A very disappointing season for The University of Tulsa football team came to an end on Saturday as Temple defeated TU, 43-22, in front of 17,032 fans at H.A. Chapman Stadium.
Temple’s record improved to 6-6, 4-4 American Athletic Conference, making them bowl eligible, while the Golden Hurricane finished the season 2-10, 1-7 AAC.
“Well, it’s been a long year, and our team has faced a lot of adversity,” said Tulsa head coach Philip Montgomery after the game. “I’m proud of their resilience, the way they continued to battle. They stayed strong amongst each other and stayed strong on the field. We didn’t come out on top, but there’s a lot of life lessons that we learned this year.”
Tulsa took an early lead on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Chad President to Justin Hobbs, with 11:05 left in the first quarter. However, Temple kicked a field goal and scored a touchdown, to take a 10-7 lead before the end of the opening frame, and never looked back. The Owls led 31-13 at halftime.
The lone bright spot in the game for the Golden Hurricane came from star running back D’Angelo Brewer who rushed for 255 yards, giving him a school record three career 200-plus rushing games, his eighth 100-plus game of the year and a school record 17th 100-plus game of his career. However, he couldn’t carry the entire offense on his back, nor was he playing defense.
“Coming into this university, I would have never thought that this could happen,” Brewer said. “For me and my family, this is a blessing. We fly under the radar, so being able to have my name at the top of the charts is a legacy for my last name. I’ll be able to keep that with me forever and it will drive me throughout life.”
Tulsa is losing 19 seniors, six of whom didn’t play in this game, including four due to injury. Montgomery knows his team has its work cut out for it during the offseason, especially in regard to recruiting, but he feels positive about the future.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do ahead of us,” said Montgomery. “These seniors, you’ve got to take your hat off to them and how they’ve kept our locker room together and the way they continued to keep battling. They’ve set a good foundation for what this program is going to be built on.”
Injuries had a factor all season, but especially in this game as TU was without starting quarterback Luke Skipper going into the game, and backup quarterback President left with an injury in the second quarter. Sophomore Will Hefley III was pressed into his first-ever playing duties for the Hurricane when he replaced President and completed the game at QB.
“You’re really throwing Will to the wolves right there,” Montgomery said. “It’s a tough situation. They’re good on defense. I knew or I felt like we could come in and effectively run the football. Obviously when you look at the stats sheet and look what Brewer did tonight, he had 34 carries, we used him in a lot of different ways. Obviously when Chad went down, pretty evident that we were going to really try to run the football now. You know, 34 carries for 255 net, 257 overall, averaged 7.5 a carry, that’s an incredible night by him and those guys up front, knowing where we’re at. It was a tough situation for Will to have to try to come in and play, and he handled it the best he could handle it. But any time you go down two quarterbacks like that, it’s a tough stretch.”
Montgomery was asked if he could evaluate why the season went the way it did?
“I don’t know that you can categorize it into one thing, with all the injuries that we had, all the young guys that we played, all the different line ups that we put in the game,” he said. “You know, right now it’s probably pretty tough to kind of look back and reflect on the entirety of the year. But you know, we’ve faced a lot of adversity, and I don’t have the magic solution to it right now. I need some time to kind of sit and recapture and go through all of it. You know, we got better in some areas. We’ve got to get better in a lot more areas, but we’ve got to continue to just keep growing, and the young guys have got to continue to keep maturing in this process.”