Tulsa beats Conference USA foe Rice
TULSA, Okla. (AP)—David Johnson threw for 177 yards and four touchdowns and A.J. Whitmore had 83 yards and two scores as Tulsa shook off Rice in the second half and rolled to a 63-28 victory Saturday night.
The Golden Hurricane (5-0, 2-0 Conference USA) had a 21-14 halftime lead when they broke open the game early in the third quarter. Tulsa’s Slick Shelley caught a rollout punt from Rice punter Kyle Martens at the Rice 25 and raced to the end zone.
Then Kenny Sims picked off Chase Clement, setting up a Tulsa drive capped by Johnson’s 21-yard pass to Charles Clay for the score.
Rice cut the lead to 35-21, but the Golden Hurricane defense limited the Owls (3-3, 2-1 CUSA) to one more score after that.
Clement completed 22 of 42 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns, but besides being intercepted, he fumbled once and was sacked three times.
Tarrion Adams led all rushers with 112 yards and Charles Opeseyitan had 93. The Golden Hurricane piled up 577 yards, including a season-high 386 on the ground.
Despite the outcome, the first half was competitive. Tulsa, scored on a 15-yard run by Whitmore and Johnson’s touchdown passes of 7 yards to Brennan Marion and 20 yards to Damaris Johnson.
Rice countered with a 2-yard run by James Casey and a 25-yard strike from Clement to Jarett Dillard, his 51st career touchdown reception. That broke an NCAA record of 50 held by Troy Edwards of Louisiana Tech.
It was the 42nd time Dillard and Clements have hooked up for a touchdown reception, adding to their NCAA mark set the previous week.
Tulsa scored more than 50 points in its fourth consecutive game, something that hasn’t happened since the 1919 season.