Third-string quarterback Shane Illingworth, a four-star true freshman, came off the bench to spark No. 11 Oklahoma State to a 16-7 victory over visiting Tulsa on Saturday in a season-opening nonconference game for both teams in Stillwater, Okla.
Illingworth, playing because of an early injury to starter Spencer Sanders and the ineffectiveness of Ethan Bullock, entered with 1:55 left in the third quarter. He directed Oklahoma State on a six-play, 81-yard drive that resulted in a 10-7 lead when Chuba Hubbard scored on a 3-yard run to start the fourth quarter. Illingworth went 3 for 3 for 68 yards on the scoring drive.
Tulsa repeatedly hurt itself in this surprisingly defensive battle, penalized 15 times for 120 yards, including a false start infraction that erased a third-down touchdown pass with 10:09 left. True freshman Tyler Tipton ended up missing a 26-yard field goal that would have tied the game.
Illingworth's second possession yielded a 40-yard field goal by Alex Hale for a 13-7 edge with 4:27 to go.
The Golden Hurricane, beset by three penalties on the ensuing possession, failed to pick up fourth-and-24 from the 11-yard line with about two minutes left. Hale knocked in a 29-yard field goal for the final points with 18 seconds left.
The Tulsa defense ended Hubbard's streak of 11 consecutive 100-yard rushing games. The 2019 NCAA rushing champion carried 27 times for 93 yards. Oklahoma State's Tylan Wallace, a 2018 All-American, caught four passes for 94 yards -- all in the second half.
Tulsa quarterback Zach Smith was 18 of 28 for 164 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.
Sanders limped to the locker room late in the first quarter because of what was described as a "lower extremity injury." Bullock, a junior making his debut for the Big 12 team after stops at South Dakota State and City College of San Francisco, completed 8 of 13 passes for 41 yards before his day ended when he was intercepted at the Tulsa 21 late in the third quarter.
Tulsa, of the American Athletic Conference, was without senior running back Shamari Brooks (2,700 career yards) because he suffered a torn ACL in practice last week.
The Golden Hurricane, which turned the ball over on downs at the Oklahoma State 37 and 21 in the first half, got into the end zone for a 7-3 lead with 1:38 to go before intermission on Smith's 16-yard pass to Josh Johnson.
--Field Level Media