TULSA, OK—A homecoming crowd of 21,815 saw the UTSA Roadrunners down the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane 34-15 on Saturday afternoon at H.A. Chapman Stadium on Saturday afternoon. It was a beautiful day for football, but it was also a day when anything that could go wrong for TU head coach Bill Blankenship’s young team pretty much went wrong.
When the game was still relatively manageable after the first UTSA touchdown, but after a 3-and-out by the Roadrunners the ensuing punt was muffed by Trey Watts at the TU 3 yard line and Nick Johnson recovered the ball in the TU end zone to make the hill that much steeper at 14-0 with 4:17 remaining in the first quarter.
UTSA’s Sean Ianno added a 41 yard field goal with 11:31 to go in the half to extend the lead to 17-0. The Roadrunners extended their lead to 24-0 when WR Kam Jones galloped 84 years into the Golden Hurricane end zone. It was the longest touchdown run in the three-year history of the UTSA football program.
TU finally dented the scoreboard when quarterback Dane Evans found receiver Jordan james in the UTSA end zone with six seconds remaining in the 3rd quarter. Evans put his team in position to score after a 56-yard completion to Keevan Lucas on the preceding play. Evans added the 2-point conversion to Thomas Roberson to put eight points on the board for the Hurricane.
The Roadrunners added a 31-yard field goal by Ianno and an 82-yard interception return by Triston Wade to seal the game for UTSA. The Golden Hurricane managed to add another touchdown with less than four minutes to go when Joseph Calagni hit Joshua Atkinson with a six yard strike. The extra point was good. It was a drop in the bucket as the game ended with TU on the light side of the Chapman Stadium big board.
In the end, the Golden Hurricane had 378 total yards, going for 221 through the air and 157 on the ground, but the Roadrunners totaled 400 yard, including 286 rushing and 114 passing. TU senior Trey Watts had 109 yards on the ground on 15 carries and had 151 all-purpose yards. Dane Evans completed 12-of-22 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown, and Keevan Lucas had 87 yards on 5 catches.
The most glaring statistic, aside from a lopsided scoreboard, was the four turnovers by the Golden Hurricane, three of which resulted in points on the board.
Coach Blankenship was philosophical after the game in his comments. “ Eventually we’ve got to quit quit playing losing football and play winning football. If we were only getting whipped, those are things you look and go, okay, well, personnel is an issue.” Blankenship said, “But we made it so easy to get the early ones with the choices we made and the opportunities. And sometimes, you know, you don’t choose to fumble the ball or throw interceptions, but those are still decisions that we have to live with.”
The loss drops TU to 2-6 overall and 1-3 in the conference with four game remaining on the schedule. All time the Golden Hurricane are now 49-36-3 in homecoming games. UTSA improves to 4-5 overall with a 3-2 record in C-USA. TU will now have to regroup before a road trip to East Carolina next Saturday. The next home game for Tulsa will be on November 14th Thursday evening tilt with Marshall.