Zach Smith went through for 325 yards and three touchdowns and Zaven Collins sealed the win with a late interception as hosts Tulsa Golden Hurricane stunned the No. 19 (28-24) SMU Mustangs on Saturday after a three touchdown deficit.
Smith found James Palmer for a 4 yard pass with 2:11 to end the comeback. A formidable linebacker, Collins, beat SMU quarterback Shane Buechele at 1:28 am when Tulsa (4-1, 4-0 Americans) put in a stifling defensive effort in the second half to claim victory.
The SMU rallied just 148 yards after the break, ending two drives over punts, two on downs, one on a missed field goal and a late interception. Buechele, the leading passer in FBS, completed only 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 major catches in the final scoring.
Tulsa essentially gave SMU (7-2, 4-2) a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Smith had picked up his pass attempt at the third snap of Tulsa’s first possession from SMU cornerback Brandon Crossley, who returned the interception 18 yards for a touchdown at 10:47 of the first.
On the following drive, Smith fumbled with a tall snapshot that Mustang’s nose tackle Elijah Chatman recovered in Hurricane 19. Büchele used a 22-yard hit for Kylen Granson with 8:19 in the remaining time.
Tulsa eventually moved out of the shadows of their own goal posts, but a 14-player drive stalled in SMU 10 and ended with a failed field goal attempt.
SMU followed with its most formidable drive of the game, 80 yards in nine games. Ulysses Bentley finished that march with a 1-yard run, his eleventh of the season, and set a school record for a freshman. The Mustangs were leading 21-0 and while the Hurricane closed within 24-7 during the break, the missed opportunities contributed to the SMU.
The second half was a different story.
– Field level media