Tulsa mauls Marshall

Published 1:44 am Monday, November 14, 2011

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — G.J. Kinne threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns in less than three quarters as Tulsa remained unbeaten in Conference USA with a 59-17 rout of Marshall Saturday.

The Hurricane (7-3, 6-0) will host No. 11 Houston on Nov. 25 for the C-USA West title, regardless of how the teams fare next week.

“We’ve been working hard to give ourselves a chance for that opportunity,” said Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship. “We won’t be overlooking UTEP next week, but we’ll be a loose team knowing that is in front of us. We’ve put our destiny in our control.”

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Kinne moved past T.J. Rubley into second place for Tulsa career touchdown passes with his 74th, a 35-yard strike to Bryan Burnham, who had a career-high 10 catches for 146 yards. He also threw two touchdowns to Clay Sears and one to Willie Carter.

Tulsa also amassed 380 yards rushing as speed backs Ja’Terian Douglas ran for 194 yards on 10 carries and Trey Watts scampered for 144 yards, while Alex Singleton bulled in for three short touchdowns. The Hurricane had a season-high 680 yards offense.

“We’ve found out who we are for this year and we’re operating fairly efficiently on offense,” Blankenship said. “G.J. is playing at a very high level. He’s really matured as a quarterback and sees the field and makes great decisions.

“Defensively, those guys are playing with a great deal of confidence.

I’m excited that we’re to the point where we’re irritated at giving up 17 points.”

Travon Van ran for 135 yards for Marshall (4-6, 3-3), including a 69-yard scoring jaunt in the third quarter, the longest run against Tulsa this season. Rakeem Cato replaced an ineffective A.J. Graham at quarterback and led Marshall to two second-half scores. Tulsa hasn’t allowed more than 20 points in its six conference wins.

“Obviously we didn’t play well, and it’s obvious that they are a very good football team,” said Marshall coach Doc Holliday. “You have to give their team credit. There is a reason why they have won 11 straight games (in Conference USA). We just didn’t tackle today and we had a ton of issues on defense.

“Their quarterback, Kinne, is an excellent player. He gets the ball where it belongs and he makes the proper reads and throws.”