Under the Friday night lights in South Florida last Friday night, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane showed up ready to play. Coming off a two-week break since last beating the number 11 ranked University of Central Florida on Oct. 10, the Golden Hurricane rolled into Tampa ready to play the University of South Florida Bulls.
On Tulsa’s first possession of the game, Zach Smith threw a 33-yard pass to Juan Carlos Santana. After an extra point kick by Zach Long, the Golden Hurricane took a 7-0 lead just under three minutes into the game. Two plays into the Bulls’ next drive, they fumbled the ball giving Tulsa the ball on USF’s 45-yard line. While this gave Tulsa reasonable field position, Zach’s pass on the next play was intercepted by USF. The Bulls were able to convert a field goal on that drive, putting them within four points of catching the Golden Hurricane. Three minutes later, the Bulls completed another field goal putting them within just one point. This was as close as they would get to Tulsa the whole game, as Keylon Stokes rushed for four yards just before the end of the first quarter to give Tulsa a 14-6 lead. Two thirds of the way through the second quarter, Deneric Prince ran for a 27-yard touchdown giving Tulsa a 21-6 lead going into the halftime break.
Just over six minutes into the second half of the game, the Bulls scored a touchdown to bring them back within eight points of Tulsa. After this moment, however, it was all Tulsa scoring for the rest of the game. Deneric Prince had another touchdown run one minute later, this time a 62-yard run to give Tulsa a 28-13 lead. On USF’s next drive, Zaven Collins intercepted a pass and returned for a 38-yard touchdown that gave Tulsa a 35-13 lead. The next time Tulsa had the ball, Corey Taylor ran for one yard to cap off a 7 play, 56-yard drive giving Tulsa a 42-13 lead. After several back and forth possessions in the fourth quarter where neither team scored, the clock expired and gave Tulsa the win.
As a result of this win, the Golden Hurricane are now 2-0 in the American Athletic Conference (AAC) and 2-1 overall. This is the first time that the Golden Hurricane have started the season 2-0 since joining the AAC and their first time since 2007 that they have won two conference games in a row. Going forward from here, the Hurricane will play their first home game this coming Friday when they face off against the East Carolina Pirates. Kickoff will happen at 8 p.m. and the game will be on ESPN2.