Last-se­cond kick stuns Tulsa

Hur­ri­cane, who once led by 21 points, gives up a sea­son-high 679 yards

Tulsa World - - Gameday - By Kelly Hines Kelly Hines 918-581-8452 kelly.hines@tul­ Twit­ter: @Kel­lyHi­nesTW

TOLEDO, Ohio — The de­fense ranked last na­tion­ally in sur­ren­dered yards per game took an­other beat­ing Satur­day night.

In a wild 54-51 de­feat at Toledo, the Univer­sity of Tulsa gave up a sea­son-high 679 yards and was burned on three touch­down passes that each went for at least 60 yards.

“We just didn't tackle good enough,” line­backer Craig Suits said on postgame ra­dio. “We didn't cover good enough. We didn't step up to the plate when we needed to in the se­cond half.”

As time ex­pired at the his­toric Glass Bowl, Jame­son Vest nailed a 33-yard field goal to de­liver the Rock­ets' vic­tory, an in­cred­i­ble come­back after trail­ing by 21 points in the se­cond quar­ter.

In a track-meet game that was tied with 10 min­utes left and again with 2:47 to go, Tulsa pro­duced on of­fense while rush­ing for 423 yards, a yard shy of the pre­vi­ous week's to­tal against Louisiana. For the first time since 1986, three Hur­ri­cane rush­ers hit the 100-yard mark: quar­ter­back Chad Pres­i­dent and run­ning backs D'An­gelo Brewer and Shamari Brooks.

In an­other of­fen­sive show­case, the teams com­bined for 1,227 yards, 13 touch­downs and six punts.

Said Tulsa coach Philip Mont­gomery: “It was two good of­fenses go­ing at each other with bal­anced at­tacks, and that makes it dif­fi­cult to de­fend.”

De­fend­ing Toledo quar­ter­back Lo­gan Wood­side and his top tar­gets Cody Thomp­son and Dion­tae John­son proved im­pos­si­ble for the shaky Hur­ri­cane se­condary. Thomp­son and John­son to­taled 320 re­ceiv­ing yards and five touch­downs.

After John­son scored back-to­back touch­downs in the fourth quar­ter to give the Rock­ets a seven-point lead with eight min­utes left, Tulsa had to play with­out re­li­able de­fen­sive end Jesse Brubaker, who was ejected for tar­get­ing.

Brooks knot­ted the score with a 1-yard run to con­clude a drive that took more than five min­utes, giv­ing the Hur­ri­cane de­fense a lengthy rest to re­group. But a pair of costly penal­ties on the fi­nal drive ben­e­fited Toledo, which eas­ily marched into the red zone and drained the clock for the win­ning field goal.

“It was a hard-fought game,” Mont­gomery said. “I thought both teams had op­por­tu­ni­ties. It was one of those games that comes down to the fi­nal sec­onds.”

In the third quar­ter, Toledo com­pleted its rally with two scores in a row from Thomp­son to take a three-point lead. With a 48-yard burst, Pres­i­dent set up a short touch­down run by Brewer, but the ex­tra-point at­tempt was blocked and re­turned 100 yards by Josh Teachey for two points.

Tulsa's heart­break­ing loss fol­lowed a three-touch­down first quar­ter that helped to build a 28-7 ad­van­tage. The Hur­ri­cane (1-2) churned out an 18-play drive on its first se­ries to score on an 8-yard touch­down run by Pres­i­dent.

After the teams traded 60-yard plays in the span of a minute, Tulsa's de­fense set­tled in and forced a three-and-out, fol­lowed by a 37-yard pick-six from Suits late in the first quar­ter.

“As soon as they snapped the ball, we knew what was com­ing, just had to snake un­der it,” Suits said. “(Wood­side) threw it right to me and I took it to the house.”

Brewer and Brooks com­bined for 195 yards in the first half, and Brooks scored twice. The se­cond was set up by Justin Hobbs' 39-yard catch, putting the Hur­ri­cane up 21 and si­lenc­ing the home crowd.

With 28 sec­onds left in the first half, the Rock­ets reached the end zone again, on a 26-yard throw from Wood­side to Thomp­son. Toledo had 10 penal­ties for 109 yards in the first half and fin­ished with 15 for 164 yards.

ERIC UPCHURCH/for the Tulsa World

Tulsa's Shamari Brooks runs up­field en route to a 63-yard touch­down in the first quar­ter against Toledo on Satur­day.

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