For the second week in a row, a field goal at the end of the game decided the fate of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. This time it came down to a 53-yard field goal with no time left on the clock, as New Mexico defeated Tulsa, 16-13, Saturday at H.A. Chapman Stadium.
“The biggest part is two weeks in a row, game-winning field goals to end it, those are tough losses,” said Tulsa head coach Philip Montgomery. “But, we’ve got to stay positive. We’ve got to stay confident about what we’re doing.”
The winning field goal for the Lobos was the third field goal of the game for Jason Sanders. He also put the ball through the uprights from 34 yards and from 39 yards in the second quarter.
Although Tulsa played much better defense in this game, the offense had trouble keeping the ball and the momentum.
“I was proud of the guys and the way they played,” said Montgomery. “I thought our defense played well all game long and gave us opportunities to go win the game, and offensively, we didn’t capitalize on those things.”
A crowd of 18,026 watched Tulsa’s record slip to 1-3, and New Mexico improved to 2-2.
New Mexico scored on the team’s opening drive of the game, as quarter back Coltin Gerhart carried the ball 19 yards for a touchdown.
Tulsa answered with a 50-yard field goal by Redford Jones, with 7:45 left in the first quarter. It was the longest of his career.
D’Angelo Brewer, once again, was a bright spot for the Golden Hurricane. Brewer scored on a four-yard TD run with 12:49 left in the second quarter to tie the game, 10-10. Brewer had his 12th career 100-plus yard rushing game with 131 yards on 16 carries.
New Mexico had a 13-10 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, Jones kicked a 36-yard field goal to tie the game, 13-13.
With 11:36 left in the fourth quarter, Tulsa’s Craig Suits intercepted a Gerhart pass on the 19-yard line and returned it to the 37. However, TU wasn’t able to capitalize on that possession.
As time was running out, the Lobos lined up to kick a 48-yard field goal, but they were flagged for a five-yard penalty, making the field goal attempt 53-yards. Sanders had more than enough distance and accuracy, and the field goal sealed the win for New Mexico, with no time remaining.
New Mexico ran up 446 total yards of offense, while Tulsa managed only 286, however, the most glaring stat was “time of possession.” New Mexico controlled the football for over 42 minutes, while Tulsa had the ball for only 17-plus minutes. It’s difficult to win a game when you can’t keep the other team off the field.
Montgomery admitted time of possession was a factor in this game.
“I think obviously that’s part of it,” he said. “We didn’t find our rhythm all day. We would hit a play here or there but we didn’t capitalize on some of those plays.”
Tulsa will host Navy this Saturday at 2:30 p.m.