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Tulsa smashes Central Michigan in Miami Beach Bowl

The Detroit News

 

Tulsa wide receiver Josh Atkinson is unable to hold on to a pass as Central Michigan defensive back Emmett Thomas defends in the first half.

Miami — Dane Evans and Tulsa put up huge numbers all season, and did it again at the Miami Beach Bowl.

Evans passed for 304 yards and five touchdowns in his final college game, three of those scoring throws going to Keevan Lucas, and Tulsa rolled past Central Michigan 55-10 on Monday afternoon at Marlins Park.

Evans completed 28 of 38 passes for the Golden Hurricane (10-3), who finished with six wins in the season’s final seven games. It capped a record-setting career for Evans, who became Tulsa’s leader with 84 touchdown throws and — as a big baseball fan — said it was a thrill to play in a big-league park.

“If anyone knows me, they know I don’t go into a game hoping I get 300 and five touchdowns,” said Evans, also the school leader in passing yards. “I just want to win.”

Tulsa’s offense got points on its first eight possessions, plus another touchdown when Jesse Brubaker ran an interception back 66 yards for a score. The Golden Hurricane — who weren’t stopped with Evans on the field — turned it over on downs in their final two drives, the second of those a merciful kneel-down with 1:44 left at the Central Michigan 5.

 

BOX SCORE: Tulsa 55, Central Michigan 10

Tulsa finished the season averaging 42.5 points and 527 yards per game. The Golden Hurricane outgained Central Michigan 581-355.

“We’ve had a really good season and this is a really good football team,” Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery said. “I don’t know if we’ve gotten the respect across the country that we deserve.”

Cooper Rush was 24 for 49 passing for 241 yards for Central Michigan (6-7), throwing three interceptions in his final game with the Chippewas. Jahray Hayes ran for Central Michigan’s lone touchdown.

“We certainly felt like we matched up a little better than what we demonstrated today,” Central Michigan coach John Bonamego said. “We just didn’t execute at a fundamental level.”

D’Angelo Brewer rushed for 105 yards, and James Flanders ran for another 100 and a score for Tulsa. Josh Atkinson and Chris Minter also caught scoring passes for the Golden Hurricane.

“I just wanted the win today and I’m glad that we got that,” Lucas said. “Three touchdowns, that’s just how it happened.”

Rush finished with 12,894 yards — 11 shy of matching Dan LeFevour’s Mid-American Conference record of 12,905. His last attempt as time expired would have given him the record, but fell incomplete. “I was trying to get completions,” Rush said.

The Chippewas went 1-5 in their final six games, and 3-7 after a 3-0 start. This was the third straight bowl trip for Central Michigan, but the Chippewas went 0-3 in them.

This wasn’t even Tulsa’s biggest bowl win. It topped Bowling Green 63-7 at the GMAC Bowl to close the 2007 season.

Tulsa went 10 for 15 on third downs, and never punted.