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Grading the Tulsa-Rice Game

Tulsa cornerback John Flanders goes up to defend a pass. (AP) Tulsa cornerback John Flanders goes up to defend a pass. (AP)

Originally Published: Oct 4, 2009 7:31 PM CDT

J.B. Long
Oklahoma Sports Anchor/Reporter

Offense: C-

Fumbled snaps, including a turnover.

Just 10 first half points and after an 80 yard drive to open the game, Tulsa only gained 32 yards before the break.

Fortunately, the Golden Hurricane came alive in the 3rd period, as G.J. Kinne completed 11-of-12 and produced 10 points.

Through five games, TU has yet to have a running back eclipse the century mark. Jamad Williams led the way against Rice with 72 rushing yards.

Defense: A-

Four sacks, 12 tackles for a loss, just 191 yards allowed... All part of a second half shutout.

John Destin, James Lockett, Mike Bryan and Odrick Ray each had five tackles in a very balanced, consistent effort.

However, the course of the game could have been different. On a blown assignment in the second quarter, Rice back Charles Ross was wide open at the goalline but dropped a sure touchdown pass. Instead of a 14-7 lead, the Owls came up empty.

Special Teams: A

Kevin Fitzpatrick was perfect on field goals and PATs.

Michael Such averaged 41 yards per punt including a 50-yarder. And Kinne showed him up by dropping a pooch kick inside the Rice 5-yard line.

Damaris Johnson's 75 yard kick return also put TU in position to kick a tying field goal just before the half.

Overall: B

Tulsa's stagnant offense made it seem like a less-than-impressive outing. But any coach in America will take a dominant defense and sound special teams victory, on the road, in conference play.

Still, TU gave Rice it's first lead of the season and the meager 112 yards of offense in the first half can't be overlooked.

Houston Weather: F

We didn't see the sun once in our 24 hour visit, and the steady drizzle won't be missed. Ready to be back in Tulsa.

For more, join us tonight on the Oklahoma Sports Blitz.

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