Tulsa Falls Short in Shootout at UTEP 48-47
Oct. 7, 2007
El Paso, Texas -- UTEP scored 27 second-half points to overcome a two-point halftime deficit and hand Tulsa a 48-47 defeat in front of 35,676 fans at Sun Bowl Stadium. The Hurricane had a last second chance but a Jarod Tracy field goal went wide left as time expired.
With Tulsa ahead 47-41, the Miners marched 76 yards in 11 plays in just 3:36 to tie the score at 47, while the PAT by Jose Martinez gave UTEP the one-point lead and eventual victory with 0:58 remaining in the game.
Paul Smith's record fifth 300+ passing game wasn't enough to keep the Hurricane undefeated in Conference USA play. Tulsa dropped to 3-2 overall, and 1-1 in the West Division of C-USA, while the Miners improved to 4-2 and 2-0.
The two teams combined for 1,218 yards and 95 points, while Tulsa went for over 600 yards for the second straight game with 648 total yards.
Smith threw for 383 yards and two TDs, while Brennan Marion and Trae Johnson each had over 100 yards receiving, tallying 136 and 127 yards, respectively. True freshman Charles Clay led the Tulsa rushing attack with 112 yards and one TD on 11 carries.
UTEP's Trevor Vittatoe passed for 319 yards and three TDs, while Marcus Thomas rushed for 134 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Miners
Tulsa came out in the second half and marched 80 yards in 13 plays, taking 4:55 off the clock, and scoring on its first second half possession for the fifth time this year. Charles Clay ran the final 10 yards for the score, putting the Hurricane ahead 30-21 at the 10:05 mark of the third quarter.
UTEP used a 78-yard pass play from Vittatoe to Jeff Moturi at the 5:32 mark of the third period to cut Tulsa's lead to two points, 30-28. The Hurricane scored at the start of the fourth quarter on a Smith one-yard run, capping a 10-play 71-yard drive.
The Miners, though, took the next possession 65 yards in five plays as Thomas scored his third TD of the game on a 38-yard run with 12:33 left in the contest, cutting the Tulsa lead to 37-35.
On the subsequent UTEP possession, the Hurricane defense stopped the Miners at the Tulsa 33-yard line on fourth-and-one, as Nelson Coleman came up with the stop on the Miners' Thomas.
UTEP took the lead, 41-37 on a Lorne Sam 22-yard pass to Jeff Moturi, but the two-point conversion pass was intercepted by Tulsa's Nick Henderson as he raced 100 yards to give the Hurricane two points and keeping the Miners lead to just two points, 41-39.
Tulsa regained the lead 47-41 on a 72-yard, nine-play drive that saw Smith score his third one-yard TD run, but then the Miners put together its winning drive in the final four minutes.
UTEP took the game's opening possession 78 yards in nine plays to put the first seven points on the board, as Thomas ran in from the three-yard line for the score. Tulsa responded on its first possession to knot the score with a 28-yard pass from Smith to Trae Johnson, capping a seven-play, 80-yard drive.
The Hurricane took the subsequent possession to the UTEP four-yard line, but could only manage a 23-yard Jarod Tracy field goal. The Miners took its next possession and marched down the field once again to take a 21-10 lead at the 12:10 mark of the second quarter on Thomas' second touchdown run of the game.
Brennan Marion adjusted in mid-air to catch a 51-yard pass, which took the Hurricane to the two-yard line, and Smith plunged in for the final yard to put six points on the board. The PAT was missed by Tracy, thus making the score 21-16.
Tulsa then forced a UTEP fumble on the Miners next possession, but UTEP intercepted a Hurricane pass stopping any chance for Tulsa to cut into the five-point UTEP lead.
But, the Hurricane got the ball back with under three minutes left on the clock and marched 80 yards in nine plays in 2:40 to take a 23-21 lead into halftime.
At the intermission, despite only having possession of the ball for 12:06 the Hurricane held a 353 to 259-yard edge in total offense. Tulsa had 265 of those yards via the air with 88 yards on the ground, while the Miners had 120 yards rushing and 139 yards passing.
Tulsa will be back at H.A. Chapman Stadium next Saturday as the Hurricane Hosts the Marshall Thundering Herd on Homecoming. Game time is set for 6:00 pm (CT).
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