Tulsa Falls To No. 20 Tulane 24-22 After Failed 2-Point Conversion

Makhi Hughes rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown, Shedro Louis returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score and No. 20 Tulane defeated Tulsa 24-22 on Saturday to win its eighth straight game.

Saturday, November 11th 2023, 9:36 pm

By: Associated Press


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Makhi Hughes rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown, Shedro Louis returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score and No. 20 Tulane defeated Tulsa 24-22 on Saturday to win its eighth straight game.

Michael Pratt passed for 194 yards and a touchdown to help the Green Wave (9-1, 6-0 American Athletic Conference, No. 23 CFP) remain on track to defend their league title and possibly receive a bid to a second straight major New Year’s Day bowl game.

Louis’ return came on the kickoff to open the second half and gave the Wave a 21-10 lead. It was his first touchdown since transferring from Liberty and came when Tulane needed some breathing room over a Tulsa team that delivered a feisty performance as it tried to snap a losing streak that has now reached five games.

To put away the game, Tulane needed Pratt to hit Chris Brazzell over the middle for 10 yards on third-and-9, followed by Hughes’ 31-yard run on which he slid down in the open field. Those plays set the Wave up to run out the clock on a third straight game decided by 3 or fewer points.

Hughes, a redshirt freshman, eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark and now has rushed for 100 yards in six straight games.

Kirk Francis passed for a career-high 345 yards and a touchdown for Tulsa (3-7, 1-5), which outgained Tulane 477 yards to 357. Kamdyn Benjamin had eight catches for 157 yards and two scores. Benjamin’s second TD came on a pass from Braylon Braxton, who started the game and subsequently subbed in situationally. The play gave the Golden Hurricane a chance to tie it with 3:03 left, but Braxton’s pass on a 2-point conversion attempt fell incomplete in the back of the end zone.

Tulane scored touchdowns on two of its first three drives, taking a 14-0 lead on Hughes’ 1-yard, fourth-down run and tight end Alex Bauman’s 39-yard reception.

Then Tulsa subbed Francis in for Braxton — coach Kevin Wilson had foreshadowed using both — and the Golden Hurricane responded with 10 straight points.

Francis hit Benjamin with an 8-yard pass to make it 14-7 and Chase Meyer’s 37-yard field goal cut it to 14-10, a score that stood until halftime.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Tulane will remain in the AP Top 25. Whether they move up or down after narrowly escaping in a game they were favored to win by three touchdowns remains to be seen.

THE TAKEAWAY

Tulsa: After Braxton struggled early, Francis, a walk-on, made his case for more playing time by leading the Golden Hurricane to 10 unanswered points. His third-quarter pass to Benjamin for 51 yards — which led to Meyer’s second field goal — was the first play of more than 40 yards against Tulane’s defense this season. His yards passing total was the second-highest in school history for a freshman. Meanwhile, Meyer’s third field goal from 47 yards was a career long.

Tulane: The Green Wave entered the game without top deep threat Jha’Quan Jackson and then another top receiver, Lawrence Keys, had a lower leg injury in the first quarter. That didn’t help as their offense stagnated for significant stretches. But this team has repeatedly come through at the end of tight games.

UP NEXT

Tulsa: Hosts North Texas on Saturday.

Tulane: Visits FAU on Saturday.

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football

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