TULSA, OK—A crowd of 17,146 saw the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane fall to the Houston Cougars 38-24 on Saturday afternoon. Both teams were opening conference play in The American and looking for their first win.
The Golden Hurricane were defeated last week in Norman when the OU Sooners handed them a 52-38 loss. The Cougars came into the game sitting on a perfect 3-0 record, with their last game defeating Texas State 59-14.
Tulsa gained 456 yards on 88 plays, including 326 passing yards and 130 yards rushing. Junior quarterback Dane Evans was 26-of-44 passing, and junior Josh Atkinson led the Hurricane with 107 yards on six receptions. Senior running back Zack Langer led TU with 62 yards on 19 rushes and three touchdowns. Langer now has eight touchdowns in four games this season.
TU had the lead at the end of the first quarter 10-7, but the Cougars blanked them 14-0 in the second 15 minutes and had the lead 21-10 at the half. The Cougars scored the first points of the second half on a 21-yard field goal and increased its 11-point halftime lead to 14 with a 24-10 lead at the 7:17 mark of the third period. The Hurricane defense forced the field goal but holding the Cougars on a third-and-goal at the four-yard line. The Hurricane cut the Houston lead to seven points, 17-24, at the 4:52 mark of the third quarter. Tulsa’s Zack Langer capped a 73-yard, 10-play drive with a one-yard run on second-and-goal.
Tulsa and Houston traded turnovers in the next two possessions but the Cougars had the advantage as the one-two offensive punch of junior QB Greg Ward, Jr. and senior running back Kenneth Farrow were responsible for the visitor’s next three scores, putting Houston ahead 38-17 by the end of the third quarter.
In the end, Houston totaled 638 yards on 94 plays, including 365 rushing and 273 passing. UH quarterback Greg Ward Jr. passed for 273 yards and rushed for 182 yards and three touchdowns, and running back Kenneth Farrow gained 159 yards and scored two touchdowns.
A scary moment occurred in the third quarter when Golden Hurricane wide receiver Keeven Lucas was injured on a pass play that was broken up in the end zone. He landed awkwardly on his left leg attempting to catch a pass in the end zone and had to be carried off the field. His status for this week’s game with the University of Louisiana-Monroe is uncertain as is his status for the remainder of the 2015 season.
The Golden Hurricane added a touchdown in the fourth quarter to cut Houston’s lead to 38-24, but by that point the game was pretty much over. Zack Langer punched it through from a yard out with a little over a minute left and that was it for the game. Tulsa fall to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in conference play while Houston remains perfect at 4-0 overall and 1-0 in American conference play.
The Golden Hurricane’s next game is at home in Chapman Stadium at 5 pm against the University of Louisiana-Monroe.
Photos by Les Stockton, Tulsa Today