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Tulsa Headed to Armed Forces Bowl after Falling in American Athletic Conference Championship

David Dermer
University of Tulsa

No. 22 Tulsa will wrap up its season next week in Fort Worth in the Armed Forces Bowl against Mississippi State.

The bowl game announcement came the day after the Golden Hurricane fell short in the American Athletic Conference championship. A 34-yard field goal as time expired gave the No. 8 Cincinnati Bearcats a 27–24 victory on a rainy Saturday night in Ohio.

Tulsa came from behind three times to tie things up, including a seven play, 80-yard drive ending with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Zach Smith to Juan Carlos Santana with 3:41 remaining.

The Bearcats responded with a 12 play, 51-yard drive that burned the remaining 3:34 off the clock. 

Tulsa’s defense did come up big a few times in the game, however, coming up with a fourth-down stop on the 5 yard line, forcing two fumbles and recovering one, and blocking a field goal in the fourth quarter. Redshirt senior linebacker Treyvon Reeves had nine tackles and a sack in the game.

"It’s been a blessing just to be able to see how a championship team is created, which, I believe this Tulsa team definitely is a championship team. I’m so excited to see what they do next year, but, yeah, it’s been an honor and a blessing to be able to experience that and be a part of that," Reeves said.

Tulsa made it to the conference title game after three losing seasons. Head coach Philip Montgomery said he’s proud of the team and the standard set for next year, and he hopes college football took notice of the conference.

"Yet until they let us into the party, we’re just that conference over there that plays really good football that, I think some people really probably don’t want to schedule during the preseason," Montgomery said.

TU had eight games postponed or canceled because of COVID-19 this season, including its regular-season home game against Cincinnati, twice.

The Armed Forces Bowl is Dec. 31 at 11 a.m. It will be played in Amon G. Carter Stadium on the campus of Texas Christian University.

OU and OSU are also headed to bowl games. The No. 8 Sooners will play No. 10 Florida in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Dec. 30 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys have No. 18 Miami Dec. 29 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.

All rankings are from the Associated Press Top 25 for games through Dec. 20.

Note: KWGS is licensed to TU.

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