Southern Methodist 24, Tulsa 14

Sunday, November 18th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Hard work paid off Saturday for Southern Methodist running back Keylon Kincade in the form of 169 yards and a touchdown in a 24-14 win over Tulsa.

SMU (3-6, 3-4 Western Athletic Conference) broke a two-game losing streak. Tulsa (1-9, 0-7 WAC) lost its ninth in a row.

Freshman ShanDerrick Charles has been SMU's top ball carrier lately but was hampered by turf toe during the week and again Saturday. That gave Kincade a chance to shine.

``I've been trying to work hard in practice to get another chance,'' Kincade said. ``I got it today and I was ready.''

Mustangs coach Mike Cavan said Kincade's work is an example to the whole team.

``He has had a great attitude and was ready to contribute,'' the fifth-year coach said. Kincade led SMU to its sixth straight win over Tulsa since the two joined the WAC in 1996.

Charles had 38 yards rushing and Derron Brown 39 as Cavan used five backs on the day and two quarterbacks.

David Page and Kelan Luker had identical stats, 4-of-7 with an interception each.

Tulsa got a late charge from Josh Blankenship, who came off the bench in the fourth quarter to throw for 170 yards and a score. But two fourth quarter touchdowns proved to be too little, too late.

Blankenship topped 5,000 career passing yards but is now third on Tulsa's depth chart behind Tyler Gooch and James Kilian.

Donald Shoals, who had 113 receiving yards, moved into sixth on the school's all-time receiving list with 2,375 yards.

Gooch threw two first quarter interceptions that set up SMU scores.

``You can't turn the football over in the first half when you're a struggling football team and give yourself the best chance to win,'' Tulsa coach Keith Burns said.

SMU led 17-0 early in the fourth quarter.

Ken Bohanon ran it in from the 1 with 4:44 left to put the Golden Hurricane on the board.

But Kincade answered with a 26-yard scoring run with 3:24 to go and the Mustangs were up 24-7.

Blankenship hit Shoals from 2-yards out for Tulsa's second touchdown with 1:48 remaining.

In the first quarter, Kevin Garrett picked off a Gooch's pass in Tulsa territory. Charles then took it in from the 4 after a 23-yard pass from Luker to Billy Ford set up the score.

Jonas Rutledge picked off a hurried throw from Gooch and ran in from the Tulsa 31 with 5:05 left in the first. Gooch went out with a left knee sprain on the play and didn't return.

Kilian was 7-of-11 for 72 yards before Blankenship entered the game.

SMU lost a fumble and Tulsa lost two in the game.

Blankenship threw one interception.