Spears, Johnson lead No. 19 Tulane past Tulsa, 27-13

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TULSA, Okla. – Tyjae Spears ran for 157 yards and a touchdown and Shaadie Clayton-Johnson gained 106 to lead No. 19 Tulane to a 27-13 win over Tulsa on Saturday.

Tulane (8-1, 5-0 American Athletic Conference) had lost the past two meetings with Tulsa (3-6, 1-4) in overtime, but controlled this one with a dominant running game.

The Hurricane gained 357 yards on the ground, with Spears and Johnson each running the ball 14 times.

“Our offensive line did a terrific job,” Tulane coach Willie Fritz said. “Bodies on bodies is a big part of it.”

Tulsa had won seven of the first eight home games with Tulane.

Michael Pratt completed 11 of 19 passes for 125 yards for Tulane. He was victimized by a walk-off interception return for a touchdown in overtime two seasons ago.

Fritz didn’t worry about the losses in the past two years.

“Each year is different, said Fritz. “This is the 2022 Tulane Green Wave, and this is the 2022 Tulsa Golden Hurricane. We have to do a good job of flushing those down the toilet and playing and not worrying about the past successes or failures and playing the best that you can.”.

Tulsa was playing without starting quarterback Davis Brin, who has been banged up but hadn’t missed a game in the last two years. Brin had beaten Tulane the last two years.

Braylon Braxton couldn’t rally the faltering Golden Hurricane, completing 13 of 25 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown.

Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery said playing Tulane can be frustrating.

“Defensively, they did a good job on us,” Montgomery said. “They can really eat up the clock when they get the lead..

Tulane had taken a two-touchdown lead on Spear’s 34-yard touchdown run. Tulsa cut it to 17-10 at halftime on Braxton’s 28-yard touchdown pass to JuanCarlos Santana.

But Tulane went up 24-10 on its first possession of the second half on a 20-yarder from Pratt to Shae Wyatt, and was never threatened again.

THE TAKEAWAY

TULANE: The Green Wave took care of business after two straight rough losses to Tulsa and kept the game safely away from overtime territory.

TULSA: Held to 257 total yards in Brin’s absence against the league’s top defense, well under the 434.2 yards a game the Hurricane were averaging coming into the game.

BRIN MISSES GAME

The Green Wave benefitted from not having to face Brin, who victimized Tulane the last two years. Brin has been banged up this year. The first meaningful action of his career came against Tulane, and his 37-yard Hail Mary at the end of regulation in 2020 forced the game into overtime.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Tulane could move up a little in the polls by improving to 8-1.

GOING FOR IT

Fritz wasn’t shy about going for it on fourth down in the first half, and both gambles paid off. On 4th and 2 from its own 35 in the first quarter, the punt team was out but a quick huddle and snap gained 3 yards, leading to a field goal. The second one came on 4th and 2 at its own 42 in the second quarter. A completed pass by Pratt led to a Tulane TD and a 17-3 lead.

UP NEXT

Tulane hosts No. 25 UCF on Saturday, Nov. 12.

Tulsa has a short turnaround before visiting Memphis on Thursday.

Texas State hires Incarnate Word coach Kinne to lead Bobcats

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Texas State hired Incarnate Word coach G.J. Kinne on Friday to lead a Sun Belt program that has had only one winning season since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

The 34-year-old former Tulsa quarterback has made a fast rise in coaching since ending his professional career in 2017.

After three years as an offensive analyst at SMU, Arkansas and the Philadelphia Eagles, Kinne became offensive coordinator at Hawaii in 2020. He held the same role for UCF in 2021 before landing the head coaching job at FCS Incarnate Word this season.

Incarnate Word is 10-1 and averaging 53 points and 8.3 yards per play, both FCS highs, heading into its playoff game Saturday against Furman. Kinne will remain with Incarnate Word through their playoff run.

“It’s with great honor that I’m accepting the call to be next head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats,” Kinne said. “We are going to play fast, have relentless energy, and when the going gets tough, have the mental confidence to win tight games in the second half and represent the state of Texas. Eat ‘Em Up!”

Texas State fired Jake Spavital last week after the Bobcats won just 13 games in his four seasons.

Kinne signed a five-year contract, the school said. Terms were not immediately released.

“My goal was to hire someone with demonstrated leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success with recruiting and developing players,” said Texas State President Kelly Damphousse. “I sought a leader with a plan to capitalize on our location in the heart of the best high school football in the country.”

Florida Atlantic hires Tom Herman as football coach

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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Former Texas and Houston head coach Tom Herman will take over at Florida Atlantic as it heads into its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

The hire comes just days after FAU fired Willie Taggart, who went 15-18 in his three seasons with the Owls. Details of the contract with Herman were not immediately available.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Tom Herman to Paradise,” FAU Director of Athletics Brian White said Thursday. “Throughout the process and the more we talked with Coach Herman, the more it became apparent to me that he was the right person to lead our football program. Beyond his knowledge of the game, which is obvious by his success over the years, he also truly cares about the young people in his program.”

FAU’s final season in Conference USA ended with a 5-7 record and an overtime loss to Western Kentucky. The Owls will be in the American next season.

Herman returns to college football after spending the 2021 season with the Chicago Bears as an offensive analyst.

Herman was 22-4 at Houston, a mark that helped him land the head coaching job at Texas where he went 32-18 with four straight bowl trips in 2017-2020. He also was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship season, as well as stops at Iowa State, Rice and Texas State.

“All the pieces are in place at FAU for us to be successful,” Herman said. “There are already great young men on this team, great facilities, a great location, a great recruiting base and great leadership, all of which are important to building a successful program.”