TU defense shuts down Houston
BY MICHAEL PETERS World Sports Editor
Sunday, November 11, 2012
11/11/12 at 7:41 AM
HOUSTON - The only group scrambling more than the University of Houston offense Saturday night were the folks in the Robertson Stadium press box.
Midway through the fourth quarter, with Tulsa holding a commanding 41-0 lead, it was necessary to rush to the record book.
The Golden Hurricane defense was making a mess of a dangerous Cougars offense - and about to make history in the process.
Tulsa hadn't held an opponent scoreless in 10 years. The Hurricane hadn't done it on the road since 1967, against a team - Wichita State - which doesn't even play football any more.
But about that time, the Hurricane defense pulled off its biggest shocker of the night - it broke down on a couple of plays to allow Houston's Ryan Jackson to score on a 16-yard pass.
There would be no rewrite of the record book - about the only nit you could pick in a 41-7 Tulsa win over Houston.
"Our defense played really, really well," Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship said. "I hate that we turned it over there at the end on the punt (setting up Houston's scoring drive).
"In the long run, you like those things that are special, but it didn't take away from a really, really good day for them."
Playing without one of its best offensive players - running back Charles Sims - Houston was held 26 points below its season scoring average. And the Cougars, who average nearly 500 yards of offense, had just 262 on Saturday.
"That is a completely different team than we saw a year ago," said Tulsa defensive coordinator Brent Guy of last year's 48-16 loss to Houston.
"We have eight guys that played in that game and got beat. They came down here with a purpose. We played much smarter. The fourth downs were huge."
Tulsa stopped a pair of fourth-down conversion attempts by Houston on Saturday, the first setting up a short field for the Hurricane's first touchdown.
The Tulsa defense also kept the game scoreless while the Hurricane offense was finding its way - Tulsa had three punts and an interception on its first four series.
"Certainly on the road it's the most complete game we've had," Blankenship said. "We struggled on offense a little bit early, but the defense kept getting the ball back."
The defense also got in the end zone, as senior defensive end Cory Dorris scored the first touchdown of his football life, returning an interception 22 yards for a score in the fourth quarter.
"I've never run the ball in my life," Dorris said. "It's the first time I've ever run the ball. I'm one-for-one, 100 percent."
The same could be said for the rest of his defensive teammates Saturday night.
Original Print Headline: Hurricane defense shuts down Houston
Michael Peters 918-581-8348
TU's Marco Nelson (left) and DeAundre Brown take down Houston's Kenneth Farrow during the first half Saturday. TOM GILBERT / Tulsa World