TULSA 51, Indiana St. 0

Friday, August 31st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Josh Blankenship gave credit for 337 yards passing and two touchdowns to the coaching staff after Tulsa dominated Division I-AA Indiana State 51-0 in the season opener for both Thursday.

``Our offense tonight is a credit to the coaches and how they've improved the system,'' Blankenship said.

The third-year starter connected on 83 percent of his passes, topped 300 yards in a game for the third time at TU and surpassed 4,000 career passing yards.

``What we had tonight was an excellent quarterback who's smart and makes good decisions,'' coach Keith Burns said.

Eric Richardson rushed for 75 yards and had 50 yards receiving as Tulsa won its sixth straight over Indiana State.

Burns also got a good look at backup quarterbacks Tyler Gooch and James Kilian. Gooch passed for 42 yards and ran for 44, and Kilian ran for the game's final score.

``There's certainly a point where everybody can go in and can help our football team win and that's what we want to continue and find ways to do,'' Burns said.

Sycamore coach Tim McGuire said his team was overwhelmed by Tulsa's speed on offense and defense.

``I was hoping we would score at least a touchdown, at least get 10 points out of the game,'' he said. ``We would sure feel a whole lot better about ourselves.''

Tulsa scored three second-quarter touchdowns off turnovers.

Indiana State starter Jamie Dishroom passed for only 8 yards, and was replaced by Julian Reese after a second-quarter interception. Reese sprained his ankle in the third quarter.

Tulsa led 34-0 at the half, and Chris Earnest's field goal made it 37-0 in the third quarter. Blankenship's brother, Caleb Blankenship, caught a 16-yard pass from Tyler Gooch, and quarterback James Kilian scored on a 6-yard run.

Richardson ran for 50 yards and scored all three touchdowns in the first half.

His 3-yard run opened the scoring midway through the first quarter, and he had two 1-yard scoring runs in the second quarter. His final score came after Tulsa linebacker Jason Wiltshire fell on Sosepriala Dede's fumble deep in Indiana State territory.

Keithan McCorry picked off Dishroom's pass, and Blankenship connected with Brandon Birks for a 45-yard touchdown pass to put Tulsa up 27-0.

Tulsa defensive end Brad Hawkins fell on a fumbled pitch at the Indiana State 40, and Blankenship hit tight end Jarrod Roach for a 10-yard scoring play.