The SMU Mustangs took a 14-7 halftime lead and never looked back Saturday, as they went on to hand the University of Tulsa a 21-18 Conference USA road loss before 19,329 fans at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas. The Mustangs ran their record to 4-2 overall while maintaining a perfect 3-0 C-USA record. Tulsa fell to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in conference play.
The Hurricane jumped on the board first in the contest when G.J. Kinne struck pay-dirt on a six-yard touchdown run to cap a 47-yard, seven play drive after the Tulsa defense forced a SMU punt on their first possession. On the ensuing Mustang possession Tulsa’s Dexter McCoil picked off quarterback Kyle Padron resulting in a Tulsa drive that stalled on the SMU 28-yard line. The Golden Hurricane, however, failed to convert the turnover into points when Kevin Fitzpatrick‘s 45-yard field goal attempt was partially blocked.
SMU then took over, marching the ball 72-yards downfield in five plays and tying the game on Padron’s 22-yard touchdown strike to Darius Johnson with 1:50 left in the first quarter. Padron followed up with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Cole Beasley with 3:54 left in the second quarter to put the Mustangs on top 14-7.
Padron put SMU ahead 21-7 in the third quarter, leading the Mustangs offense 76-yards in four plays, culminating in a 14-yard touchdown pass to Bradley Haynes. Padron finished the game with those three touchdown passes while passing for 381 yards. Kinne, his Tulsa counterpart, managed to gain 229 passing yards.
Following Padron’s third touchdown pass, the Golden Hurricane got back on the board on a 30-yard Fitzpatrick field goal that capped an eight-play, 56 yard drive. Down 21-10, a missed field goal by Fitzpatrick denied Tulsa the opportunity to make it a single-possession ballgame. However, the Hurricane defense held tough and allowed SMU to hold the ball for just 2:39 before forcing them to punt.
Tulsa got back into the game on the following possession, as they marched the ball 69-yards downfield in eight plays before Kinne scored on a three-yard run. Down by five points, Kinne connected with Charles Clay on a two-point conversion to make the score 21-18 with 6:53 remaining in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for the Hurricane, they would never get the chance to see the ball again as SMU mounted a 12-play drive that chewed up the remaining time on the clock.
The loss marks Tulsa’s third road loss and second conference road loss on the season. The Hurricane will finally get a chance to play a home conference game when they play host to Tulane (2-3, 0-1) on Saturday at H.A. Chapman Stadium. The game, which will serve as Homecoming for Tulsa, is set for a 6 p.m. kickoff. Tickets are available by calling 918-631-GOTU (4688) or online at tulsahurricane.com.