TU's G.J. Kinne injured in loss to Oklahoma State
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Sunday, September 18, 2011
9/18/11 at 5:04 PM
Tulsa’s biggest loss wasn’t the 59-33 setback to No. 8 Oklahoma State at Chapman Stadium early Sunday morning.
The Golden Hurricane’s biggest blow came when quarterback G.J. Kinne left in the third offensive series after suffering a knee injury in his team’s third offensive series.
Kinne scrambled for 23 yards before running out of bounds. OSU’s Daytawion Lowe hit the Tulsa quarterback late, drawing a 15-yard personal foul. Kinne slid into a cart on the sideline, where a source close to the situation said he suffered an MCL injury.
The extent of the knee injury will not be known until an MRI is done.
Redshirt freshman Kalen Henderson took over for TU. The trial-by-fire experience was a rough one for Henderson, who finished 6-of-20 passing for 104 yards. He threw three interceptions and had two touchdown throws (43 yards, 14 yards) to Bryan Burnham.
“I thought Kalen came in and, after a little shaky start, played really well towards the end,” TU coach Bill Blankenship said.
He added that Kinne’s absence changed the game plan significantly.
“G.J. was going to run the ball quite a bit, as he was having success doing,” Blankenship said. “Kalen does a good job with that, but doesn’t have the experience G.J. has. It goes back to how do you prepare ... our second-team quarterback is not going to have the whole package that you have with the veteran and third-year starter.”
Henderson said the “life of the team just got sucked away” when Kinne went down.
The redshirt freshman’s youth was evident in his first snaps. In his opening two possessions, Henderson had three fumbles, losing one.
“When I first got in the game, when I found out G.J. was hurt, things moved kind of fast,” Henderson said. “Everyone was just telling me to settle down and just play my game, so once I settled down and just ran my offense ... everything just came to me.”
To help Henderson, the Hurricane turned to its rushing attack and it produced.
Ja’Terian Douglas ended with a personal-best 173 yards and Trey Watts finished with a career-high 159. It was the first time the Hurricane has two 100-yard rushers in the same game since Tarrion Adams (116 yards) and Courtney Tennial (109) against Rice in 2006.
Tulsa (1-2) also hadn’t had a running back eclipse the 100-yard mark since Adams raced for 207 yards in the 2009 GMAC Bowl victory over Ball State.
“The offensive line played great,” Watts said. “It was one of the best games I’ve seen them play since I’ve been here. They just blocked their butts off and gave us holes to run through. When they play great, it makes it easy on us.”
Tulsa finished with 482 yards of offense, including 365 on the ground.
The Cowboys (3-0) were even more dangerous with the football.
OSU raced to a 31-6 halftime lead, taking advantage of good field position and dissecting the Hurricane defense.
Tulsa led 3-0 after a Shawn Jackson interception. The Cowboys scored on their next five possessions to enter the locker room with the healthy lead.
“We knew they were a high-powered offense and we had to stop (Justin) Blackmon from the deep ball,” Jackson said. “ ... we got caught in some bad spots and they had field position at the beginning of the game.”
OSU finished with 543 yards of offense, with quarterback Brandon Weeden going 29-of-39 for 369 yards and three touchdowns. He threw the Jackson interception and also was picked off by Alan Dock.
Kinne’s status will be the big question as Tulsa prepares for next week’s game at No. 4 Boise State.
The team will persevere, the players said.
“It’s definitely a big loss,” Watts said. “He’s our leader on offense and he’s not just a leader, but one of our friends. You never want to see one of your friends and teammates go down to an injury, especially when you don’t know how serious the injury is.
“We just have to stay positive and turn to Kalen and have Kalen step up for us.”
G.J. Kinne left on TU's third offensive series. TOM GILBERT/Tulsa World