Scores

Final

Tulsa 37

(1-0, 1-0 American)

Tulane 13

(0-1, 0-1 American)

Coverage: ESPN

8:00 PM ET, September 4, 2009

Superior Dome, Marquette, MI

1 2 3 4 T
TLSA 17 3 3 1437
TULN 0 3 7 313

Top Performers

Passing: J. Kemp (TULN) - 278 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: G. Kinne (TLSA) - 13 CAR, 77 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: J. Williams (TULN) - 5 REC, 139 YDS

Kinne runs, throws for TD as Tulsa trumps Tulane

Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS -- G.J. Kinne's debut as Tulsa quarterback was almost as good as Damaris Johnson's homecoming.

Johnson, who grew up in suburban New Orleans, had 252 all-purpose yards, including a crushing 66-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, and Tulsa beat 37-13 Tulane in the season opener for both teams on Friday night.

Kinne, who sat out 2008 after transferring from Texas, passed for 211 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown pass to Trae Johnson, and also rushed for 77 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown.

Damaris Johnson had played in the Louisiana Superdome before, winning a state championship with current LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson when the two played for Destrehan High School. Against Tulane, with family in the stands, he had 85 punt return yards, 76 kickoff return yards, 60 yards receiving and 31 yards rushing.

None of that came as a great surprise. Johnson set a Tulsa record for kickoff return yards last season with 1,382 and led Conference USA in all-purpose yards with 2,475.

Tulane starter Joe Kemp was 16-of-26 passing for 278 yards, one interception and a 20-yard touchdown pass to Casey Robottom, but his slow start helped Tulsa put the Green Wave in an early 17-0 hole.

Tulane was unable to get more than one first down in its first two offensive series and Kemp was sacked three times, ensuring good field position for the Hurricane's wide-open, no-huddle attack.

Tulsa's first drive started on the 50-yard line and was highlighted by Damaris Johnson's 28-yard run, which set up Kevin Fitzpatrick's 22-yard field goal to make it 3-0.

Tulsa's second drive started on the Tulane 42 and lasted only four plays before Kinne froze Tulane's defense with a fake handoff and ran to his right for a score.

Soon after, Kemp's tipped pass was intercepted by linebacker Mike Bryan and returned 18 yards to the Tulane 5. Charles Clay scored from 5 yards out on the next play to make it 17-0. Bryan was credited with 11 tackles in the game, including a forced fumble.

Tulane had chances to make it closer, but managed only one field goal on three drives inside Tulsa's 15-yard line. Ross Thevenot's first field goal attempted was kicked low and blocked by Odrick Ray.

Thevenot later connected from 27 yards to make it 17-3 late in the second quarter, but Johnson's 39-yard kickoff return gave the Hurricane the ball at its own 46 with 45 seconds left, and Tulsa drove for Fitzpatrick's 33-yard field goal as time expired to make it 20-3 at halftime.

Tulane squandered another chance to score after Jeremy Williams broke two tackles on a short reception and broke free for a 68-yard gain to the Tulsa 4. Tulane then ran the ball four straight times and turned the ball over on downs.

Williams had 139 yards receiving in all and had a spectacular touchdown catch between two defenders called back for a holding penalty.

Tulane got as close as 23-10 on Robottom's touchdown catch in the third quarter, but Johnson's punt return gave the momentum back to Tulsa for good.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
TLSA
TULN
1st Downs1917
Total Yards412364
Passing211325
Rushing20139
Penalties3-274-30
3rd Down Conversions4-105-16
4th Down Conversions0-11-3
Turnovers12
Possession27:1632:44

Passing Leaders

TulsaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Kinne15/2021110.610
TulaneC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Kemp16/2627810.711

Rushing Leaders

TulsaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Kinne13775.9145
Clay9505.6116
TulaneCARYDSAVGTDLG
Anderson19492.6021
Williams4205.0012

Receiving Leaders

TulsaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Shelley56813.6045
Johnson36020.0024
TulaneRECYDSAVGTDLG
Williams513927.8068
Robottom68213.7120

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERTLSATULN
FG10:29Kevin Fitzpatrick 22 Yd 30
TD06:20G.J. Kinne 15 Yd Run (Kevin Fitzpatrick Kick) 100
TD06:00Charles Clay 5 Yd Run (Kevin Fitzpatrick Kick) 170
SECOND QUARTERTLSATULN
FG00:55Ross Thevenot 27 Yd 173
FG00:00Kevin Fitzpatrick 33 Yd 203
THIRD QUARTERTLSATULN
FG11:12Kevin Fitzpatrick 24 Yd 233
TD05:19Casey Robottom 20 Yd Pass From Joe Kemp (Ross Thevenot Kick) 2310
FOURTH QUARTERTLSATULN
TD12:19Damaris Johnson 66 Yd Punt Return (Kevin Fitzpatrick Kick) 3010
FG10:20Ross Thevenot 29 Yd 3013
TD01:46Trae Johnson 12 Yd Pass From G.J. Kinne (Kevin Fitzpatrick Kick) 3713