TU sports journalist Tristan Peterson covers the ups and downs of Tulsa’s 24-17 loss to Tulane.
Despite a 1-6 start to the season, Tulsa entered Saturday’s game against Tulane facing near even odds, which was obvious to fans as the teams were neck and neck until the third quarter. In the end, however, Tulsa lost yet another game in the fourth quarter 24-17, knocking them out of bowl contention.
Tulane won the coin toss but deferred, leaving Tulsa to receive in the first half. On the kickoff, James Palmer, a TU freshman, saw his first career action.
Early in the first quarter, Jarrion Anderson ran for a 55-yard punt return, the longest of his career, which destroyed Tulsa’s previous high this season of 13 yards. It was the school’s longest punt return since 2016 against North Carolina A&T, where TU ran 60 yards.
Nate Walker put Tulsa on the board after a good field goal. With less than 10 minutes in the second quarter, Tulsa’s Keylon Stokes ran the ball for a TU touchdown; Tulsa 10 – Tulane 0. But as the clock entered the last minute of the half, Tulane got on the board when Darius Bradwell converted at the goal-line for a one-yard touchdown.
At halftime, The University of Tulsa honored 1991 All-American Jerry Ostroski in a special presentation as his number, 55, was retired. He is the eighth Golden Hurricane football student-athlete to receive such an honor. The offensive lineman was named an Associated Press first-team All-American selection his senior year, as well as by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), The Sporting News (TSN), United Press International (UPI), College and Pro Football Weekly and the Poor Man’s Guide to the NFL Draft.
After the half, the Golden Hurricane displayed a strong offensive front. Stokes took a 14-yard pass from Seth Boomer for another TU Touchdown. John Parker Romo then converted the extra point, the first of his career, pushing the score to Tulsa 17, Tulane 7.
The point lead was short-lived, as during the third quarter Tulane managed another close-range score. The Green Wave followed that up with a 20-yard field goal to begin the fourth. Finally, Tulane quarterback Justin McMillan put his team up for good with a 39-yard rushing touchdown with just under four minutes remaining. The win by Tulane was their first in seven meetings in Tulsa.
This game marks Keylon Stokes’ first receiving and rushing touchdowns. In addition to Palmer, sophomore cornerback Malik Welch received his first career start. The defense displayed a great amount of strength in the match. Freshman safety Bryson Powers, freshman linebacker Zaven Collins and junior linebacker Cooper Edmiston all finished the game with 12 tackles, which was a career-high for Powers.
While the players are disappointed they missed their bowl opportunity, they plan to continue playing for their seniors. Edmiston holds hope saying the team needs to be “… finishing it out, playing hard every time we get a chance. That’s what we are here for, to play football and go to school. So, keep grinding it out.” The Golden Hurricane will play UConn next Saturday, Nov. 6 at 6 p.m., for their homecoming game.