Tulsa 45 – Ball State 13
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) -Tulsa raced through the rain to another GMAC Bowl win and a couple more records, too.
Tarrion Adams rushed for 207 yards and three touchdowns in the 45-13 victory over No. 23 Ball State on a soggy Tuesday night. The Golden Hurricane (11-3) finished with a school-record 11 victories.
Adams passed Micheal Gunter to become Tulsa’s career rushing leader. Tulsa had 439 yards rushing and 632 overall _ hardly slowing down a bit by rain that first formed puddles and then covered nearly the entire field during a second-half deluge.
“We expected to win. We weren’t going to have it any other way,” Golden Hurricane coach Todd Graham said. “I felt like where we had an advantage on them was how physical we are.
“We got into a rhythm early and we had them off-balance on some things.”
David Johnson passed for 193 yards and three touchdowns, most of that to freshman Damaris Johnson. Tulsa kicker Jarod Tracy became the school’s career scoring leader.
Adams needed just 19 carries, though one was a season-long 56-yard touchdown scamper.
“My teammates wanted me to break the record more than I wanted to break the record,” he said. “They told me where I was after every series.”
Tulsa’s 63-7 win over Bowling Green in last year’s GMAC was the most lopsided bowl game in NCAA history. This was another runaway thanks to the nation’s No. 2 offense and a capitalistic defense.
Yes, defense. Ball State didn’t manage a first down or complete a pass in the second half, netting 22 yards.
“I thought it was stellar,” Graham said. “We’ve won back-to-back bowl championships and we’ve given up two touchdowns. To have somebody get zero first downs in a half, that’s pretty good.”
Ball State (12-2) fell to 0-5 in bowl games after recording a school-record 12 wins.
Damaris Johnson supplied many of the big plays for Tulsa’s no-huddle offense and had 274 all-purpose yards. He had 135 yards receiving, 76 yards rushing _ including a tackle-breaking 62-yarder in the fourth quarter _ and returned three kicks for 63 yards.
Three of his teammates ran for at least 58 yards as well.