A KICK TO THE GUT

Tulsa World - - Work&money - By Kelly Hines

To de­feat a ranked team for the first time since 2010, the Uni­ver­sity of Tulsa needed one more first down.

Two min­utes re­mained against No. 23 South Florida on Fri­day night, and the Hur­ri­cane looked to its run game to seal the vic­tory. In­stead, what fol­lowed led to a 25-24 de­feat, as painful as any dur­ing the cur­rent five-game skid.

Af­ter a modest pickup by run­ning back Shamari Brooks and a 3-yard loss on a run by quar­ter­back Seth Boomer, TU faced third-and-11. Si­t­u­a­tional quar­ter­back Chad Pres­i­dent, who hadn't played, came in for an ill-fated hand­off to Brooks, who was tack­led for an­other 3-yard loss.

“I wasn't go­ing to put our red­shirt fresh­man quar­ter­back backed up in a third-and-11 sit­u­a­tion and ask him to do some­thing that would have been very, very dif­fi­cult on him,” coach Philip Mont­gomery said. “I thought it was more im­por­tant for the clock to run than to put him in that sit­u­a­tion and make sure that he's tak­ing care of the foot­ball.

“Right there, you turn it over, short field, all of those things, then you're ba­si­cally giv­ing them the game. So that's why we did what we did.”

Trail­ing by two, USF (6-0, 2-0 AAC) got the ball back with 63 sec­onds and ran seven plays. Aided by a per­sonal-foul penalty against Tre­vis Gip­son, the drive quickly moved into

Hur­ri­cane ter­ri­tory.

Quar­ter­back Blake Bar­nett con­nected with Tyre McCants for a 32yard gain to the 5-yard line, set­ting up a short field goal by Coby Weiss twi 2 sec­onds re­main­ing, prompt­ing a cel­e­bra­tion from one side­line and de­jec­tion from the other.

“Pretty tough one to swal­low,” Mont­gomery said. “I thought our guys played ex­tremely hard and I thought that for the most part we con­trolled that game.

“I can prom­ise you I'm proud of our men that are down in the locker room, with the ef­fort and the at­ti­tude that they're play­ing with and we're right there. We've got to con­tinue to keep work­ing, con­tinue to keep fin­ish­ing.”

The Hur­ri­cane (1-5, 0-3) en­tered the fourth quar­ter with a 14-point lead, hav­ing re­lied on 10-yard touch­down runs from Brooks on back-to-back drives. Be­cause of neg­a­tive-yardage plays, TU net­ted zero fi­nal pe­riod plays.

“I thought we had two re­ally good drives,” said Tulsa quar­ter­back Seth Boomer, who was mak­ing his first home start. “We just needed that third one and get­ting a first down at the end would've closed it. Not that we don't want to rely on de­fense, but when we are out there we want to fin­ish the game and we didn't do that.”

Play­ing a sig­nif­i­cant role in the of­fen­sive in­ef­fec­tive­ness was the ab­sence of left guard Tyler Bowl­ing, a vet­eran se­nior who left early in the fourth quar­ter with an in­jury.

“It's a huge Mont­gomery said. “Tyler, in my opin­ion, is a NFL player. He's guy that could do a lot of things to help us in the run game (with) him com­ing off the foot­ball and cre­at­ing some move­ment, and not hav­ing him is ob­vi­ously a big fac­tor.”

Mean­while, the Bulls gained 214 of their 487 yards in the fourth quar­ter to com­plete the rally. Bar­nett punched in the last two touch­downs, with the ex­tra-point at­tempted blocked by Jaxon Player on the first and the two-point con­ver­sion fail­ing on the sec­ond.

The most turnover­prone team in FBS, TU nearly pre­vailed while not throw­ing any in­ter­cep­tions or los­ing any fum­bles. With his re­ceivers well-cov­ered, Boomer was 6-of-21 pass­ing for 79 yards and a touch­down in his sec­ond start, and he com­bined with Brooks and run­ning back Javon Thomas to to­tal 220 rush­ing yards.

“The guys up front did a re­ally great job,” Boomer said. “I just have to com­plete (passes). That's re­ally what it comes down to. I thought the de­fense played their tails off. I just have to do my job.”

BRETT ROJO/for the Tulsa World

South Florida's Coby Weiss (left) kicks a game-win­ning 22-yard field goal against Tulsa at H.A. Chap­man Sta­dium on Fri­day. TU led by 14 points en­ter­ing the fourth quar­ter.

BRETT ROJO/for the Tulsa World

Tulsa quar­ter­back Seth Boomer throws a pass as South Florida de­fen­sive tackle Ty­rone Bar­ber (right) rushes in at H.A. Chap­man Sta­dium on Fri­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.