Just a week after their route of San Jose State, the Golden Hurricane were routed by the No. 4 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes by a score of 48–3 on the national stage. With a crowd of 104,000 plus, this was the largest crowd that the Golden Hurricane have ever played in front of. Turnovers killed the Golden Hurricane, who had six on the day. Combined with an offense that struggled to move the ball after the first quarter, Tulsa couldn’t keep up with the 2015 National Champions.
With Tulsa receiving the opening kickoff, everything looked to be going wrong when Keevan Lucas couldn’t keep control of the ball resulting in a quick interception — the first of four against Tulsa — by the Buckeyes, giving them the ball in the Tulsa red zone. The defense rose to the occasion and stopped any momentum that Ohio State had, forcing them to settle for a field goal.
Both teams traded drives that resulted in punts or turnovers, including a goal line stand for Ohio State the prevented the Golden Hurricane from reaching the end zone in the middle of the first quarter. Finally, with three minutes left in the first, Tulsa marched into field goal territory and tied it at 3-apiece which held for the next eight minutes of play when Ohio State again drove into Tulsa’s red zone. But once again the defense made them settle for a field goal, keeping the game within three points.
Unfortunately, Tulsa couldn’t do anything with the ball in the second quarter, being held to only 21 yards of offense, and losing three of their four drive to turnovers — one fumble and two interceptions. Those two interceptions were both returned for touchdowns which gave Ohio State a 20–3 lead going into halftime without scoring any offensive touchdowns. Neither team even had 200 yards of offense at this point.
The start of the second half was delayed for an hour due to a severe thunderstorm, but Ohio State came out of the break with all of the momentum, as they drove 72 yards down and scored on quarterback J.T. Barrett’s 11-yard run, giving them the 27–3 lead and their first offensive touchdown of the game. Once again the Golden Hurricane couldn’t get anything going in the third quarter, their three drives ending in two punts and another interception, Evans’ fourth and final of the game. That interception led to another Ohio State touchdown, this time a 1-yard run by tailback Mike Weber.
The fourth quarter wasn’t much different for TU. Their best drive — the last drive of the game — saw them march down the field into Ohio State territory before turning it over again. On the other side, Ohio State had 259 yards in the second half as their offense came to life, and they scored two more times in the final quarter to take the game at 48–3.
This was not a pretty game for the Golden Hurricane. They were held to 188 yards of total offense, their fewest since 2004 against Kansas. The three points were the fewest since 2009 against Oklahoma, which was also the last time they had been held without a touchdown. However the defense did hold Ohio State to 417 yards, which might not seem like anything special, but in their route of Bowling Green last week the Buckeyes had 776 total yards of offense.
“My hat’s off to Coach Meyer and his staff. I thought they played an outstanding game, with a very talented group of players,” Coach Montgomery said in his post-game press conference. “I thought we played really well defensively, especially early. Offensively, we never really got anything clicking. We got some things going, but just never finished when we got down into the red zone. We made too many crucial mistakes at bad times.”
The Golden Hurricane will return home next week to take on North Carolina A&T at 1:00 p.m.