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October 23, 2011HOUSTON (AP) - G.J. Kinne threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns to lead Tulsa to a 38-20 win over Rice on Saturday night.
Kinne was 21 of 34 as the Golden Hurricane (4-3, 3-0 Conference USA) won their third straight game. Willie Carter had nine catches for 160 yards and a touchdown.
"Overall just a great win for our program," said TU coach Bill Blankenship. "This is a place that's hard to come into and get a win. Rice plays very well at home."
Backup quarterback Nick Fanuzzi was 20 of 37 passing for 234 yards and a TD for Rice (2-5, 1-3).
Tulsa led 24-10 at halftime.
Trey Watts had 18 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown for Tulsa, who compiled 473 yards of offense.
Luke Willson had seven catches for 104 yards and a touchdown, and Tyler Smith carried 15 times for 66 yards for the Owls, who committed four turnovers.
Fanuzzi came in after starter Taylor McHargue threw two interceptions and fumbled in Rice's first three possessions. Those miscues led to 17 Golden Hurricane points on Kinne's 1-yard TD run, a 13-yard scoring catch by Watts and Kevin Fitzpatrick's 52-yard field goal.
"Obviously we took advantage of the turnovers in the first quarter," said Blankenship. "I think that was really huge for us being able to get out in front. Also, we had to weather the storm, because they did a good job of coming back and fighting through, but I thought there were a couple drives and then the turnover at the end was huge, but a couple of drives where we had to go down and put points on the board in that third and late in the fourth quarter."
Rice cut the lead to 17-3 on a Chris Boswell's 32-yard field goal with 11:18 left in the second quarter, but Kinne responded with a 64-yard touchdown pass to Carter with 56 seconds remaining in the half.
Fanuzzi found Willson in the end zone with five seconds remaining before halftime.
Boswell added a 36-yard field goal with 5:36 remaining in the third to get the Owls within 24-13, but Watts extended the Tulsa lead in the fourth quarter with a 3-yard TD run to cap a nine-play, 80-yard drive.
Turner Petersen scored on a 2-yard run with 5:47 left in the game, but Tulsa iced it with a 41-yard strike from Kinne to Ricky Johnson.
"We're 3-0 in conference play," Blankenship said. "That's a big deal for us to be able to at least be where we can still control our own destiny."