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November 3, 2013
More costly turnovers led to another Tulsa loss, as the Golden Hurricane fell to UTSA, 34-15, on Saturday afternoon in front of a Homecoming crowd of 21,815 fans at Chapman Stadium.
Tulsa amassed 378 yards, including 221 through the air and 157 on the ground, but they didn't get points on the board until the end of the third quarter when they already trailed by 24. Meanwhile, UTSA put up 400 yards on the day, including 286 on the ground.
"I wish to apologize to our homecoming fans and the folks that have been a part of this, because we surely did not represent Tulsa football very well today," said Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship. "We just couldn't get out of our way again. That's just the turnovers, opportunities were there. We didn't take advantage of them."
UTSA got on the board early when Eric Soza connected with Evans Okotcha for a five yard touchdown pass. The Roadrunners then took a 14-0 lead with 4:17 left in the first quarter when Trey Watts fumbled a punt return attempt that Nick Johnson recovered in the end zone.
Sean Ianno added a 41-yard field goal with 11:31 in the second quarter to make the score 17-0, and UTSA extended the lead to 24-0 with an 84-yard touchdown run by Kam Jones.
Tulsa finally scored with six seconds left in the third quarter when Dane Evans hit Jordan James in the end zone on a nine yard pass. The scoring drive included a 56-yard completion from Evans to Keevan Lucas, and the Hurricane converted a two-point attempt with a completion from Evans to Thomas Roberson, making the score 24-8.
UTSA extended its lead to 27-8 in the fourth quarter with a 31-yard field goal by Ianno, but Evans had Tulsa on the move for another score. But just as TU got within striking distance, Triston Wade picked off an Evans pass and took it 82 yards for a touchdown and a 34-8 advantage.
Tulsa inserted third string quarterback Joseph Calcagni, who led the Hurricane to a score with 3:52 left in the game. He connected with Josh Atkinson for a six-yard touchdown.
The Golden Hurricane fell to 2-6 overall and 1-3 in Conference USA play, while UTSA improved to 4-5 overall and 3-2 in C-USA play.
"This is a (Tulsa) team that was picked to win the league and won the league a year ago," said UTSA head coach Larry Coker. "I have great respect for that coaching staff and it's a great program. I told the players this program's got a lot of tradition, a lot of success and it was a very good win for us."
Trey Watts led TU with 109 rushing yards on 15 carries and finished with 151 all-purpose yards. Dane Evans completed 12-of-22 passes for 159 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Cody Green threw for 46 yards with an interception on 11-of-17 passing. Keevan Lucas tallied a career-high 87 receiving yards on five catches, and Shawn Jackson led the Tulsa defense with 11 tackles.
"It is hard to know what to think about the whole situation," said Lucas. "Practice is good. We work our tails off. Losing like that just makes us go back to the drawing board to see what else we can do."
• At the 6:10 mark of the first quarter, sophomore defensive end Derrick Alexander recorded his team-leading fifth sack of the season and eighth for his career.
• At the end of the first half, Tulsa trailed UTSA 24-0, marking the second time this season the Hurricane did not score in the first half. The previous occurrence was in the season opener against Bowling Green (August 29, 2013) when Tulsa trailed 6-0 after the first half.
• At the 8:55 mark of the third quarter, junior cornerback Austin McDaniel recorded his first career tackle for loss that resulted in a five-yard loss.
• At the 1:04 mark of the third quarter, freshman receiver Keevan Lucas recorded his longest career reception on a 56-yard pass from freshman quarterback Dane Evans. The pass play was also Evans' longest career completion.
• Late in the third quarter, Evans threw his second career touchdown pass on a nine-yard throw to senior receiver Jordan James. The scoring play was James' second touchdown of the season and fifth for his career.
• At the 6:19 mark of the fourth quarter, Derrick Alexander recorded his first career fumble recovery.
• At the 4:37 mark of the fourth quarter, sophomore quarterback Joseph Calcagni completed his first career pass on a 10-yard toss to sophomore receiver Derek Patterson. At the 3:52 mark of the fourth quarter, Calcagni recorded his first career touchdown pass on a six-yard throw to freshman receiver Josh Atkinson. It was also Atkinson's first career touchdown.
• Senior tailback Trey Watts finished the game with 109 rushing yards. It was his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season and 11th for his career. Watts finished the game with 2,923 career rushing yards. He surpassed Darius Marshall (Marshall/2007-09) for 15th on the C-USA all-time rushing chart.
• Watts finished the game with 151 all-purpose yards. It was his 12th consecutive game with at least 100 all-purpose yards and 25th for this career. Watts now has 5,555 career all-purpose yards. He surpassed Patrick Edwards (Houston/2008-11) for ninth on the C-USA all-time all-purpose yards chart.
• Dane Evans finished the game with a career-best 159 passing yards.
• Keevan Lucas finished the game with a career-best 87 receiving yards on five receptions