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Houston at TU: Hurricane rallies to knock off Cougars on homecoming

Houston at TU: Hurricane rallies to knock off Cougars on homecoming

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Photo gallery: See the best images from Tulsa's game against Houston and all the homecoming festivities

Houston at TU game pulse: D'Angelo Brewer is the player of the game

Houston at TU observations: Luke Skipper gets first start at quarterback

Houston at TU notebook: Skipper, President both see action

With their seasons seemingly headed in opposite directions, one-win Tulsa and one-loss Houston met Saturday afternoon at H.A. Chapman Stadium.

What occurred was the opposite most expected: The double-digit underdog Hurricane ended a four-game skid with a dominant 45-17 victory.

“That was a great team win for us today,” defensive end Jesse Brubaker said. “We went out there and all played with high intensity the whole game and we never got down. We were really excited with the opportunity we had this week.”

In front of a homecoming crowd of 19,198, TU scored a trio of touchdowns in a wild final 10 minutes to slam the door on its American Athletic Conference West Division rival, which prevailed in the previous three meetings.

The barrage started with a 70-yard touchdown from Keenen Johnson, who was immediately met by the defender upon catching a short pass from Luke Skipper and nearly went to the turf. Instead, he took off toward the end zone and raced untouched.

With 35 seconds left, Shamari Brooks concluded an efficient, clock-draining drive with a 5-yard touchdown run to ensure a comfortable Hurricane win.

Eleven seconds later, Cougar quarterback Kyle Postma fumbled under pressure from Jeremy Smith, and Petera Wilson Jr. scooped the ball for a 3-yard touchdown to launch the celebration that continued in a raucous locker room.

“We had — and I did too — a lot of pent-up frustration, and it got to come out,” coach Philip Montgomery said. “It was one of those locker rooms that you won’t forget because, boy, guys are having fun, hugging each other, and this was a big family win for us.”

Following his performance in last week’s otherwise ugly 62-28 defeat at Tulane, Skipper earned his first start but didn’t get going until the second half. After TU’s first five drives resulted in punts, seven of the last eight produced scores including six touchdowns.

TU (2-5, 1-2 AAC) twice relied on its defense to get into the red zone, securing key interceptions from McKinley Whitfield and Keidrien Wadley that occurred on passes tipped by Cristian Williams and Diamon Cannon. After each, Chad President entered the game as a running quarterback and scored short-yardage touchdowns.

“Huge plays by our defense,” Montgomery said. “They played unbelievable today. I thought our defensive staff did a great job of changing some things up and putting our guys in really good positions to make plays. … Those turnovers are huge momentum swings for you and big, big plays.”

President’s second touchdown gave the Hurricane its first lead at 17-10, and D’Angelo Brewer escaped for a 46-yard score on the last play of the third quarter. Houston (4-2, 2-1) responded and reached the end zone on a 24-yard run by Dillon Birden, but TU ran away with the win from there.

“I’m very proud of our guys and our young men, the way they’ve been resilient and stayed together,” Montgomery said. “We still have a lot of games left, so you don’t know what the season is going to hold for us. But if we’ll play like we played today, there’s a lot more bright spots that we can have.”

Game information

Houston at Tulsa

3 p.m. Saturday, H.A. Chapman Stadium


Radio: KXBL fm99.5

Records: Houston 4-1, 2-0 AAC; Tulsa 1-4, 0-2

Last meeting: On Oct. 15, 2016, Houston defeated Tulsa 38-31 in Houston.

Series: Houston leads 23-18.

James Aydelott’s forecast: Mostly sunny, 86°

Pre-game reading

Tulsa vs. Houston: Hurricane a double-digit homecoming underdog

Tulsa vs. Houston: Breaking down the matchups

New Mexico 16, Tulsa 13

Navy 31, Tulsa 21

Tulane 62, Tulsa 28

Kelly Hines


Twitter: @KellyHinesTW


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Sports Writer

I have covered college football and college basketball for the Tulsa World since 2012. I spend my spare time as an animal rescue volunteer, focusing on spaying and neutering community cats in the Tulsa area. Phone: 918-581-8452

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"We kind of looked at it throughout the week, using both of them," coach Philip Montgomery said. "They're both young, but they're both gaining experience. I think the way they played off each other today was really, really good."

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