(Saturday, October 30th)
Final Score: Tulsa 28, Notre Dame 27
South Bend, IN (Sports Network) - John Flanders intercepted a pass in the end zone with 36 seconds remaining, sealing Tulsa's first-ever victory over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 28-27.
In addition to claiming their first win over Notre Dame, the Golden Hurricane (5-3) also picked up their first road win in five tries this season. G.J. Kinne threw for 196 yards and a touchdown, while he also led the team with 78 rushing yards. Damaris Johnson caught a touchdown and also scored on a third- quarter punt return for Tulsa.
For Notre Dame (4-5) freshman Tommy Rees threw for 334 yards and four touchdowns in place of Dayne Crist, who was knocked out of the game in the first quarter with a ruptured patella tendon in his left knee, which will end his season. Leading rusher Armando Allen was not able to play due to a hip injury, and his replacement, Cierre Wood, had 115 total yards and two TDs.
Prior kickoff, the campus honored fallen classmate Declan Sullivan, a student videographer who died earlier in the week while filming practice.
Tulsa got the scoring started, as Kinne tossed a nine-yard touchdown pass to Johnson at the 9:48 mark of the opening quarter.
But Notre Dame answered with a nine-play, 78-yard drive, capped by Rees' 10- yard touchdown pass to Michael Floyd. However, David Ruffer's extra-point attempt was blocked and returned the other way to give Tulsa a 9-6 advantage.
Tulsa kicker Kevin Fitzpatrick added three more points on a 37-yard field goal with just under three minutes to play in the first quarter, extending the Golden Hurricane's lead to 12-6.
The Irish responded once again, this time driving 58 yards in five plays to set up a 23-yard touchdown pass from Rees to Wood.
Notre Dame pushed its lead to 20-12 on Rees' four-yard touchdown pass to Floyd at the 8:10 mark of the second quarter.
The Tulsa defense came through with a big play in the final minute of the first half, as Shawn Jackson scored on a 66-yard interception return. However, the Golden Hurricane could not convert the two-point attempt, and still trailed, 20-18 at the break.
UND took a 27-18 lead on Rees' six-yard scoring strike to Wood at the 8:47 mark of the third quarter.
Johnson swung the momentum back in Tulsa's favor with a 59-yard punt return with 4:59 to play in the third quarter, cutting the deficit to 27-25.
Fitzpatrick put the Golden Hurricane on top by kicking a 27-yard field goal with 3:23 to play. Tulsa was able to keep that drive alive by converting a 3rd-and-26.
Trailing by one with less than a minute to play, UND had a 2nd-and-8 from the Tulsa 19 when Rees opted to go for the end zone and had his pass intercepted to end the threat.
With the loss, UND's senior class will leave the program as the losingest senior class in school history. Tulsa managed to win despite committing 12 penalties for 133 yards.
10/30 19:34:38 ET