Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 12/29/11
Both Tulsa head coach Bill Blankenship and BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall spent Thursday morning talking about how important turnovers would be in deciding the winner of Fridays Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. While turnovers will be key, they won't be the only factor in determining the winner of the 11 a.m. at SMUs Ford Stadium. Here are three keys to success for each team. TULSA 1. Establish the run The Golden Hurricane have a standout quarterback in Texan G.J. Kinne, but the key to them winning seven of their final eight games was the running attack. Sophomore Trey Watts and former Arlington Lamar standout Ja'Terian Douglas have each rushed for more than 800 yards this season. If Tulsa can keep the two-headed attack going, it will limit the scoring opportunities for BYU. Douglas is the home-run threat, with four touchdowns of at least 37 yards and a per-carry average of 8.2. 2. Shake off the rust When the ball is kicked off at 11:01 Friday morning, it will mark the first time Tulsa has played in a game since getting thumped by Houston 48-16 on Nov. 25. Blankenship has tried to take it easy on his team in practice to limit injuries, but that all changes one the game begins. How Tulsa responds early to its first game conditions in more than a month could go a long way to seeing if it can run its bowl winning streak to four-consecutive games. 3. Send G.J. out a winner Kinne is needs just 124 yards to surpass 3,000 for the second-consecutive season. On a good day, that figures to come by halftime for a quarterback who averages 239.7 a game. Fridays game will be special for the native Texan, who has family coming in from Mesquite, Sherman and Gilmer to watch the former prep standout play his final game. The dual-threat standout would like nothing better to see him shine in his final college game. BYU 1. Take advantage of the size BYU has a deep and experienced offensive line, with three of the starters seniors and two others juniors. In addition to the experience, the Cougars have a size advantage over Tulsa. All five of the BYU starters weigh in at more than 300 pounds, with center Terence Brown tipping the scales at 318. That could be trouble for Tulsa, which doesnt have a 300-pounder on its defensive line and could be in danger of getting pushed around. 2. Get Riley going Inconsistency at the quarterback position early helped lead to a 1-2 start for the Mustangs. But junior Riley Nelson has solidified the spot with his play. While Nelson doesnt boast the same kind of numbers as his counterpart, G.J. Kinne, hes been able to limit the mistakes. He should be able to take advantage of a Tulsa secondary thats been one of the worst in the country. Tulsa ranks 118th nationally in pass defense, allowing 289.33 yards a game. 3. Control the clock While Tulsa has won eight games despite having the ball for less than 28 minutes a game, thats not what works for the Cougars. BYU averages more than 31 minutes of possession a game. Thats worked so far this season, as BYU has been able to put games away late by running the ball. The Cougars are 8-1 in games when theyve outrushed their opponent this year. The big line needs to open holes for senior J.J. DiLuigi, who isnt flashy but is effective.
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