For the third time in 391 days, the Golden Hurricane squared off with the Iowa State Cyclones.
And for the second time in those three meetings, turnovers and missed opportunities allowed Iowa State to earn a come-from-behind win over Tulsa.
TU coughed up the ball four times and squandered a 14-7 lead Thursday night, falling 38-21 at Chapman Stadium in Tulsa.
The score sounds bad, but it could have been a lot worse. Iowa State's Jeff Woody got the scoring started by pounding in a one-yard touchdown to put the Cyclones up with 6:31 left in the first quarter. Early in the second quarter, Cole Netten missed a 46-yard field goal attempt wide to the left and Tulsa dodged an early bullet.
On Tulsa's ensuing drive, Cody Green and Ja'Terian Douglas fouled up a handoff for the second time in the game, handing the ball right back to Iowa State. And for the second consecutive drive, Netten missed a field goal to keep the lead at 7-0. This time the miss came from 49.
Tulsa finally took advantage on its next drive, stringing together 69 yards on eight plays and tying the game at 7-7. Trey Watts capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown run, his second of the season. Watts finished with 107 yards of offense but just 38 on the ground.
After forcing a 3-and-out, the TU offense was back at it. Green found the long-lost Thomas Roberson in the back of the end zone for a spectacular touchdown grab.
Roberson had missed the first three games with an injury, but made a big impact in his debut. On this occasion, Roberson reached over the back of the defender and ripped the ball away for the touchdown. The junior wideout hauled in six balls for 63 yards and two touchdowns on the night.
But that was the final bright spot of the night for Tulsa, as Iowa State rattled off 24 straight points over 2+ quarters and seized complete control of the ball game.
Green was pulled early in the second half for backup Dane Evans, but Evans also failed to get the offense rolling. Green finished 18/31 for 237 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Evans tossed just 8/18 for 51 yards.
In addition to Roberson's breakout game, Jordan James continued to play like a No. 1 receiver for the Golden Hurricane. James hauled in eight balls for 86 yards on the night. The senior has 284 yards receiving this season.
Sophomore quarterback Sam Richardson shined for Iowa State, throwing 26/41 for 255 yards with two scores and one pick. He also carried for 25 yards.
The Cyclones gashed Tulsa on the ground, carrying 44 times for 179 yards and three touchdowns. ISU entered Thursday's game having rushed for a grand total of just 227 yards on the season, including zero touchdowns. Junior running back Aaron Wimberly entered with just 48 yards on the season, but dashed for 137 yards on 19 carries Thursday night. Senior power back Jeff Woody carried just six times for 12 yards, but found the end zone three times.
The Hurricane (1-3) must get over this loss quickly as they will prepare to host Conference USA west rival Rice next Saturday in Tulsa. It will be the C-USA opener for TU.
Tulsa has been outscored 150-78 in four games this season. The loss equals last season's loss total.
Iowa State (1-2) won its first game of the season and will host the Texas Longhorns next Saturday in its Big 12 opener.