Tulsa Holds Off UAB Despite Sloppy First Half
TULSA, Oklahoma – The Golden Hurricane probably didn't expect a first-half battle from UAB, but a conference win is a conference win.
Tulsa used a 37-20 win against the Blazers to move to 2-0 in C-USA play and even its overall record at 3-3.
Tulsa's G.J. Kinne and Clay Sears hooked up in the first half, followed by a Kevin Fitzpatrick field goal to make it 10-0.
But UAB came out with an offensive outburst – especially by its standards – in the first half.
The Blazers averaged fewer than 12 points per game coming into the contest (last in FBS) but nearly doubled that in the half.
They started with a 66 yard touchdown pass to Jamarcus Nelson to cut the lead to 10-7 by the end of the first.
Nelson's only two catches of the game were big ones, as he and UAB quarterback Bryan Ellis hooked up again less than two minutes later, this time on a 45-yarder to take their first lead of the game at 14-10.
Ty Long added a 20-yard field goal as the worst scoring team in D-I put Tulsa in a 17-10 hole midway through the second quarter.
But Kinne responded with back-to-back scoring strikes to Willie Carter and Clay Sears that came within two minutes of each other. Sears led TU's receiving corps with nine catches and 105 yards.
An impressive 49-yarder from UAB's long right before the half kept the Blazers right in striking distance at 24-20 at the break.
The second half was a little more like what Tulsa was expecting. The Golden Hurricane held UAB scoreless in the second, while adding two more field goals and another touchdown to give a final score that wasn't indicative of TU's first-half struggles.
Tulsa's turnovers are what kept Alabama-Birmingham in the game early. The Golden Hurricane lost three fumbles in the game to go with an interception from Kinne.
Kinne more than made up for his pick, however, with 341 yards and three touchdown passes in the victory.
Ja'Terian Douglas led an always-balanced Tulsa rushing attack with 137 yards and a score.
The Golden Hurricane put up some big numbers with 559 total yards on the day. They will travel to Rice next Saturday to take on the Owls at 6 p.m.