Football ends season with 34-32 loss
The win was Tulsa’s five straight as the Golden Hurricane (8-4, 6-2 WAC) wait on their first possible bowl bid since the 1991 Freedom Bowl. In 2001 and 2002, Tulsa won only one game each season.
Richardson scored on two 1-yard runs and a 7-yard run with 7:05 left in the fourth quarter to give Tulsa a 34-26 lead. San Jose State pulled to 34-32 after a Lamont Robinson 1-yard run capped a four-play, 68-yard drive with 5:59 remaining. The Spartans elected to go for a tie at that point with a two-point conversion try, but wide receiver Tuati Wooden’s throwback pass to quarterback Scott Rislov failed.
San Jose State had one last good chance for a win after forcing Tulsa to punt. The Spartans started from their 10-yard line with 4:23 to go, but the drive stalled when tailback Lance Martin was stopped for no gain on 4th-down-and-1 at their 49-yard line.
"Two huge plays," described Tulsa first-year head coach Steve Kragthorpe about his team’s defense in the final quarter.
"I thought our guys played their hearts out for 60 minutes. We knew it would that kind of game. We had a lot of adversity that went against us. We lost our quarterback (James Kilian to a first half injury). We lost our tight end and our guys continued to battle."
San Jose State nearly overcame some its self-inflicted problems. Two of the team’s eight penalties wiped out touchdowns, though the Spartans did get three points on Jeff Carr’s second field goal of the game, a 25-yarder giving San Jose State a 6-0 first-quarter lead. Kendrick Starling’s 100-yard kickoff return after Tulsa took a 27-26 lead was wiped out by two officials catching the Spartans for holding.
A 470-yard passing performance by San Jose State quarterback Scott Rislov went for naught. Rislov did suffer his first interception in five games when Michael LeDet picked off the Spartan quarterback on the Tulsa 14-yard line.
"We called a double post. It was a fake running play and a fake ‘iso’. Tuati (Wooden) ran acorss wide open, but the linebacker dropped back," said Rislov, who became the first passer in school history to throw for more than 3,000 yards in successive seasons.
"Going in, I knew we had to score 35 points to win. That’s what I thought," said San Jose State coach Fitz Hill, who sought to maintain possession of the football with six fourth down plays. The Spartans converted on four of the six, needing two fourth-down conversions for their first touchdown of the game and a 12-7 second-quarter lead.