Tulsa Topples Houston 56-7 in C-USA Showdown
Nov. 10, 2007
Tulsa, Okla. - Tulsa improved to 7-3 overall and 5-2 in C-USA action, while the Cougars dropped to 6-4 and 5-2 in league play. With the victory Tulsa has the advantage over Houston for the C-USA West Division title and can clinch the crown in the final game of the season with a victory at Rice.
With Smith's 37-yard touchdown pass to Dion Toliver in the third quarter, he became both the school's career and single-season passing leader. Smith broke TJ Rubley's career record and Billy Guy Anderson's 1965 single season record. With that pass he also tied the single season touchdown passes record of 32 which was set by Jerry Rhome in 1964. Smith now has 9,338 career yards and 3,467 passing yards this year.
Smith also threw for five touchdown passes and ran for another, in tying his season and career-bests of five TD passes. He finished with his 10th 300+ yard passing game as he completed 15 of 28 passes for 313 yards. It wasn't only Smith and the offense that put on a show, as the Hurricane defense was dominant. The Tulsa defense forced a season-high five turnovers with three interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
Tulsa amassed 515 total yards of total offense, while holding the Cougars to 30 points under its season scoring average and 198 yards under its total offense yardage.
The Hurricane scored 35 first-half points and scored all 56 of its points before the Cougars were able to get on the scoreboard for the first and only time with just 2:25 left in the contest.
Tulsa jumped out to a 7-0 lead after taking its first possession 63 yards in nine plays, as Paul Smith scored from three yards out on his 10th rushing touchdown of the season.
In the first half, the Cougars had its closest penetration in Tulsa territory late in the second quarter. Houston went 49 yards in eight plays to the Tulsa eight-yard line, but the Hurricane defense stiffened and forced a Houston 25-yard field goal, which was blocked by Tulsa nose guard Brandon Jones.
The Hurricane deflated any hopes of the Cougars by scoring three times within the final 3:24 of the first half to take a 35-0 halftime lead.
Tulsa took a 21-0 lead at the 3:24 mark of the second quarter as Smith and Marion hooked up for their second TD connection of the game, this time for 32 yards, capping a five-play, 48-yard drive. After Tulsa's Nelson Coleman forced a Houston fumble, Smith used just one play to put the Hurricane ahead 28-0 as he threw 51 yards to Charles Clay. With one second remaining on the first half clock, Smith rifled an 11-yard scoring strike to tight end Jake Collums for its 35-0 halftime lead.
At halftime, Tulsa held a 309 to 169-yard advantage in total offense while the Cougars held more than a 90-second edge in possession time.
The Hurricane came out in the second half and scored two more times in the third quarter as Smith threw his fifth TD of the game with his record-setting pass to Toliver at the 10:50 mark. On Tulsa's next possession, Trae Johnson returned a punt 37 yards to the Houston 18 yard-line and three plays later Tarrion Adams ran in from two yards out to give the Hurricane a 49-0 lead.
Tulsa added to the onslaught with a 52-yard, 10-play drive for a 56-0 lead at the 11:35 mark of the fourth period. Jamad Williams ran in from 10 yards for the final Hurricane score.
Tulsa steps out of Conference USA action next week as the Hurricane travels to play the Army Black Knights in West Point, NY. Game time on ESPN Classic is scheduled for 11:00 am (CT).
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