DALLAS — Tulsa built a 21-point fourth-quarter lead over No. 24 SMU, but the Mustangs rallied to tie the game at 30 to force overtime, then won in the third overtime on a 25-yard pass from Shane Buechele to James Proche. The play was originally ruled incomplete, but reversed by replay review. After the teams exchanged touchdowns in the first overtime, Tulsa forced an SMU turnover on its possession in the second overtime. But the Hurricane's Jacob Rainey missed a 43-yard field goal that could have won the game. Tulsa missed a 42-yard field goal in the third overtime. It was the Hurricane's American Athletic Conference opener. The Hurricane were off last week. Two weeks ago, TU held on to close out its non-conference schedule with a 24-21 victory over Wyoming. SMU is off to a 6-0 start and ranked for the first time since receiving the NCAA death penalty in 1987 for recruiting violations. Tulsa quarterback Zach Smith has threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns in regulation, but also tossed three interceptions. The Hurricane took a 16-6 lead early in the second quarter when Kendarin Ray recovered a misplayed kickoff in the end zone.
After further review, Hurricane falls in three overtimes to Mustangs
Related: Hurricane falls in three-OT thriller in Dallas
First down | Story of the game
A near upset Tulsa was on the cusp of getting its first win over a ranked opponent since 2010 in Dallas. SMU scored 21 unanswered in the fourth quarter, though, to force overtime. The No. 24 Mustangs prevailed 43-37 in three overtimes to remain undefeated. — Dekota Gregory, Tulsa World
Second down | Matchup that mattered
Proche vs TU secondary SMU receiver James Proche was ultimately too much for the TU secondary and made huge plays when it mattered the most, including a fourth-quarter touchdown and the game-winning score. — Dekota Gregory, Tulsa World
Third down | Game MVP
WR James Proche Proche tapped his foot into the end zone and kept SMU undefeated. His 25-yard touchdown in the third overtime decided the game. Proche caught 11 passes for 153 yards and two scores. — Dekota Gregory, Tulsa World
Fourth down | What’s next
More late AAC action TU returns to Chapman Stadium on Saturday for another nighttime American Athletic Conference game against Navy. The Golden Hurricane fell to Navy last season, 37-29. The Midshipmen are 3-1 this season and coming off a 34-25 win over Air Force. — Dekota Gregory, Tulsa World
Tulsa at SMU notebook: TU ends first-drive skid; Stokes has TD streak
TULSA AT NO. 24 SMU 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas TV: ESPNU Radio: KXBL-99.5 Records: Tulsa 2-2; SMU 5-0 All-time series: SMU leads 14-11 Last meeting: Tulsa won at home 27-24 last season.
FOX23 James Aydelott forecast: Sunny. Kickoff: 88°.
First down | Top storyline
Conference play doesn’t make things easier for TU The Golden Hurricane will kick off American Athletic Conference play against No. 24 SMU on Saturday. The Mustangs are undefeated, meaning even with conference play here, TU still hasn’t gone into a game this season against an opponent with a loss. — Dekota Gregory, Tulsa World
Second down | Key matchup
TU’s secondary vs SMU’s passing game The Mustangs’ offense has been stellar this season, largely because of SMU’s passing game. Texas transfer Shane Buechele has brought a new dynamic at quarterback and has talented receivers to compliment him. The TU secondary must slow down SMU’s air strike to disrupt the balance of the offense and keep the game close. — Dekota Gregory, Tulsa World
Third down | Player to watch
CB Allie Green IV TU defensive players said before the season Green had the best fall camp on that side of the ball. So far this season, Green has three pass breakups, but catching his first interception of the season would get SMU’s passing game out of rhythm and give the Hurricane momentum on the road. — Dekota Gregory, Tulsa World
Fourth down | Who wins and why
Surging Mustangs overcome TU
From Bill Haisten: No one expected SMU to look like this: unbeaten and ranked No. 24 in the Associated Press poll. Former Texas quarterback Shane Buechele has completed 69% of his passes, and the Mustangs are averaging 44 points and 511 yards per game. They’ve converted on 51% of their third-down plays. TU had an open date last week after recording an important and impressive home win over Wyoming on Sept. 21. Golden Hurricane players should be refreshed and excited to challenge the surging Mustangs. SMU found a way to win on TCU’s home field two weeks ago. On Saturday, the Mustangs find a way to overcome TU’s run game-and-defense combination. SMU wins 31-27.
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