Instant Analysis: Tulsa Survives To Beat Rice In Final Minutes

Saturday, October 20th 2012, 7:41 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa trailed most of the day, but came through in the clutch to take down the Rice Owls Saturday at Chapman Stadium. Stay tuned for the full game recap, but here's a quick rundown of how it happened:

What it means for Tulsa: This win means everything. The Golden Hurricane played without quarterback Cody Green and running back Trey Watts and still made just enough plays to win. This win keeps TU all alone in first place in Conference USA and allows the Hurricane to still have a little breathing room in the conference title race. It also lets the Hurricane take a seven-game winning streak into their headline matchup of the season in two weeks at Arkansas.

What it means for Rice: Rice wasn't much of a threat to contend in C-USA this season, coming into this matchup with a 0-3 conference record. But this one really hurts the Owls because of the way they lost. To have the lead for most of the game, including the final minutes, and not finish against a really good team will be hard to get over. Rice must now win the final four games of the season in order to qualify for a bowl game.

Play of the game: No question about this one. With 2:55 left in the game, the Hurricane trailed 24-21 and had it at its own 20. On the first play of the drive, Ja'Terian Douglas broke a Barry Sanders-like run and took it 75 yards all the way to the five. The numbers are unofficial, but I'll estimate Douglas broke 50 tackles on his way down the field. His incredible run set up the game-winning touchdown by Alex Singleton two plays later.

Game-Changing play: Tulsa appeared to be running on empty, trailing the Owls 21-14 and Rice had the ball, but then one of TU's leaders stepped up. Rice quarterback Taylor McHargue's pass was intercepted by safety Dexter McCoil at the Rice 28 yard line. That set up a 28-yard touchdown pass from Kalen Henderson to Keyarris Garrett one play later, and Tulsa was right back in the game.

It was over when: With just over a minute left, Rice had one last chance to drive for the win, but Lowell Rose stripped Rice's Jordan Taylor of the ball and Dexter McCoil (of course) recovered the fumble to ice the game.

Historical moment: For the second consecutive week, Alex Singleton gets the honor here. Singleton's one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter broke the tie with Tarrion Adams and Michael Gunter, and left him standing alone atop Tulsa's all-time rushing touchdown list.