(Friday, November 26th)
Final Score: Tulsa 56, Southern Mississippi 50
Tulsa, OK (Sports Network) - G.J. Kinne threw for 406 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Tulsa Golden Hurricane to a thrilling, 56-50 decision over the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles in a Conference-USA bout at H.A. Chapman Stadium.
Willie Carter hauled in two touchdown passes, and finished the game with 93 yards on four receptions for Tulsa (9-3, 6-2 C-USA). Carter, also found the end zone on the ground and finished the game with 52 rushing yards, but it was Damaris Johnson that paced this ground attack, as he rumbled for 78 yards and one score.
Austin Davis threw for 371 yards and two touchdowns in the loss for Southern Miss (8-4, 5-3), while Quentin Pierce hauled in one of those touchdown passes, finishing the game with 115 yards on four catches. Desmond Johnson, who tallied 86 rushing yards, scored twice on the ground, while Kendrick Hardy led the rushing attack with 91 yards.
The Golden Hurricane took a 7-0 lead less than two minutes in the matchup, as Kinne connected with Ricky Johnson for a 40-yard touchdown.
The Golden Eagles wasted little time responding, as Francisco Llanos returned the ensuing kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown.
Tulsa regained the lead midway through the opening frame when Johnson broke free for a 46-yard touchdown scamper, and just over a minute later the Golden Hurricane push their lead to 21-7 when Kinne plunged into the end zone from the one-yard line.
Danny Hrapmann cut Southern Mississippi's deficit to 21-10 with just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter, as the kicker drilled a 31-yard field goal.
Tulsa capped off a six-play, 80-yard drive early in the second stanza when Kinne connected with Jameel Owens for a 27-yard scoring strike.
However, the Golden Eagles took the momentum into the break, after scoring two touchdowns to close out the first half down 28-24. The first score came on the defensive side of the football, as Deron Wilson returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown.
The second score came with less than two minutes left in the first half, as Davis hit Deon Hodges with a 24-yard touchdown pass.
The Golden Eagles struck first in the second half and took their first lead of the matchup when Johnson score on a 28-yard touchdown scamper.
It did not take Tulsa long to answer back, as Kinne hooked up with Carter for a 67-yard pass and catch that put the Golden Hurricane back on top, 35-31.
Hrapmann's 24-yard field goal brought the Golden Eagles within one-point of tying the matchup.
However, just seconds into the final stanza the Golden Hurricane pushed their lead to eight points when Kinne and Carter hooked up again, this time for a 12-yard scoring strike.
The Golden Eagles responded with a 10-play, 64-yard drive which was capped off by a one-yard touchdown plunge by Johnson.
Once again, however, Tulsa wasted little time with its retort, as the Golden Hurricane went back up by eight points, thanks to a 41-yard touchdown run by Carter.
Less than a minute later Davis connected with Pierce for a 67-yard scoring strike, but the quarterback's pass for a two-point conversion was unsuccessful, leaving Tulsa in the lead by two points.
Kinne's three-yard touchdown run late in the final frame put Tulsa up nine points, and even though Hrapmann added a 44-yard kick for Southern Miss less than two minutes later, the Golden Eagles would come no closer, as the Golden Hurricane were able to hold on for the six-point win.
11/26 23:54:14 ET