TU must beat Navy or Tulane to get a bowl invitation

And then there were two.

There are only two games left on the schedule for the University of Tulsa Football team and they must win at least one of those games to become bowl eligible.

On Saturday, Tulsa and Cincinnati battled in what has become the norm for TU this season – a high scoring game – but the Bearcats came out on top 49-38  in front of 35,015 fans at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati became bowl eligible with its sixth win of the season (6-4 overall, 3-3 American Athletic Conference), while the Hurricane fell to 5-5 and 2-4 in the AAC.

It was another one of those games with a lot of offense. The two teams combined for 1,248 yards as Cincinnati had 652 total yards, while Tulsa put up 588 yards of offense. Cincinnati has the fifth-ranked offense in the country, while Tulsa is ranked 12th in the nation.

Tulsa quarterback Dane Evans completed 30-of-49 passes for 375 yards, while Keyarris Garrett caught nine of those passes for 168 yards and one TD. Ramadi Warren had his second straight 100-yard rushing game with 139 yards and two touchdowns.

The Golden Hurricane never quit. Tulsa scored on a D’Angelo Brewer two-yard carry for a touchdown, and with the PAT, it brought the Hurricane to within 11 points at 42-31, with 5:08 left in the game.

After Cincinnati scored for a 49-31 lead with 1:01 left to play, Evans connected with Garrett on a 46-yard TD pass, capping a 79-yard, seven-play drive that made the score 49-38 with 0:15 remaining to play.

Offense has been the key this season for TU. Although at times the team has played good defense, it has been more important to score as many points as possible, and hope the other team doesn’t score on every possession. Tulsa’s offensive numbers are impressive each week, and if the team could get more stops per game, they’ll win more ball games. It’s a very optimistic outlook for the Golden Hurricane for the next several years under Head Coach Phillip Montgomery.

The Golden Hurricane will close out the home schedule on Saturday at 6 p.m. against Navy, at H.A. Chapman Stadium.

In order to become bowl eligible, Tulsa has to either beat Navy this week, which doesn’t seem likely given the Midshipmen’s record (8-1, 6-0 AAC), or win at Tulane (3-7, 1-5 AAC) in the final game of the season on Nov. 27. Tulane has only scored 181 points this season, compared to Tulsa’s potent offense that has racked up 365 total points. Obviously, winning at Tulane seems more likely, and could give TU some great momentum going into a bowl matchup.

NEWS & NOTES

Former TU head football coach John Cooper, who went on to be the head coach at Arizona State and Ohio State, has been named the recipient of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) 2016 Amos Alonzo Stagg Award.

The award is given to those “whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests in football,” and will be presented to Cooper at the AFCA Awards Luncheon Jan. 12, 2016 during the AFCA Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

Cooper served as the Golden Hurricane coach eight seasons (1977-84) and compiled an overall record of 57-31 and 31-6 league mark. His teams won five straight Missouri Valley Conference Championships (1980-84) and had seven winning seasons. Cooper also served as the school’s director of athletics.

ORU men’s basketball team opened the regular season with an 80-65 win at home Friday night against Missouri State. The ORU women also won their home opener, defeating Evangel, 89-46, on Saturday.

The tournament directors at Basketball Travelers Inc. officially extended an invitation to the ORU men’s basketball team to take part in the 2016 U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam. Joining ORU will be seven other NCAA division I men’s teams; Creighton, Loyola University Chicago, North Carolina State, Ole Miss, Montana, St. Joseph’s, and Washington State. The men’s tournament takes place annually the week before Thanksgiving and this year will be held November 18-21 at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas, USVI.

The ORU (7-7-4, 3-2-1 SL) men’s soccer season came to a close Saturday as top-seeded Denver defeated the Golden Eagles, 2-0, in the Summit League Championship. Denver, ranked No. 7 nationally, is 15-0-3 overall and the lone unbeaten team in the country. The Pioneers scored two second half goals to claim the League’s automatic spot in the NCAA College Cup.

For the second-straight year the fourth-seeded University of Tulsa men’s soccer team claimed the American Athletic Conference Championship in a penalty kick shootout, 4-3, after tying third-seed UConn, 1-1, on Sunday afternoon at Corbett Soccer Stadium in Tampa, Fla. TU also earned the league’s automatic bid in the NCAA Championship. The Golden Hurricane are 7-6-6 on the season, while the Huskies are 9-5-6 overall.