Tulsa scored with 8:25 remaining on Cody Green's four-yard pass to Jordan James, and the defense held on, as the Golden Hurricane defeated Marshall, 45-38, in front of a crowd of 27,189 Saturday afternoon at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
The Golden Hurricane (5-1, 3-0 C-USA) won its seventh straight road C-USA contest to remain unbeaten in league play this season.
The Tulsa defense twice stopped Marshall on fourth down in the final four minutes to seal the victory. The first was 4th-and-5 from the TU 16 when Lowell Rose broke up the pass. Then on the next possession, Demarco Nelson dove in for the break up on 4th-and-7 on the TU 17, to give the Hurricane the ball back to kneel out the clock.
Marshall took a 38-37 lead with 10:59 left in the game when Rakeem Cato found Antavious Wilson for a 32-yard touchdown. Tulsa took the ensuing kickoff and drove 66 yards in six plays for the winning score.
Alex Singleton rushed for three touchdowns and 94 yards, while Trey Watts rushed 18 times for 111 yards. The junior tailback Watts also totaled 144 yards on kickoff returns, including a 95-yarder for a touchdown, and totaled a career-high 255 all-purpose yards in the game.
Marshall (2-4, 1-1 C-USA) outgained Tulsa, 572-340, including 403-90 in the air. The Golden Hurricane outrushed the Thundering Herd, 250-169, and forced three turnovers.
Tulsa took the second-half kickoff 69 yards in 13 plays and scored on a two-yard Singleton run at the 9:54 mark of the period, giving the Hurricane a 24-17 lead. On Marshall's subsequent possession, Tulsa's Dwight Dobbins picked up a fumble and ran 11 yards for a score. However, Tulsa had a bad snap on the PAT attempt and Marshall's Andre Snipes returned the ball for two points, making the score 30-19.
Marshall took the kick 84 yards in 12 for six points as Remi Watson scored from one yard out, but the two-point conversion failed, making the score 30-25 in favor of the Hurricane.
Tulsa's Trey Watts took the subsequent kickoff 95 yards for his second career TD on a kick return, but Marshall wasted little time as Rakeem Cato hit Gator Hoskins on the right sideline as Hoskins ran more than 50 yards for a 72-yard touchdown reception.
At the 3:57 of the third quarter the score read Tulsa 37 and Marshall 32.
The home team Herd took its first lead of the game, 38-37, at the 10:59 mark of the fourth quarter when Cato threw the final 36 yards of a 99-yard drive to Antavious Wilson for the touchdown. Marshall went for the two-point conversion, but the pass in the corner of the end zone was broken up by Tulsa's Dobbins.
Tulsa answered in 2:34 going 64 yards in six plays as Cody Green threw 47 yards to Keyarris Garrett and a third-and-5 at the Tulsa 37-yard line. Green threw a four-yard TD pass to Jordan James, and a two-point conversion to Thomas Roberson to retake the lead at 45-38.
To start the game, Tulsa put the first points on the board with a 36-yard Daniel Schwarz field goal following a fumble recovery by Tulsa's Dexter McCoil at the Marshall 46-yard line. Lowell Rose's interception on Marshall's second possession gave Tulsa ball at the Marshall 38-yard line, but the Hurricane offense could not muster any offense.
Marshall took the subsequent possession 76 yards in 14 plays, but the Hurricane defense stopped the Herd at the four-yard line forcing a field goal. MU's Justin Haig tied the score with his 20-yard field goal.
On a fourth-and-1 from the Marshall 48-yard line, Tulsa's Alex Singleton went over the left side of the line and not only picked up the first down, but rumbled for a 48 yards for Tulsa's first touchdown of the game. Singleton's career-long run made the score 10-3 to cap an eight-play, 80-yard drive in 3:19 off the clock.
At the end of the first quarter, Tulsa held a slight edge in total offense, 135 to 95 yards.
Tulsa continued its drive from the first quarter and went 63 yards in 16 plays and taking 7:30 off the clock to take a two-touchdown lead at 17-3. The possession for the Hurricane was the longest drive for duration and plays this year as Singleton scored his second TD of the game with a four-yard run. Singleton gained 29 yards on eight carries during that scoring drive.
Marshall's quick strike offense tied the score at 17 in the final three minutes of the first half. First, the Herd went 80 yards in nine plays and cut the Tulsa lead to seven points with 2:36 remaining on the halftime clock as Kevin Grooms ran in for the score from six yards out.
Tulsa gave the ball right back to the Herd with a fumble by Demarco Nelson on the kickoff return. Marshall went in to tie the score 17-17 with 1:15 remaining in the first half when Cato connected with Antavious Wilson for an 11-yard touchdown pass.
At intermission, Marshall held a 255 to 208-yard advantage in total offense. Tulsa ran the ball 31 times, while throwing just eight passes in the first half as the Hurricane gained 189 yards on the ground and just 19 yards passing against the Herd. Marshall picked up 108 yards on 13 plays on its two first-half touchdown drives.
Tulsa will return to H.A. Chapman Stadium for a Thursday night game against the UTEP Miners in a nationally televised game on FOX Sports Network. Kickoff for the Conference USA match-up is scheduled for 7:00 pm.