TU Football

Tulsa quarterback Zach Smith threw a long pass against OSU that was negated by a penalty. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World

The old phrase was continually repeated in the H.A. Chapman Stadium press box Saturday. It kept popping up on social media when fans commented about the game unfolding. When the game did end, it took University of Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery less than 20 seconds to utter the words himself during the postgame press conference.

After leading Oklahoma State by one at halftime, TU lost 40-21.

“We’ve got to quit shooting ourselves in the foot,” Montgomery said. “We had way too many penalties. We gave up some explosive plays today that we haven’t been giving up. To me, those were probably the two main things in the game that kind of — without going back and looking at it — the things that stood out to me.

“We had big plays negated by penalties. Get some momentum going and shoot ourselves in the foot again with some penalty. So we’ve got to eliminate those things.”

The Hurricane tallied 17 penalties for 156 yards in the loss. The 17 penalties were tied for the most in a game in TU history.

The Big 12 crew threw 26 flags in the game, including nine against OSU.

“Some of it is experience,” Montgomery said. “Some of it is — I’ve got to be real careful (with what I say), but I’ve just got to look at the film and see it all. There’s some things that, obviously, we’ve got to go back and correct. Some of that is some youth. We’ve just got to be a little bit more disciplined in some areas.

“But as long as we’re playing hard, we just can’t have those come in at negative times, and today they really came in at negative times, put us behind the chains in some areas and negated some really big plays that happened.”

Safety Manny Bunch recovered a fumble to give TU the ball on OSU’s 48-yard line down 12 points in the fourth quarter. The next play, Zach Smith hit Keylon Stokes for a 33-yard gain to put the Hurricane inside the red zone. But a yellow flag was on the turf before Stokes was even tackled to it. A penalty for an illegal man downfield erased TU’s big play, and the Hurricane was eventually forced to punt.

“It’s frustrating,” Stokes said, “but it’s something you have to bypass, listen to the problem and move on to the next play.”

This was the second straight week TU had an issue with penalties, drawing 12 for 105 yards in the last game against San Jose State. So after back-to-back games of watching his team be forced to go backward because of flags, Montgomery was asked how frustrating it is.

Answered Montgomery: “Extremely.”

Dekota Gregory

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Dekota covers the University of Tulsa football team and ORU men’s basketball team. An Oklahoma State University graduate, he was an intern for the Tulsa World before joining in 2019.