ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Tulsa and Navy were so closely matched, it
was only fitting the game came down to the final play.
Nick Graham blocked an extra-point attempt by Navy's Matt Harmon
to give Tulsa a 24-23 victory Saturday in the first-ever overtime
game for the Midshipmen.
After the teams finished regulation tied at 17, Tulsa (3-1) got
the ball first in overtime. Paul Smith threw a 6-yard touchdown
pass to Donnie Johnson and Jarod Tracy's extra point made it 24-17.
Navy (3-1) needed just one play to score. Brian Hampton
completed a 25-yard pass to O.J. Washington, who barely stayed
inbounds in the back of the end zone. But Graham broke through the
Navy line to block Harmon's kick.
Officials reviewed Navy's touchdown to make sure Washington had
come down inbounds, giving Tulsa extra time to prepare for the
"We did not know if (the TD pass) was good or not, but I told
our defense that no matter what happens, we are going to find a way
to win," Tulsa coach Steve Kragthorpe said. "If we have to go
back on the field for a PAT, we are going to find a way to block
it. We got a great push up the middle and blocked it."
The teams were tied at 7 at halftime, and it was 14-all entering
the fourth quarter. Harmon's career-best 39-yard field goal put
Navy ahead 17-14 with 9:57 remaining, but Tracy matched it with a
29-yard kick with 6:13 left.
North Texas State is now the only Division I-A school never to
play an overtime game.
"We were all right with it," Navy coach Paul Johnson said of
playing overtime. "We practice overtime a lot. We scored in one
Johnson was critical of two crucial calls late in the game. An
illegal procedure penalty before the Midshipmen's last field goal
cost them five yards, and Johnson said Tulsa should have been
called for delay of game before its tying field goal.
"Clearly the 25-second clock ran out" before Tracy got his
kick off, Johnson said.
"It was a tough one for either team to lose," Johnson said.
"It was a screwy game with few possessions. It became a big deal
to execute. ... We didn't need to go into overtime. We just didn't
get it done."
Smith completed 24 of 36 passes for a career-high 285 yards. His
three touchdown passes included a 34-yarder to Ryan Bugg in the
second quarter and a 7-yarder to Ted Curtis in the third.
Bugg finished with five catches for 97 yards, and Idris Moss had
104 yards on four catches. Brandon Diles ran for 90 yards on 15
carries and added six catches for 29 yards.
The Golden Hurricane amassed 444 yards of total offense -- the
most this season against the Midshipmen.
"I thought (Smith) did a good job taking what they gave us,"
Kragthorpe said. "We had to throw the ball underneath, but our
guys made catches and advanced the ball."
Hampton rushed for 118 yards on 30 carries, scored on a 1-yard
run and completed six of 11 passes for 73 yards to lead a Navy
offense that gained 356 yards. Adam Ballard added 87 yards on 16
Shun White scored Navy's first touchdown on a 26-yard run in the