Tulsa rallies from 21 points down to stun No. 19 SMU
Zach Smith passed for 325 yards and three touchdowns and Zaven Collins sealed the victory with a late interception as the host Tulsa Golden Hurricane rallied from a three-touchdown deficit to stun the No. 19 SMU Mustangs, 28-24, on Saturday.
Smith found tight end James Palmer for a 4-yard scoring pass with 2:11 remaining to complete the comeback. Collins, a standout linebacker, picked off SMU quarterback Shane Buechele at the 1:28 mark as Tulsa (4-1, 4-0 American) turned in a stifling second-half defensive performance to snatch the win.
SMU amassed just 148 yards following the intermission and had two drives end via punts, two on downs, another on a missed field goal plus the late interception. Buechele, the leading passer in FBS, completed just half of his 36 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown.
Josh Johnson had eight catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns for Tulsa while Keylon Stokes had eight catches for 122 yards, including two key catches on the final scoring drive.
Tulsa essentially handed SMU (7-2, 4-2) a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Smith had his pass attempt on the third snap of the initial Tulsa possession picked off by SMU cornerback Brandon Crossley, who returned the interception 18 yards for a touchdown at the 10:47 mark of the first.
On the ensuing drive, Smith fumbled a high snap that Mustangs nose tackle Elijah Chatman recovered at the Hurricane 19. Buechele capitalized with a 22-yard scoring strike to Kylen Granson with 8:19 remaining in the period.
Tulsa finally moved from the shadow of its own goal posts, but a 14-play drive stalled inside the SMU 10 and ended with an errant field goal attempt.
SMU followed with its most impressive drive of the game, covering 80 yards in nine plays. Ulysses Bentley capped that march with a 1-yard scoring run, his 11th on the season, setting a school record for a freshman. The Mustangs led 21-0, and while the Hurricane closed to within 24-7 at the break, the missed opportunities buoyed SMU.
The second half was a different story.
–Field Level Media