"No matter what happened on the last one, you've got to play the next play," said Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship. "I think Lowell made that play - [Dobson] certainly had him on his heels, he had some bad things go against him late in the game. He had his hands full but, fortunately, we made the plays we had to make."
Wilson caught seven passes for 123 yards and Tommy Shuler caught seven, but for only 23 yards. Kevin Grooms rushed for 71 yards to lead the Herd's 169-yard ground attack. The runs and passes were balanced - 45 each way.
MU backup quarterback Blake Frohnapfel even got in on the action, hitting Grooms on a screen pass to convert a third-and-11 during the 99-yard drive. Frohnapfel had to come in for one play after Cato got rung up on a sack, but did get the benefit of waiting through a television timeout.
Watts had 111 yards rushing for Tulsa and 144 more on those kickoff returns. Big Alex Singleton added 94 yards and three touchdowns, including a 48-yard first-half jaunt on a fourth-and-1 play.
That gave Tulsa a 10-3 lead in the first quarter, after the Herd defense allowed only three points on two turnovers.
"We had a guy that didn't get in the right gap at that point," Holliday said. "That was disappointing."
After the Herd was forced into a three-and-out, Singleton scored to end a 16-play, 63-yard drive to make it 17-3. When Marshall was stopped on downs at the Tulsa 26, it appeared the Hurricane could jump on the home team, much like it did in a 59-17 romp last year.
But the Herd forced a three-and-out and turned the tables quickly. Cato drove the Herd 80 yards with Grooms scoring from the 6, Okechukwu Okoroha recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and Cato hit Wilson for a touchdown from the 11. That forced a 17-all draw at the half.
Tulsa scored on the opening drive of the second half on Singleton's third TD, and then Dobbins returned a Dobson fumble 11 yards to make it 30-17. The Herd then picked up two points on a botched point-after snap when D.J. Hunter scooped up the loose ball and ran it to the opposite end zone.
The Herd then drove 84 yards, with Remi Watson's 1-yard run cutting the score to 30-25. Watts returned the next kickoff for his touchdown, setting up a fantastic finish.
And an agonizing one for the homecoming crowd.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130 or dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.