MIAMI, Fla – Central Michigan knew its Miami Beach Bowl opponent had an explosive offense. Tulsa’s defense was pretty good, too.
The Golden Hurricane rolled up 581 total yards and allowed just one late TD and a field goal Monday as Tulsa routed the Chippewas, 55-10, at Marlins Park.The loss ended CMU’s season at 6-7, its first sub-.500 season since 2011.
Tulsa (10-3) entered the . . .
“Tulsa’s a great football team,” second-year CMU coach John Bonamego said. “We felt like we matched up a little better than what we demonstrated today. We just didn’t execute our fundamentals well in really two critical phases of the game; we weren’t able to finish drives, we hurt ourselves with penalties. Defensively we could never get off the field, and we had a bunch of missed tackles.
Central Michigan quarterback Cooper Rush, vying to become the all-time Mid-American Conference leader in passing yardage, finished with 241 yards. He needed to throw for 253 yards to supplant former Chippewa Dan LeFevour atop the list.
Rush, a senior from Lansing, finished his four-year career as the CMU starter with 12,894 yards and 90 touchdown passes.
He goes down as one of the very best to have ever played at CMU.
“He’s a tremendous football player,” Bonamego said. “He’s got a tremendous amount of heart, he’s extremely intelligent, he’s dependable, you can count on him, you’re going to get his best every single day. We’re going to miss him.”
Tulsa quarterback Dane Evans completed 28 of 38 pass attempts for 304 yards and five touchdowns and was named the game’s most valuable player.
“The tempo is really, really tough to defend and they just wear you down,” Bonamego said. “They just nickel-dime, nickel-dime, nickel-dime and then if you make a mistake, get somebody out of position, they end up throwing the ball over your head. It’s a really good offense.”
Jahray Hayes scored CMU's lone touchdown on a 13-yard run in the fourth quarter, long after the game had been decided. Brian Eavey kicked a 26-yard field goal to account for the Chippewas' other points.