It certainly wasn’t for a lack of offense or scoring, but The University of Tulsa football team would have had to play the game of the century to beat an extremely talented Memphis Tigers team, last Friday night at H.A. Chapman Stadium.
No. 17 Memphis defeated Tulsa, 66-42, in American Athletic Conference play, extending the Tigers record to 3-0 in the conference and 7-0 overall. Memphis has now won 14 straight games, dating back to last season.
Tulsa (3-4, 0-3 AAC) was trailing 42-21 early in the third quarter, but scored 14 straight points to close the gap to 42-35 with 9:30 to play in the third. Memphis then racked 17 consecutive points to make the score 59-35 with 12:39 remaining.
“I thought our guys played extremely hard,” said Tulsa Head Coach Philip Montgomery. “We have to find ways to win those types of football games. I mean, we got an opportunity right there in the third quarter where we got a couple big plays in there that kind of could have set it on fire, and then we just let it get out of control there a little bit right after that.”
Tulsa had another good performance on offense with 534 yards, including 421 passing yards by junior quarterback Dane Evans. He completed 24-of-36 passes and threw for four touchdowns. Senior receiver Keyarris Garrett caught three TD passes. Garrett set an American Athletic Conference record and career-high with 268 yards on 14 catches.
Memphis piled up an unbelievable number of yards. The Tigers set a school record with 704 total offensive yards. Quarterback Paxton Lynch, who has received a lot of publicity this season for leading the Tigers to victory each week, completed 32-of-44 passes for 447 yards and four touchdowns.
“He’s a very talented quarterback,” Montgomery said of Lynch. “He does a good job within their system and what they are doing. I thought he operated everything pretty well tonight. We had some chances to, I think — some opportunities to pick some balls off. I thought we were in good coverage a lot of those times and I thought his receivers really made some exceptional catches. I mean, there’s some times where we are right on it and they just somehow came down with the football.”
Also, sparking the Tigers’ offense were Mose Frazier with 128 receiving yards on 10 catches and Doroland Dorceus who carried the ball 32 times for 138 yards.
The Golden Hurricane travels to Dallas this Saturday to take on SMU at 3 p.m. at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPNews. SMU comes into this game with an overall record of 1-6 and 0-3 in the AAC.
ORU GETS A TRACK
It was a long time coming, and sad to think that for the past five decades Oral Roberts University track and field teams had to practice and host events at high school tracks around the Tulsa area. Finally, the Golden Eagles will soon have their own facility right on campus.
As part of the ORU 50th Anniversary celebration last week, the school broke ground on the ONEOK Sports Complex which will be the new home to the ORU tennis and track and field programs.
The complex will be built without the university taking on any debt.
“We appreciate the support of the administration, especially the donors,” said ORU Director of Athletics Mike Carter. “The ONEOK foundation has been instrumental in the project and the rest of the donors have done a tremendous job. We are excited to build it debt free and construction will begin very soon.”
Head track and field coach Joe Dial said the groundbreaking is an answer to prayers.
“8,139 days I have worked at ORU with a vision of a track in this spot,” Dial said. “Today really shows that God answers prayers. It may not be on our time but He answers prayers on His time.”
For the tennis program, the new complex will open up the facility to the community, allowing for ample spectator seating and giving the university the ability to host major tennis events.
“It is everything to our program; having a facility like this really means the world, to be able to have some community involvement,” said men’s tennis coach Mark Milner. “I am really excited about the community that will come along with this facility. It will help in hosting USTA events, it will help the student-athletes that come from other countries and the students who are here, for the tennis classes as well.”