Victory puts Tulsa already ahead of the game

Monday, October 2nd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

HONOLULU (AP) -- Tulsa has already bettered its win total from 1999 and Keith Burns is looking for more -- a lot more.

After taking care of Hawaii 24-14 Saturday, Burns said, "Now, we've got three wins in a row and two games in conference. I'd say we've got a little momentum going."

The Golden Hurricane (3-2, 2-0 Western Athletic Conference), looking for its first winning season since 1991, turned a fake reverse on a punt return into a 41-yard touchdown run by Donald Shoals and the wide receiver later teamed up with Josh Blankenship on a 10-yard scoring pass for an insurance TD in the final quarter to highlight the night.

But Burns looked at his defense in providing the key to victory.

"What we want to be when we come on the road is be solid on defense," he said. "There are too many things you can count on that can take your offense out of it -- the crowd, noise, weather, wind, the surface.

"So, you've always got to bring your defense."

Not to mention trickery.

In last week's win at Louisiana Tech, the Golden Hurricane ran a reverse on a punt.

"I'm sure Hawaii watched the film and saw that," Shoals said.

"That's why we ran a reverse fake. As soon as I faked the ball, there wasn't anyone around. It was all daylight, basically."

Tulsa's defense bent in the third and early fourth quarter, but stiffened in time to hold off the Warriors (0-3, 0-2).

True freshman Timmy Chang, making his first start, brought Hawaii to within 3 points, 17-14, on a 29-yard pass to Justin Colbert and Avion Weaver's 15-yard run.

The Warriors thought they had gone ahead early in the third period when Chang hooked up with Ashley Lelie on a 67-yard pass.

But a personal foul penalty nullified the play and the Hawaii offense stalled and, on the ensuing punt, Shoals returned it 27 yards to the Hawaii 29.

Six plays later, the Blankenship-Shoals duo combined for the insurance score.

On the personal foul call, tackle Kynan Forney was cited for putting his hand in the face mask of Tulsa's Sammy Umobong.

"I pulled my arm up, but it wasn't intentional," Forney said.

For Burns, the yellow flag in the Hawaii backfield brought a sigh of relief.

"It was critical for us because it was a touchdown," he said.

"But you've got to play within the rules. You block a guy in the face; that's a penalty."

Hawaii Coach June Jones wasn't in a charitable mood and said, "It's frustrating, but that's the way it goes."

There was also controversy on the Blankenship-Shoals TD with the Warriors arguing the play clock had run out. However, the officials did not make the call and the score stood.

"I have no comment," was all Jones would say.

The Warriors didn't help themselves by getting whistled for 15 penalties, costing them 132 yards.

Chang finished the game with 31 completions on 48 attempts for 313.

"I thought Timmy did some really nice things," Jones said.

"We had some drops that really killed some drives, but, all in all, he did a nice job for his first start.

"And to think he's only a freshman. There's a lot of great things ahead."

Overall, Jones said he was pleased with his team's performance.

"We showed some character," he said. "We came back, made a game out of it, which we didn't do in the first two games.

"We handled adversity better and that was positive and we'll grow on that."