TU sports journalist Tristan Peterson covers the Golden Hurricane’s 49-19 win over UConn in their homecoming game on a rainy Saturday night.
Despite a downpour, fans filed into the stands to watch the Homecoming matchup between the Golden Hurricane and the University of Connecticut Huskies. The Huskies were caught in the storm leading to a 49-19 Tulsa victory; it was the second game the Hurricane have won this season and the first in-conference.
Shamari Brooks and Corey Taylor II had 100+ yards in the same game for the second time this season. Quarterback Seth Boomer finished with his first career multi-touchdown game, becoming the first freshman in Tulsa history to throw four touchdowns in a game.
On the kickoff, UConn elected to receive. They were able to move the ball down the field, but the Hurricane stopped the offense short of field goal range. Tulsa couldn’t get anything going on their first possession, so on fourth down junior Thomas Bennett booted a 67-yard punt. As UConn set up for a rush, sophomore cornerback Allie Green IV was able to record his first career forced fumble. Safety McKinley Whitfield secured the ball for his second fumble recovery this season and the third of his career.
Unfortunately, on Tulsa’s next drive, Seth Boomer fumbled the ball, which was recovered by UConn’s Tyler Coyle. UConn was then able to score on an 80-yard pass from David Pindell to Kyle Buss — the longest play Tulsa’s defense has given up this season.
The second quarter is where Tulsa hit their stride. Boomer connected with sophomore receiver Keylon Stokes for a three-yard touchdown pass. Defensive tackle Jacob Pugh recorded his first career quarterback sack on the Huskies, which forced UConn to settle for a 50-yard field goal.
The Golden Hurricane would not back down; Corey Taylor II gained 48 yards on a rush — Tulsa’s longest running play of the season. Boomer scored his first career rushing touchdown on a 1-yard score. Boomer connected with junior receiver Keenen Johnson for a 26-yard touchdown. Taylor scored the final touchdown of the half, despite UConn’s best efforts. When the half came to a close, TU had a commanding 28-13 lead.
Tulsa continued to roll down the field in the third. Boomer connected with senior tight end Cole Neph for a 38-yard touchdown early on. Senior cornerback Keanu Hill collected his second career interception (both this season) during a Huskies drive. Boomer recorded his fourth touchdown pass of the game on an 18-yard toss to senior receiver Justin Hobbs.
Hobbs finished with 45 yards and a touchdown on two receptions. He now has 2,404 career receiving yards and 164 career receptions, placing himself 11th on Tulsa’s all-time charts for both categories.
After the kickoff, Whitfield was ejected for a targeting hit on UConn running back Kevin Mensah. Whitfield will not be allowed to play in the first half against Memphis next week. Junior defensive end Trevis Gipson recorded his second sack of the season for a 2-yard loss on third down freshman Reed Martin scored his first career touchdown on an 11- yard play.
Beginning in the fourth quarter, true freshman TK Wilkerson ran for 79 yards on his first career carry. Wilkerson saw his first career action on special teams earlier in the game. During Connecticut’s drive, true freshman linebacker Grant Sawyer recorded his first career fumble recovery. UConn’s David Pindell completed a 3-yard pass to Tyler Davis for a touchdown.
Coach Phillip Montgomery admits, “It’s been a frustrating year. I’ve been frustrated. Our team’s been frustrated but we’ve stayed diligent about what we do and how we do it.” He continued, “We’re going to enjoy this one for a little bit. It’s been a little while since we got to taste it. So I want our guys to taste it, feel good about it. Food will taste better and music will sound better, and you know, they need to feel some of that. And then we’ve got to get refocused about what we’ve got to do next week.”
When asked about how much fun it was to get into a rhythm after the last few weeks of struggling, Taylor said, “It felt like home, just getting back to our identity and the team that we are. It felt really good.”
Gipson said after the win, “We played good. We performed the best that we could, and going into next week we’ll try to do the same thing we did this week, to put points on the board and continue to prevent the other team from putting points on the board. That’s the game plan.”
In the end, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane left the Huskies out to dry with a thirty point spread. Next Saturday, Nov. 10, the team will face the Memphis Tigers on their home turf.