The Tulsa Golden Hurricane extended their record to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in Conference USA with a 33-11 home win over UTEP Thursday night, dropping the Miners to 1-6 on the season and 0-3 in the conference.
After a quiet first half where the teams exchanged field goals, Tulsa blew the game open in the third quarter, starting with a 14-play, 75-yard drive capped by an Alex Singleton 1-yard touchdown plunge to go up 13-3. Later in the third, halfback Ja'Terian Douglas broke an 81-yard touchdown run to extend the Tulsa lead to 16.
A minute later, UTEP quarterback Carson Meger was sacked and fumbled. The loose ball was picked up by linebacker Shawn Jackson and returned for the quarter's third Golden Hurricane touchdown, extending Tulsa's lead to 23 points.
UTEP managed to get into the end zone early in the fourth quarter when Meger connected with wideout Jordan Leslie for a 61-yard touchdown, and converted the two-point conversion to cut the lead to 26-11. Tulsa finally put the game out of reach by driving 77 yards in six plays, again culminating in a Singleton touchdown run.
Box Score Hero: Ja'Terian Douglas, who finished with 128 yards and a score on just 13 carries, with most of those yards coming on his third-quarter touchdown scamper. UTEP quarterback Carson Meger actually had a good night passing the ball, completing 16 of 23 attempts for 257 yards and a score. Meger threw an interception, though, and gave up a fumble.
Rankings Ramifications: Tulsa received two votes in this week's AP poll, but it is unlikely Thursday's win can catapult them into the top 25.
But Did They Cover? Tulsa entered the game a 17-point favorite and managed to cover, though the anemic first half doomed those that took the over.
For More On This Game: Head over to Miner Rush for more information on UTEP.
Next Week's Schedule: Tulsa returns to action next Saturday against Rice. UTEP hosts Tulane next weekend.