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October 12, 2012

Tulsa pounds UTEP with second half surge




TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Ja'Terian Douglas had an 81-yard touchdown run and finished with 128 yards on 13 carries to help Tulsa rout UTEP 33-11 on Thursday night for its sixth straight victory.

Alex Singleton added 96 yards and two touchdowns to tie the Tulsa career record for rushing TDs with 32, and Cody Green was 13 of 22 for 198 yards for the Golden Hurricane (6-1, 4-0 Conference USA).

"Our guys are giving a lot of push up front and then our running backs are just making it happen," said Singleton. "It's a big plus that we are doing so well on offense. We are doing really well."

Leslie Jordan led UTEP (1-6, 0-3) with 10 catches for 218 yards and a touchdown. Carson Meger was 16 of 23 for 257 yards with a touchdown and an interception in relief of the injured Nick Lamaison.

Up 6-3 at the half, Tulsa outscored UTEP 20-0 in the third quarter. Singleton scored on a 1-yard run, Douglas added his 81-yarder, and Shawn Jackson made it 26-3 with a 17-yard fumble return.

"We just encouraged them to execute a little better and finish drives," Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship said about the team's halftime adjustments. "We got in there twice and had to kick field goals offensively. We were playing well on defense. We were playing a little soft early on, and we just had to stay the course and play with a little more passion.

"We were playing and executing, but not playing with a passion, and that was really my encouragement at halftime.''

UTEP ended a 10-quarter touchdown drought with Meger's 61-yard pass to Leslie with 11:06 left. Singleton countered with a 10-yard scoring run to tie the school rushing TD record set by Michael Gunter in 1980-83 and matched by Tarrion Adams in 2005-08.

"The thing about Alex is, he has now, to me, inserted himself in the three-man rotation as opposed to just being a guy that we needed at certain times," Blankenship said. "He really has become a force for us. It has given us a whole different dimension that's kind of like throwing a curveball or a change-up."

DeAundre Brown had 14 tackles for Tulsa and Hurricane defense forced three turnovers and had 10 tackles for loss and six sacks. Tulsa is 16-1 in its last 17 conference games.



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