Ball State
45 - 13 Final
  for this game

Tulsa sets school record with rout of Ball State

Jan 7, 2009 - 7:02 AM MOBILE, Alabama (Ticker) -- Tarrion Adams ran for three touchdowns and David Johnson threw for three scores to lead Tulsa to a 45-13 victory over No. 22 Ball State in the GMAC Bowl on Tuesday.

Tulsa was coming off a disappointing 27-24 loss to Rice in the Conference USA title game, but got over it in time to post its second straight convincing win here.

Last season, the Golden Hurricane routed Bowling Green - another MAC team - 63-7 in the most lopsided game in bowl history.

Tulsa (11-3), which set a school record in victories this season, led 24-13 at the half and shut out Ball State (12-2) in a second half that was played in a steady downpour.

"We were playing for our seniors, playing for our university and playing for our 11th win - that was a big deal, to make history in our program," Tulsa coach Todd Graham said. "You have to give credit to Ball State, they have a very good football team. You don't win 12 games if you're not good. Tonight was our night, and the difference was how physical we were and our speed."

"Congratulations to the Tulsa football program," Ball State coach Stan Parrish said. "They were a very high powered offense and did a great job. The hospitality in Mobile was outstanding until the weather in the third quarter. We offer no excuses. We thought our team was ready to play. Tulsa is a very skilled team."

Adams, who paced Conference USA in rushing with 1,316 yards and 11 TDs, finished with 210 yards on 19 carries. Johnson completed 15-of-25 passes for 195 yards.

"Our offensive line opened up space, our receivers did a good job blocking downfield and David Johnson did a tremendous job carrying out his fakes after handing off the ball," Adams said. "Sometimes their guys were confused and didn't know who had the ball."

It was a disappointing end to the season for the Cardinals, who were undefeated before losing the MAC title game to Buffalo.

"We won 12 games this year and did not play well in the last two," Parrish said. "Our kids should hold their heads high. Any time you can win 12 games in a college football season, it is a good year."

The Cardinals did not add win No. 13 because they could not handle the weather or the Tulsa offense in the second half.

Ball State did not pick up a first down or complete a pass in the second half. The Cardinals had just 22 yards of offense over the final two quarters while the Golden Hurricane scored 21 points to put the game away.

"We knew we had to do some things to disrupt them, Ball State had the 11th-ranked offense in the country," Graham said. "We challenged our guys, and they were fired up to come out and finish."