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Tulsa 31, Oklahoma 24

September 28, 1996

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ Backup quarterback Troy DeGar led a first-half blitz that got Tulsa out in front of Oklahoma, then the Golden Hurricane overcame a rally to win 31-24 and beat the Sooners for the first time since 1943.

Tulsa (2-2) had been 0-5 against Oklahoma since that last victory, losing by an average of 35 points. But this is clearly a different Oklahoma program.

The Sooners (0-3) have lost six in a row dating to last year and haven’t even led in a game since their last victory, 13-9 over Missouri in the seventh game of last year.

Oklahoma, crippled by mistakes in the first half, played mistake free in scoring 17 third-quarter points to tie the score at 24. But the errors surfaced again in the fourth quarter when the Sooners failed to cross midfield.

DeGar completed 18-of-38 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns, including a 99-yard touchdown to Wes Caswell. Reggie Williams added 105 yards rushing for the Golden Hurricane.

De’Mond Parker gained 143 yards on 19 carries for Oklahoma, and Justin Fuente completed 15-of-31 for 243 yards and a touchdown.

Solomon White’s 2-yard run midway through the fourth quarter proved to be the game-winner. The touchdown came five plays after linebacker Muadianvita Kazadi intercepted a deflected pass at the Sooners 34.

On Oklahoma’s next drive, a holding penalty on first down negated a 35-yard completion from Fuente to Michael McDaniel. Oklahoma ended the brief drive by having its punt blocked, although Tulsa failed to take advantage.

The Sooners’ final possession started at their 36 with 3:01 to play. With Oklahoma out of timeouts, Fuente was tackled for no gain on a first-down scramble, lost eight yards on second down, gained seven with a third-down pass and then threw incomplete.

Tulsa’s best chance to win was supposed to ride on the right arm of quarterback John Fitzgerald, who threw for 357 yards in the Golden Hurricane’s upset of then-No. 19 Iowa last week.

But Fitzgerald didn’t play due to a shoulder injury and DeGar got off to a shaky start, missing on six of his nine tries in the first quarter.

He went 6-of-11 for 170 yards in the second quarter, however, including the 99-yarder. Caswell got behind cornerback Cedric Stephens and caught the pass at the 32, kept his balance when Stephens tried an ankle tackle, then ran untouched to the end zone.

The longest pass play in Tulsa history wiped out the momentum Oklahoma had gained by pinning the Hurricane at the 1 on a punt, and also gave Tulsa a 17-7 lead.

The Hurricane made it 24-7 at halftime by driving 80 yards in 13 plays, with DeGar hitting Jeff Utter on a 4-yard scoring pass in the final minute of the second quarter.

McDaniel started Oklahoma’s third-quarter rally with a nice 41-yard catch and run for a touchdown. He broke a handful of tackles and managed to keep his balance while making his way down the sideline.

Five minutes later, Fuente sneaked in from the 1 three plays after Oklahoma had recovered a blocked punt at the Tulsa 18. Jeremy Alexander’s 49-yard field goal late in the quarter tied the score.

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