Football opens with OT thriller

The game started out slowly, with the first four drives ending in punts. After a Dane Evans interception, the Owls scored first, with an 11-yard rush by Greg “Buddy” Howell at 4:35 of the first quarter.

However, the next three scores belonged to the Hurricane, as they scored 21 unanswered points to take a 21–7 lead. Dane Evans and Keevan Lucas were the stars of this part of the game, as Keevan caught two touchdown passes of 43 and 39 yards, while Evans showed his running ability on a 9-yard touchdown run.

Momentum soon shifted to the Owls, as they held a strong end to the first half as well as a strong start to the second. FAU scored 24 unanswered points of their own, on a 17-yard Jacquez Johnson pass to Jenson Stoshak, a 45-yard field goal from Greg Joseph, and Jay Warren and Howell rushes for 38 and 5 yards, respectively.

With 8:27 left in the third quarter, it was 31–21 Owls.

Tulsa was carried by Zack Langer and Redford Jones down the stretch, as the duo scored all of the Hurricane’s remaining 20 points in regulation.

In the second half, Langer rushed for 56 yards and two touchdowns, while Jones made up for an early 26-yard miss by hitting field goals of 32 and 39 yards. With the 39-yard field goal, regulation time ended at a tie of 41 a-piece.

After Tulsa held FAU to just a field goal in the first overtime possession, the Hurricane proceeded to march down the field, capping off the winning drive with a 3-yard touchdown by Langer, his third of the game. With a final score of 47–44, the Montgomery era began with a hard-fought victory.

But don’t book your flight to Glendale just yet. Even though Tulsa came out on top, there were still some holes in their game. The defense missed multiple tackles on both the running back Howell and the quarterback, Jacquez Johnson.

The pair combined for 220 rushing yards, and 2 touchdowns.
Additionally, the team seemed to struggle with some clock management issues, with hiccups potentially costing the team a chance at a big play to end either half.

But those are some usual first-game mistakes. The mistakes weren’t lost on the officiating crew, either.

A single penalty was misattributed to Tulsa twice, before the referee finally corrected himself. Additionally, the referee misread the overtime coin toss, nearly giving FAU choice of possession before a TU player corrected the call.

There’s a lot of positives for this team as well. As the game wore on, both the offensive and defensive lines took control of the game.

Once they escaped their own 20 yard line, the offense ran a smooth, no-huddle system, eventually running 86 total offensive plays. Finally, both Keevan Lucas and Keyarris Garrett found themselves open for a good portion of the game, combining for 356 yards and two touchdowns of their own.

“I’m very proud of this football team, and the way they continued to fight all the way through,” Coach Montgomery had to say after the game.
“I thought our guys did a good job of staying focused, and staying in the moment.”

“We just had to keep our composure on the sideline,” defensive end Derrick Alexander said of the Owls’ 24-point stretch in the middle of the game.

“We knew we had to get the ball in our offense’s hands, so they can make something happen.”

This is Coach Montgomery’s first season with the team, after Bill Blankenship was fired after going 5–19 in the past two seasons. The win was the first of Montgomery’s head coaching career.

The Hurricane continue their season by traveling to Albuquerque to play the University of New Mexico Lobos.

This game is followed by a trip closer to home, a showdown in Norman against the Oklahoma Sooners. After a bye week, Tulsa finally returns home on Oct. 3 to play the Houston Cougars.

Post Author: tucollegian

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