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Tulsa 38, Texas-El Paso 21

November 17, 1996

EL PASO, Texas (AP) _ Troy DeGar passed for three touchdowns as Tulsa defeated Texas-El Paso 38-21 Saturday night, breaking a four-game losing streak.

In a game to avoid the cellar in the Western Athletic Conference’s Mountain Division, DeGar picked apart the WAC’s top defense, completing 14-of-24 passes for 182 yards and touchdowns of 22, 11 and 7 yards.

Solomon White added two touchdowns while rushing for 192 yards on 31 carries for Tulsa (4-6, 2-5 WAC). The Miners (2-8, 0-7) have lost five straight.

Tulsa scored just three minutes into the game en route to a 17-0 halftime lead and weren’t seriously threatened. DeGar threw touchdown passes of 22 and 11 yards to Mark Lippe, sandwiched around James Anderson’s 34-yard field goal that was set up by a blocked punt.

UTEP closed the gap to 17-7 early in the second half on a 1-yard run by Joseph Polk after David Giannoni recovered a Tulsa fumble at the Hurricane 9.

White’s 6-yard touchdown with 8:40 remaining in the third quarter upped Tulsa’s advantage to 24-7.

UTEP closed to 24-14 as Leonard Lilja hit Raymond Murphy for a 53-yard touchdown pass that was nearly an interception. Tulsa’s Marshall Gordon had the ball in his hands at the Hurricane’s 20, but Murphy wrestled it away and raced in for the score.

Lilja completed 9-of-25 passes for 152 yards and two TDs.

DeGar’s third touchdown pass, a 7-yard strike to Wes Caswell, made it 31-14 with one second remaining in the third quarter and White closed out Tulsa’s scoring with a 2-yard touchdown run with 7:40 left in the game.

UTEP got the game’s final touchdown on a 25-yard pass from Lilja to Cedric Johnson with 3:19 remaining.

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