No. 24 Tulsa fought but still secured a spot in the American Athletic Conference Championship by defeating Navy 19-6 on Saturday in Annapolis, Maryland.
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 went through for 168 yards as the Hurricane made a total of 296 yards on offense, with 66 scoring a touchdown hit for Josh Johnson towards the end of 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 on his first start for Navy and rushed to the team’s best 60 yards with a 27 carry, but failed the midshipman (3-6, 3-4 AAC) get) 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 sacking and interception, injured his foot late in the second quarter and didn’t return. However, defender Jaxon Player had a huge game of 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