Back in August at Tulsa football media day, Golden Hurricane head coach Bill Blankenship said former Kingfisher standout Derek Patterson would find a role in Tulsa’s offense at wide receiver. He even went so far as to refer to the ex-Yellowjacket quarterback as being a “little bit Wes Welker-ish.” After Tulsa’s first two games, Patterson is living up to Blankenship’s assessment.
Patterson, a redshirt sophomore, is the team’s leading receiver in yards (106), yards per catch (17.7) and touchdowns (2).
In Tulsa’s season-opener, Patterson scored the Golden Hurricane’s lone touchdown against Bowling Green, a 27-yard pass from backup quarterback Dane Evans late in the contest that averted a shutout in Tulsa’s 34-7 loss.
The following week, Patterson caught a touchdown from starting quarterback Cody Green that tied the game at 27-27 as Tulsa rallied to defeat Colorado State in its home opener 30-27.
The Golden Hurricane head to Norman Saturday to face Oklahoma.
The workload for Patterson will likely increase Saturday in Norman as the Golden Hurricane lost one of their top threats at wideout when junior Keyarris Garrett went down with a season-ending broken leg at the end of Tulsa’s game last week.
But Patterson isn’t the only northwest product making his mark at Tulsa this season.
Hennessey’s Derrick Luetjen, the son of Hennessey head coach Rick Luetjen, is a starter at defensive end, and in last week’s game against Colorado State had four tackles, a six-yard tackle for loss, and forced a critical late turnover that rallied Tulsa in its comeback.
Also seeing the field at TU has been former Plainsmen Colby Scott, who is logging time on special teams.
• No redshirting Popeye: It doesn’t look like former Plainsmen record-setting running back Seth “Popeye” Handley will be redshirting in his freshman season at East Central University.
The Division II Tigers opened the season last week with a 46-22 win over Arkansas-Monticello and Handley carried the ball four times in brief duty with a long gain of 11 yards. ECU heads to Southern Arkansas on Saturday.
• Maybe this week: Another record-setting former Plainsmen was hoping to get on the collegiate playing field for the first time last week, but an NCAA paperwork error kept him from suiting up.
Placekicker J.P. Maciel, who was recently inked to a scholarship at Division II Fort Hays State, is the No. 2 kicker on the Tigers’ depth chart and was set to take the field last Thursday in the Tigers’ home opener against Emporia State (which boasts ex-EHS wide receiver Mitchell Foote on its roster), but received a last minute call from his coach telling him there was a paperwork error by the NCAA that prevented him from being on the field.
Maciel said the mixup appears to be resolved and he hopes to suit-up Saturday at Washburn, Kan. The Tigers lost their opener 43-13 and had a PAT blocked.
• Brady on the brink: News & Eagle 8-man player of the year Brady Krittenbrink is getting playing time at Northeast Oklahoma A&M. His former coach at Pond Creek-Hunter, David Kerr, reports Krittenbrink is a special teams starter and is getting several snaps at linebacker. NEO is ranked No. 17 among junior colleges and is 1-1 this season. The Golden Norsemen have their home opener Saturday against Blinn College.
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Ruthenberg is sports editor at the News & Eagle. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.