Tulsa Wins Season Opener at UL-Monroe 35-17
Aug. 30, 2007
Monroe, Louisiana - Tulsa scored 21 unanswered second-half points to overcome a three-point halftime deficit giving Todd Graham a 35-17 victory in his Tulsa coaching debut against UL-Monroe in front of a new Malone Stadium opening day record crowd of 22,022 fans.
Paul Smith completed 22-of-31 passes for 307 yards and three touchdowns as the Hurricane put up 523 yards in total offense. Two of Smith's three TD pass went to freshmen receivers AJ Whitmore and Trae Johnson for their first collegiate receptions. Junior Tarrion Adams rushed for a new career-high 129 yards.
The Hurricane defense held the Warhawks to 278 yards, including 123 yards in the second half. Senior safety Steve Craver led the defense with eight tackles and three stops for -8 yards, as the Hurricane totaled eight tackles for -27 yards in lost yardage.
It didn't take Tulsa long to put its first points on the board as the Hurricane took the opening kickoff 63 yards in six plays and just 1:50, as Paul Smith connected on a 24-yard pass to Tarrion Adams for the score.
ULM took the subsequent possession to Tulsa's 47-yard line before the Hurricane defense forced a field goal, stopping the Warhawks on third-and-11 from the 18-yard line.
The Warhawks took the lead on a Tulsa turnover as a bad snap was recovered by Matt Freeman and returned 46 yards for the ULM touchdown. The score gave the Warhawks a 10-7 lead with 2:16 left in the first quarter.
Tulsa's offense shook off its miscue on the next possession and answered in just 1:33 on the first half clock. Adams ran five yards to cap a seven-play 79-yard drive to go back on top, 14-10, at 0:43 left.
ULM took its second lead of the game, 17-14, with 4:49 left in the first half as Kinsmon Lancaster threw 10 yards on third-and-goal to LaGregory Sapp for the touchdown, as Wilson added the extra point. The score capped a nine-play, 64-yard drive for the Warhawk lead.
An interception by ULM of a Paul Smith pass at the four-yard line, was returned to the ULM 35-yard line but a fumble bounced into Adams' hands and gave possession back to the Hurricane at the 36. Eight plays later a 34-yard field goal attempt by Jarod Tracy went wide left with 0:01 on the clock.
The first half ended with ULM ahead 17-14, but the Hurricane held a 269 to 155-yard edge in total offense.
Tulsa opened the second half like it started the game, as Paul Smith connected on his second touchdown pass of the game. True freshman A.J. Whitmore caught his first collegiate pass on a 15-yard touchdown toss from Smith to cap a nine-play, 59-yard drive in 3:46.
On Tulsa's next possession, another true freshman, Trae Johnson, also caught his first career pass for a 41-yard touchdown on his second play of the game. The TD capped a 59-yard, five-play drive for the Hurricane.
The Hurricane capped its scoring with a four-year run by Chris Chamberlain with 6:47 remaining in the game.
Scoring Summary 1st Quarter Tulsa (13:10) - Paul Smith 24 pass to Tarrion Adams(Tracy kick)7-0 ULM (11:00) - Cole Wilson 36 FG 7-3 ULM (2:16) - Matt Freeman 46 fumble return (Wilson kick) 7-10 Tulsa (0:43) - Tarrion Adams 5 run (Tracy kick) 14-10
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