. I think BYU is certainly an opponent that people will get excited about with what can happen on the field between these two teams," said Blankenship.

"Coach Mendenhall has done a fabulous job in putting his fingerprints on the program, Blankenship added. "They appear to be a highly disciplined, very effective and detailed program. It shows that they are a very well coached team with a lot of tradition."

UCF of Conference USA was the one common opponent on both Tulsa and BYU’s 2011 schedule with the Golden Hurricane and Cougars both defeating the Knights 24-17. BYU’s UCF game was September 23 in Provo to give the Cougars a 43-12-1 all-time record against current C-USA schools. Tulsa’s victory over the Knights was November 3 in Orlando, Fla.

Owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl has featured a military theme since 2006. Patriotic overtones recognizing all five branches of the military are prevalent throughout the game. Past Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls have included fan-fest areas showcasing military hardware; flyovers; demonstrations by several of the military's top skydiving teams; the awarding of a custom home to a wounded warrior; on-field induction ceremonies; military bands and honor guards; and the awarding of the annual "Great American Patriot Award" (GAPA) presented by Armed Forces Insurance.

For additional information about the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, please visit:

Contact:
Don Tomkalski
918-631-3200
don-tomkalski@utulsa.edu