Tigers End Disappointing Season With A Loss - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Carrie Anderson

Tigers End Disappointing Season With A Loss

Tulsa, Okla. (AP) - Tulsa finished a disappointing season with

an inspired effort and sent Memphis coach Tommy West out with a


G.J. Kinne tossed a game-tying, 2-yard touchdown pass to Trae

Johnson with 30 seconds and Kevin Fitzpatrick's fourth field goal

was the game-winner in overtime as Tulsa rallied to beat Memphis

33-30 Friday.

The Golden Hurricane (5-7, 3-5 Conference USA) snapped a

six-game losing streak.

"I give a lot of credit to our seniors today for sticking

together and gritting this one out," Tulsa coach Todd Graham said.

"It was very emotional last night when they gave their last talks

and today in the locker room. Those guys have been used to a lot of

success here and this year didn't go the way we wanted."

West, fired last month by Memphis (2-10, 1-7), finished his

ninth season with the Tigers with a record of 49-61 at the school.

"I've never seen so many bad things happen to one football

team," West said. "I love them for the fight. They tried to rally

and I love them for that. It would have been easy for them to come

out here on Thanksgiving week and just throw it out there and give

half effort."

In the overtime, Memphis quarterback Arkelon Hall tried to hit

Curtis Steele with a pass in the flat, but he bobbled it and senior

James Lockett intercepted.

 Tulsa ran three plays into the line and brought on Fitzpatrick,

who is now 13-of-14 on the season.

"I looked at Kevin and he looked like he was getting ready to

go to Disney World," Graham said. "He said 'Coach, I've been

waiting for this my whole life. It's going right down the middle.'


Fitzpatrick said, "I just had to relax and go through my


Steele ran for 232 yards and touchdowns of 59, 77, 29 and 4

yards for Memphis.

Kinne completed 27 of 40 passes for 268 yards and three

touchdowns with one interception. He also ran for 57 yards on 16


Tulsa broke a 10-10 halftime tie with 10 consecutive points,

including a 10-yard touchdown pass from Kinne to Charles Clay.

Steele took control midway through the third quarter. He raced

77 yards around right end on the first play of Memphis' next

possession, then added fourth-quarter runs of 29 and 4 yards as

Memphis stuck to the ground in the absence of starting quarterback

Will Hudgens, out with a knee injury.

"Curtis is a great player and I don't use that word much,"

West said. "I've been around some really good backs and he is one

of them. He's a tremendous player and you saw what he did today."

Memphis ran for 268 yards. Hall completed 9 of 16 passes for 79


After Steele's third score, Tulsa blocked the extra point to

keep the score tied at 23.

Steele did most of the damage on a 44-yard drive as Memphis took

the lead following an interception of Kinne's pass by Bryan Wright.

Steele crashed over from the 4 as Memphis took the lead at 30-23

with 4:04 left.

Kinne moved the Hurricane 70 yards in nine plays to tie the

score with 30 seconds left on the short toss to Johnson.

Fitzpatrick added field goals of 25, 31 and 21 yards for Tulsa

and matched his career best for field goals in a game.



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