The game was at their normal pace: fast, for the Tulsa Golden Hurricane football team. The Central Michigan Chippewas looked to keep pace, however it was too late when they were just down seven.
Dane Evans passed for 304 yards and five touchdowns, three of those scoring throws going to Keevan Lucas, repeat after me…fast. The rout was on as Tulsa defeated Central Michigan 55-10 in the Miami Beach Bowl played at baseball venue Marlins Park.
“Being the kid playing baseball in my life, I dreamed I would play in a big league stadium. Didn’t know it would be for football,” Evans stated. “Yesterday I rounded the bases and did a home run trot and I feel like this game was kind of a home run trot.”
Evans completed 28 of 38 passes for the Golden Hurricane becoming the 2016 Miami Beach Bowl’s Most Valuable Player. Tulsa scored on its first nine possessions and finished with six wins in the season’s final seven games.
On the opposite sideline, Central Michigan was led by Cooper Rush who received many eyes on him from NFL scouts. This is not the game he will add to his reel. Rush was 24 for 49 passing for 241 yards for throwing three interceptions in his final game with the Chippewas.
“We didn’t have it all tonight,” Rush stated. “We didn’t make plays, didn’t make throws and they did.”
Rush finished with 12,894 yards — 11 shy of matching Dan LeFevour’s Mid-American Conference record of 12,905. His last attempt as time expired would have given him the record, but fell incomplete.
Jahray Hayes ran for Central Michigan’s lone touchdown, which came in the middle of the fourth quarter.
Not many people saw Tulsa play out of the American Athletic Conference better yet even care, however they know they are part of something not even one of the 2016 College Football Playoff teams can say they came close to accomplishing.
Tulsa became the first FBS school to ever feature a 3,000-yard passer (Evans), two 1,000-yard rushers (D’Angelo Brewer and James Flanders) and two 1,000-yard receivers (Keevan Lucas and Josh Atkinson).
“It’s hard to explain. No one is selfish, we spread the ball around to everybody,” Evans stated. “The O-line blocks their butts off. What more can you ask from a team.”
Tulsa’s 581 total yards is the second-most in a bowl game for the Golden Hurricane making them 3-0 against Mid-American Conference teams in bowl games.
Both squads will be looking for replacements at the quarterback position. The beat goes on through spring. Central Michigan’s 2017 season starts Aug. 31 at home against Rhode Island. The Chippewas, open next season Sept. 2 at Oklahoma State; let the banter begin a rematch where the Chippewas won the game this year on a play that maybe should have never happened.