Tulsa 28, Houston 25
TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Gus Frerotte threw a pair of touchdowns to Gary Brown and Phil Holmes had two big sacks in the fourth quarter as Tulsa hung on to beat Houston 28-25 Saturday night.
The victory was the eighth in a row for the Golden Hurricane (1-0), which shut down the Cougars’ quick-strike offense three times in the final quarter.
Eric Lange kicked a 42-yard field goal, his fourth of the game, with 8:18 left for the final margin. Houston (0-1) had three possessions left but could not get close to midfield.
Holmes sacked Jimmy Klinger to stall the second drive, and he sacked him again to open the Cougars final drive and rally the Hurricane defense.
Klinger, a freshman taking over for brother David this year, completed 30 of 57 for 327 yards and two touchdowns, but he completed just three of 10 passes on the final three possessions.
Chris Bratcher intercepted a pass, recovered two fumbles and forced a safety for Tulsa. The Cougars had five turnovers, three in the first half when they fell behind 22-10.
Frerotte, a junior making his first start since a disastrous freshman year, was 19 of 36 for 240 yards and two touchdowns.
Both were to Brown, a junior college transfer who got more playing time because Chris Penn was ruled academically ineligible. He also made two spectacular catches, both of which led to Lange field goals. Brown had five catches for 116 yards.
Tulsa built a 15-0 lead in the first quarter on Houston mistakes.
After the Cougars muffed the opening kickoff, they took over at the 5 and reached Tulsa’s 20 in just 100 seconds. But Douglas fumbled a snap, the first of four mishaps in the opening quarter.
The Hurricane got a safety when Donald Douglas, under pressure in the end zone from Bratcher, was called for intentional grounding. After Lange kicked a 53-yard field goal and Brown caught the first of his touchdowns, TiAndre Sanders fumbled on Houston’s first play, and Lange’s 31-yard field goal made it 15-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Klinger replaced Douglas and threw an interception on his second play from scrimmage, but the Hurricane went nowhere and Houston began to regain the momentum it had on its first drive.
Klinger completed five straight on an 80-yard drive that took just 1 minute, 15 seconds and ended with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Freddie Gilbert. The Cougars drove 55 yards in eight plays before settling for a 31-yard field goal by Trace Craft.