No. 24 Tulsa struggled but still secured a spot in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game by beating Navy 19-6 in Annapolis, Maryland on Saturday.
The Golden Hurricane (6-1, 6-0 AAC) will host Cincinnati No. 7 (8-0, 6-0 AAC) next Saturday to determine their home advantage in the title game.
Zach Smith (10 of 25) only passed for 168 yards when the Hurricane made a total of 296 yards on the offensive. But 66 had a touchdown strike against Josh Johnson late in the third quarter.
The hurricane’s zack long scored four field goals, including a 48-yarder in the second quarter.
Freshman quarterback Xavier Arline (4 of 8) only overtook 27 yards and rushed for the best 60 yards on 27 carries on his second start for Navy, but couldn’t get the midshipman (3-6, 3-4 AAC). in the end zone.
Key players were missing from both teams.
Tulsa was without lead rusher Deneric Prince (356 yards) and lost TK Wilkerson’s backup in the second quarter, handing the quick workload over to Senior Corey Taylor. Taylor finished with 69 yards on 19 onslaught.
Linebacker Zaven Collins, who leads Tulsa in tackles, sacking and interception, injured his foot late in the second quarter and did not return. However, Tackle Jaxon Player had a huge game with 12 tackles and two sacks.
Navy was without slotback CJ Williams and lost slotback Myles Fells to a head injury in the first half.
The Hurricane only managed 117 yards in the first half and settled on a couple of field goals from Long with a 6-3 lead in the break.
The Midshipmen had only 71 yards on the offensive in the first half, 57 came in their last possession, which over time culminated in Bijan Nichols ’34 yard field goal.
The Middies opened the third quarter with a methodical 60-yard drive for Nichols’ second field goal to end the game 6-6.
– Field level media