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Tulsa Bowls Over Ball State For GMAC Victory, 45-13

Tarrion Adams rushed for 207 yards and passed Micheal Gunter to become Tulsa's career rushing leader.
Tarrion Adams rushed for 207 yards and passed Micheal Gunter to become Tulsa's career rushing leader.
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GMAC Bowl Central
GMAC Bowl Blog

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) -- MVP Tarrion Adams set the school's career and single-season rushing records on Saturday night as he totaled 207 yards and three touchdowns in Tulsa's 45-13 victory over No. 22-ranked Ball State in the 10th Annual GMAC Bowl in front of 32,816 fans at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The victory gave the Hurricane its first-ever 11-win season, while Ball State ended its' campaign at 12-2.

"We were playing for our seniors, playing for our University and playing for our 11th win -- that was a big deal, to make history in our program. You have to give credit to Ball State, they have a very good football team. You don't win 12 games if you're not good. Tonight was our night, and the difference was how physical we were and our speed."

Tulsa scored the first seven points of the game and took a 24-13 lead at halftime. The Hurricane went on to score 21 unanswered points in a rain-soaked second half, while the Hurricane defense shut down the nation's 17th-ranked offense to just 17 second-half yards, and allowing zero first downs and zero pass completions.

The Hurricane set school bowl records for total yards (632) and rushing yards (439). Tulsa improved its Bowl record to 7-9 overall, and have won three of its' last four Bowl games.

Adams was joined on the medal stand by Offensive MVP David Johnson, Defensive MVP Roy Roberts and Special Teams MVP Jarod Tracy. Adams was not the only Hurricane player to set a career record, as Tracy established the school's career scoring mark.

Adams finishes his career with 3,651 yards, while Tracy ends his career with 286 career points.

The victory is the second straight in the GMAC Bowl for the Hurricane. In the last two GMAC Bowls, Tulsa has out-scored the two Mid-American Conference foes, Bowling Green and Ball State, by a combined 108-20 score.

Tulsa took its first possession, following a Ball State fumble, 40 yards in four plays as David Johnson connected with Damaris Johnson for a 30-yard touchdown pass for the first touchdown of the game at the 11:36 mark.

Tulsa couldn't capitalize on Ball State's second fumble of the game, and on the Cardinals next possession the Cardinals' Nate Davis ran 18 yards for BSU's first score. The Davis run capped a five-play, 62-yard drive.

Jarod Tracy's 31-yard field goal with 2:04 left in the first quarter put the Hurricane ahead 10-7, and with those three points gave him a Tulsa school record-tying 281st career point.

Tarrion Adams put the Hurricane ahead 17-7 at the 10:39 mark of the second quarter with a one-yard run, capping a 67-yard, eight-play drive.

Ian McGarvey kicked a 40-yard field goal with 6:36 remaining in the first half was set-up by a blocked Tulsa punt, but the Hurricane defense held the Cardinals to just the three points.

The Hurricane took the subsequent kick 80 yards in six plays as Adams ran for the final 57 yards around right end for the score, giving him 90 yards on his ninth carry for the day, still needing three more yards to become the school's career rushing leader. The touchdown put the Hurricane ahead 24-10 with 4:38 remaining on the first-half clock.

The Cardinals cut the lead to 11 points before halftime, 24-13, on a 22-yard McGarvey field goal with just 0:29 left in the first half.

At intermission, the Hurricane held a 269 to 201-yard advantage in total offense, but could only capitalize on one of three Ball State turnovers. Tulsa amassed 169 yards on the ground and 100 passing yards, while the Cardinals had 145 passing yards and 56 rushing yards.

Tulsa took the second-half kickoff 87 yards in eight plays to take a 31-13 lead with 11:40 on the third quarter clock. David Johnson threw the final 16 yards to Slick Shelley for the touchdown.

The Hurricane added 14 points in the fourth quarter. The first came on Adams' third touchdown run of the game, an 11-yarder at the 13:29 mark. His run capped a 56-yard, six-yard drive, while the final Hurricane score came when Johnson hit former senior walk-on Jacob Frank for his first career touchdown on a 13-yard strike, capping a five-play, 88-yard drive.

Neither the Ball State defense nor the rain was able to stop Tulsa's offense.

"We were very much in it at halftime," Parrish said. "But Tulsa ran the ball, they threw the ball. They've got a tough offense to stop," Parrish said. "Even Mother Nature didn't slow them down as much as it slowed us down."

Scoring Summary
1st Quarter
Tulsa (11:36) - David Johnson 30 pass to Damaris Johnson (Tracy kick)	7-0
BSU (4:07) - Nate Davis 18 run (McGarvey kick)	                        7-7
Tulsa (2:04) - Jarod Tracy 31 FG	                                10-7

2nd Quarter Tulsa (10:39) -Tarrion Adams 1 run (Tracy kick) 17-7 BSU (6:36) - Ian McGarvey 40 FG 17-10 Tulsa (4:38) - Tarrion Adams 57 run (Tracy kick) 24-10 BSU (0:29) - Ian McGarvey 22 FG 24-13

3rd Quarter Tulsa (11:40) - David Johnson 16 pass to Slick Shelley (Tracy kick) 31-13

4th Quarter Tulsa (13:29) - Tarrion Adams 11 run (Tracy kick) 38-13 Tulsa (10:25) - David Johnson 13 pass to Jacob Frank (Tracy kick) 45-13