Tulsa, OK – The University of Tulsa (3-9, 2-6 AAC) defense and the arm of quarterback Seth Boomer (12) prevented another comeback loss and knocked Southern Methodist University (5-7, 4-4) out of bowl eligibility with a 27-24 win over the Mustangs.
Boomer threw for 251 yards and a touchdown Saturday evening. One of his favorite targets Sr. Justin Hobbs (29) made an electrifying one handed catch for 31 yards late in the 4th quarter to keep the drive going and set up a field goal that kept the game just out of reach for SMU.
Coach Philip Montgomery beamed about Hobbs, “ Really happy for Justin… wow, what a big catch. So proud of him.”
After building a 21-0 lead with 8:12 left in the second quarter, SMU brought the deficit down to a touchdown in the beginning of the third. A spectacular block, scoop and score of a TU field goal attempt by Rodney Clemons (8) brought the score to 21-14.
The Golden Hurricane defense held the Mustangs’ prolific passing offense to two field goals in the 4th quarter before a Ben Hicks (8) TD pass to James Proche (3) brought the score to 27-24 with 1:31 remaining. A onside kick that went out of bounds let Tulsa run the clock out for the win.
Tulsa sacked Hicks 5 time for a total loss of 64 yards and held the running game to 61 yards. Sophomore defensive end Cullen Wick (91) started it off early with a sack of SMU quarterback Ben Hicks for loss of 26 yards.
The harassment of Hicks continued as Trevis Gipson (15) and Cullen Wick (91) both got two sacks of their own. Yards from sacks total more than the season’s previous 11 games, 9 sacks for 45 yards.
In the 3rd quarter SMU had a chance to tie it up, but TU’s defense continued to rally with a McKinley Whitfield (5) interception in the end zone. Coach Montgomery commented that, “it was a huge play for us right there.”
Just before the end of the 2nd quarter, in what may have been the deciding stand for the TU defense, they held a 9 play 50 yard SMU series to a field goal attempt that was block by Zaven Collins (23).
“I’m very proud of our defense. We had a lot of young guys step up… I think those guys will just continue to get better,” said Montgomery of his defensive. TU’s young defense will return 9 starters next year.