Tulsa Stops UTEP, 33-11
Oct. 11, 2012
TULSA, Okla. - Alex Singleton ran for two touchdowns to lead Tulsa past UTEP, 33-11, Thursday evening in front of a crowd of 18,961 fans at H.A. Chapman Stadium.
The Golden Hurricane (6-1, 4-0 C-USA) won its sixth game in a row, and has now won 16 of its last 17 league contests. TU led, 6-3, at the half, and outscored the Miners (1-6, 0-3 C-USA), 27-8 in the second half.
Singleton tied the Tulsa career rushing touchdowns record with his two scores Thursday. The 6-1, 260 pound senior from LaPlace, La., now has 32 rushing touchdowns in his career, matching the totals of Michael Gunter (1980-83) and Tarrion Adams (2005-08).
"We just encouraged them to execute a little better and finish drives," Tulsa Head Coach Bill Blankenship said of what adjustments the team made at halftime. "We got in there twice and had to kick field goals offensively. We were playing well on defense. We were playing a little soft early on, and we just had to stay the course and play with a little more passion. We were playing and executing, but not playing with a passion, and that was really my encouragement at halftime."
Singleton rushed 21 times for 96 yards, while junior tailback Ja'Terian Douglas led TU with 128 yards, including an 81-yard touchdown sprint. The Golden Hurricane totaled 281 rushing yards in the game, and outgained the Miners, 479-407 in total yards.
"The thing about Alex is, he has now, to me, inserted himself in the three-man rotation as opposed to just being a guy that we needed at certain times," Blankenship said. "He really has become a force for us. It has given us a whole different dimension that's kind of like throwing a curveball or a changeup."
UTEP quarterback Carson Meger, who replaced Nick Lamaison after the starter left the game with an injury, completed 16-of-23 passes for 257 yards and the Miners' only touchdown of the night. The Miners passed for 376 yards in the contest, while TU put up 198 yards through the air.
DeAundre Brown tallied 14 tackles to lead the Hurricane defense, which forced three turnovers and totaled 10 tackles for loss and six sacks. TU held UTEP to just 31 yards rushing in 33 attempts
The Tulsa defense held UTEP to a three-and-out giving up just three yards on the opening possession, and took over on its own 20 after a 71-yard punt by Ian Campbell. The hurricane then drove 67 yards in 12 plays, fueled by 33-yard catch-and-run from Green to Trey Watts, and took a 3-0 lead on Daniel Schwarz's 31-yard field goal.
The Miners matched Tulsa's field goal on the ensuing drive, moving 80 yards in 11 plays, and tied the score at 3-3 with a 19-yard field goal by Steven Valadez with 5:46 left in the first quarter.
Green completed a 41-yard pass to Thomas Roberson down to the Miner 20, but was stripped downfield and UTEP recovered the fumble. The Miners drove to the TU 49, but the defense held on 3rd-and-5 when DeAundre Brown sacked Lamaison for an eight-yard loss.
After each team traded punts, Tulsa took over on its own 17, and drove 76 yards in 19 plays to a 25-yard Schwarz field goal to re-take the lead at 6-3. The Tulsa drive initially stalled at the UTEP 18, and with 4th-and-6, the Hurricane attempted a 36-yard field goal that went wide left. An offsides penalty on the Miners, however, gave Tulsa new life at 4th down and less-than-one yard. The Golden Hurricane dialed up power back Alex Singleton, who gained the needed yardage with ease. Tulsa took advantage of its second chance on the drive and made the 25-yard field goal attempt.
The Golden Hurricane scored touchdowns on each of its first three opportunities of the second half. TU received the kick to begin the second half, and promptly drove 75 yards in 14 plays to extend its lead to 13-3. Alex Singleton plunged in from one yard out for his 12th rushing score of the season and 31st of his career.
Lowell Rose intercepted Carson Meger in the end zone, stopping the Miner scoring threat and gave Tulsa the ball on its 20 yard line. After a one-yard loss, Ja'Terian Douglas raced 81 yards for a touchdown, extending the Hurricane lead to 19-3, after the PAT sailed wide left.
On the next UTEP possession, Meger was hit as he threw fumbling before his hand moved forward, and Shawn Jackson picked up the ball and ran unchallenged 17 yards to the end zone, putting Tulsa ahead 26-3.
UTEP ended a 10-quarter touchdown drought with a 61-yard pass from Meger to Jordan Leslie with 11:06 left in the fourth quarter. The long touchdown was the only play of the drive that followed a Tulsa punt, and made the score 26-11 in favor of the home team. The touchdown-less streak lasted since the first quarter of the game against East Carolina on Sept. 29.
Singleton scored his record-tying touchdown with 8:46 left in the game from 10 yards out. The run capped a six-play, 77-yard drive. The big play on the drive was a 55-yard catch-and-run down the left sideline by Zack Langer.
Tulsa returns to action Oct. 20 to face Rice in its annual Homecoming contest at 2:30 p.m. at Chapman Stadium. Tickets for the game are still available and can be purchased online at www.TulsaHurricane.com, by calling 918-631-GoTU (4688) or stopping by the TU Athletic Ticket Office, Mon-Fri, 8:30-5 p.m.
SCORING SUMMARY Qtr. Time Team Play Score 1 9:57 Tulsa Daniel Schwarz 31 FG 3-0 1 5:46 UTEP Steven Valadez 19 FG 3-3 2 4:54 Tulsa Schwarz 25 FG 6-3 3 9:38 Tulsa Alex Singleton 1 run (Schwarz PAT) 13-3 3 3:36 Tulsa Ja'Terian Douglas 81 run (PAT failed) 19-3 3 2:21 Tulsa Shawn Jackson 17 fumble return (Schwarz PAT) 26-3 4 11:06 UTEP Carson Meger 61 pass to Jordan Leslie (Meger pass to Jim Jones PAT) 26-11 4 8:46 Tulsa Singleton 10 run (Schwarz PAT) 33-11
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