MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

November 24, 2012

Rally falls short for Golden Hurricane


TU media relations

— DALLAS – SMU handed Tulsa its first Conference USA loss this season with a 35-27 victory over the Golden Hurricane in front of 15,336 fans at Gerald J. Ford Stadium.

Tulsa trailed at one point 35-6 but scored 21 straight points to cut the Mustangs’ lead to eight points with 5:05 remaining in the fourth quarter. Tulsa had one last chance to pull to within two points when Cody Green’s 34-yard pass to Keyarris Garret came up one-yard short as time ran out.

The Hurricane finished the regular season with a 9-3 overall record and 7-1 C-USA mark, but will still host the C-USA Football Championship Game next Saturday against the Central Florida Knights.

A blocked punt and two turnovers led to 21 SMU points in the first 20 minutes of the game as the Mustangs built a 21-0 lead before the Hurricane managed their first score. SMU went on to take a 28-6 halftime lead and held on for the victory. With the win, SMU becomes bowl eligible with a 6-6 overall record.

For the game, Tulsa set school records for total plays with 103 and passes attempted with 65. Green completed a career-high 36-of-64 passes for a career-high 413 yards and tied his career-high with three touchdown passes. The Hurricane also gained 178 yards on the ground with 58 from Trey Watts and 51 from Green. Tulsa finished with 591 total yards, while SMU had 305 yards.

Tulsa took the opening second-half possession 70 yards to the SMU five-yard line, but failed to get a score when the Hurricane failed on a fourth-and-goal from the Mustangs eight-yard line.

SMU took over from its five-yard line and went 95 yards in 14 plays and was capped by a Zach Line 10-yard touchdown run to make the score 35-6 with 4:14 remaining in the third quarter.

After that SMU touchdown, Tulsa scored the next 21 points. The Hurricane began its final possession, needing to go 94 yards in with 46 seconds remaining and trailing by eight points. Tulsa managed to get to the SMU one-yard line on a 34-yard toss from Green to Garrett when time ran out preserving the SMU victory.

The Hurricane took the subsequent possession 60 yards in just five plays and 1:41 as Willie Carter took a pass from Green and scored from 31-yards out. The two-point pass attempt failed, making the score 35-12, with 0:56 left on the third quarter clock. Tulsa took its next possession 64 yards in nine plays in 2:25 as Green hit Keyarris Garrett on a 10-yard strike for a touchdown on fourth down-and-five, bringing the score to 35-19 with 12:21 remaining in the game.

Tulsa closed the gap to eight points as Green rambled 57 yards to the SMU one-yard line and Alex Singleton capped the drive with his school record-tying 39th career touchdown. The score cut SMU’s lead to 35-27 with 5:05 to play in the contest.