Third-quarter surge carries Tulsa past UTEP Thursday night

TULSA — Alex Singleton tied a school record with two rushing touchdowns and Tulsa broke things open with a 20-point third explosion en route to a 33-11 victory over Texas-El Paso Thursday night in Conference USA action at Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium.Singleton, who now has 32 career rushing TDs, ran for 96 yards on 21 carries. His scores covered 1 and 10 yards.Ja’Tarian Douglass was TU’s top rusher with 128 yards on 13 handoffs, with most of the yardage coming on an 81-yard TD run that gave Tulsa a comfortable lead in the third quarter.Cody Green threw for 198 yards on 13-of-22 attempts for Tulsa.Tulsa (6-1 overall, 4-0 in C-USA) endured a struggling first half with just two field goals and allowed the Miners (1-6, 0-3) to move to the TU 1-yard line, but held them to a field goal. The result was a 6-3 halftime advantage.Then came the third quarter surge.“We just encouraged them to execute a little better and finish drives,” said Bill Blankenship, Tulsa's coach and Spiro native, in regards to speaking to his team at halftime. “We got in there twice, and had to kick field goals offensively. We were playing well on defense. Still, we were playing a little soft early on. I’m talking about at the perimeter, and we just had to stay the course and played with a little passion. I thought we were really sluggish in the first half.”The Golden Hurricane will return to action at 2:30 p.m. next Saturday at home against Rice in another C-USA contest.