Case Keenum is forced out of the backfield by Tulsa defenders Roy Roberts Alain Karatepeyan and Chris Chamberlain. (AP Photo/David Crenshaw)
Nov. 10, 2007
TULSA, Okla. - Paul Smith completed 15 of 28 passes for 313 yards and five touchdowns to help lead Tulsa to a 56-7 victory over Houston on Saturday.
Smith is now the single-season and career leader for Tulsa in passing yards, with 3,496 yards for the season and 9,367 in his career.
He completed 11 of 23 passes for 226 yards and four touchdowns in a surprising first half as the Golden Hurricane took a 35-0 lead at halftime.
Houston (6-4, 5-2 Conference USA) came into the game needing only a win to clinch the Western Division title of Conference USA. Now Tulsa needs only to win its final conference game on Nov. 24 at Rice to win the division title and advance to the conference championship game.
Tulsa (7-3, 5-2) forced five turnovers and shut down a Houston offense whose previous low total for points in conference games this season was 34.
Smith scored on a 3-yard run on the first possession of the game, and Tulsa scored again on its second possession, a 53-yard touchdown pass by Smith to Brennan Marion, to lead 14-0 after the first quarter.
The Golden Hurricane scored three touchdowns in the last 3:24 of the half, with Smith connecting with Marion on a leaping 32-yard touchdown pass to make the score 21-0. Tulsa then followed a fumble recovery with a 51-yard touchdown catch by Charles Clay with 2:13 left in the half.
An interception by Nelson Coleman with 1:25 left in the half set up a 43-yard touchdown drive with Jake Collums capping the half with an 11-yard TD pass with one second left.
Tulsa went up 42-0 on its first possession of the second half on a 37-yard pass from Smith to Dion Toliver. On the play, Smith surpassed Billy Guy Anderson's season record and the career record of T.J. Rubley.
Houston was down 56-0 before finally scoring with 2:25 left in the game.