Football journalist Hannah Robbins discusses the Golden Hurricane’s nail-biting 24-21 win against Wyoming in the last minute of play at home on Saturday.
Saturday’s game started with threats of mist and spitting rain all morning, but the outcome could not have been more different from the weather. The Golden Hurricane took fans through a bit of a roller coaster, but in the end, the team eked out a win from the Wyoming Cowboys, snapping the latter’s seven game winning streak.
Tulsa had a slow start, barely making it to the Cowboy’s side of the field before punting it. The Cowboys seemed to have had some coffee before the game, with quarterback Sean Chambers’s 33-yard run bringing Wyoming on the board.
The rest of the first quarter passed slowly, with Zach Smith’s sack ending Tulsa’s drive to respond in kind, and both teams spent the rest of the quarter trading punts back and forth. Tulsa began the second quarter with a promising drive, but Shamari Brooks could only get the ball to within field goal range before Smith’s passes stopped connecting. Jacob Rainey’s attempted 36-yard field goal went wide, and Tulsa had failed again to get on the board.
On their next drive, Wyoming tried for a field goal of their own, which was blocked by Reggie Brooks II and Allie Green IV. This seemed to motivate the Golden Hurricane’s next drive, but another sack of Smith led to the end of the drive. Wyoming failed to capitalize on the sack, and then Tulsa regained possession.
After failing to connect on two downs, Smith threw a 56-yard pass to Keylon Stokes, putting Tulsa on the board to tie Wyoming. Wyoming seemed to be thrown by this course of events, failing to even get a first down before returning the ball to Tulsa.
When Tulsa got the ball with slightly over two minutes left in the half, they were energized. The drive started off strong with Smith’s 18-yard pass to Brooks, and was followed shortly by a 37-yard pass to Sam Crawford Jr. that ended with a touchdown, bringing the Golden Hurricane up by seven as the half ended.
After halftime, Wyoming began to flail; they received two penalties in their first drive that failed to make it to Tulsa’s half of the field after several incomplete passes by Chambers. Tulsa seemed to be on their game on their next drive. Smith’s passes connected when it counted, and the Golden Hurricane made it within touchdown distance, but a delay of game penalty and several missed passes led to Tulsa taking a field goal instead.
The rest of the quarter passed slowly, with both teams failing to put together a drive. Wyoming managed to start something in the fourth quarter, capitalizing on holding calls on Tulsa to start moving down the field. Chamber’s 53-yard touchdown pass brought Wyoming within spitting distance of the lead.
Tulsa failed to capitalize on their next drive, and gave Wyoming the ball at the 50 yard line. After two successful passes, Chambers ran the ball 15 yards for the touchdown to bring the Cowboys four points ahead of the Golden Hurricane.
With a mere five minutes left in the game, Tulsa had to capitalize on their next drive. With the drive seemingly dead at the 50 yard line on their fourth down, Smith connected with Keenan Johnson for a 17-yard run. A face mask penalty by Wyoming put Tulsa at the 19 yard line with three minutes to go, and Brooks ran the ball in to put Tulsa up by three.
Wyoming had three minutes to put together a single drive to beat Tulsa, and at first, it looked like they could. Chambers managed to connect to Rome Weber on a crucial fourth down which put Wyoming in field goal range, but at the goal line, it fell apart. After two failed attempts at a touchdown, Chambers ran for the touchdown but fumbled the ball at the three yard line where Robinson II gained possession. With 50 seconds left, Tulsa was able to kneel their way to victory, ending the game with the ball on Tulsa’s one yard line to end 24-21.