Tulsa became bowl eligible and improved to 6-2 Saturday night with a 59-30 win over Memphis at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
Tulsa claimed a quick 14-0 lead with two scores from James Flanders. He capped a 12-play, 75-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown run for his first score and ran it 52-yards for his second.
The Tigers answered back with 7:57 left in the first quarter with a six-yard run to cut their deficit, 14-7.
Early in the second quarter, Dane Evans connected with Keevan Lucas for a 25-yard score, elevating the Golden Hurricane’s lead 21-7.
At this point, Tulsa set the tone and controlled the game’s tempo.
And it didn’t slow down there.
Flanders came up big for TU for the third time, making another end zone appearance after Trent Martin returned an interception for 25-yards to the Memphis three.
With the score, Flanders had already recorded 123 yards and three touchdowns with 8:03 remaining in the second. This marked Tulsa’s third time recording 100-plus yards with a single player in the first half this season.
But Memphis didn’t lay down. The Tigers soon answered back with a score to trim TU’s advantage 28-21.
A Golden Hurricane touchdown from Evans to Lucas again helped advance TU’s lead, 35-21. The score marked Tulsa’s fourth game of the year to score 30-plus points in the first half.
Entering intermission, TU led 35-24. Flanders wrapped the half with 138 rushing yards and three scores, the most for a Tulsa back this season.
Flanders was just as hot in the second half as he was the first, setting a new program single-game record with five rushing touchdowns, leading TU to a sealed victory over the Tigers.