Tulsa utility back Willie Carter set career highs with 13 receptions for 173 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown, as Tulsa turned an expected dogfight with rival Southern Methodist into a 38-7 rout Saturday.
Carter, lined up in the slot, continued to develop his chemistry with quarterback G.J. Kinne by exceeding his personal career highs of nine catches for 160 yards last week against Rice.
"Willie is fast, strong, he has great hands and he creates a lot of mismatches," said Kinne, who threw for 274 yards and ran for 39 yards, including a rushing touchdown.
Tulsa (5-3, 4-0 Conference USA) amassed 477 yards despite completing only two passes of 10 yards or more to a wide receiver in what was a very effective day for its offense.
Alex Singleton rushed for three short-yardage touchdowns and Milton Howell had three first-half interceptions as the Hurricane remained undefeated in Conference USA play to keep pace with unbeaten and nationally ranked Houston. Singleton accounted for all 20 yards of Tulsa's first touchdown drive on five straight rushes.
"We had been hearing all week about how great their defensive front was and our offensive line dominated them," Kinne said. "We had this game circled."
Tulsa led 24-0 at the half en route to winning its ninth consecutive conference game.
SMU (5-3, 3-2) sputtered offensively as Tulsa held them to a season-low 265 yards of offense. Zach Line, the conference's leading rusher, ran for 118 yards on 22 carries, including a 17-yard run for SMU's only score. Quarterback J.J. McDermott completed 17 of 37 passes for 180 yards with four interceptions.
"The passion defensively was just incredible," Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship said. "I thought we got good pressure on the quarterback and it got where he was never comfortable. Even though we weren't always sacking him, we forced some hurries and that was really important."
SMU coach June Jones was critical of his team's inconsistency.
"We haven't played well for six quarters now," he said, referring to last week's 27-3 loss at Southern Miss. "I haven't been through a stretch like this in a long time. The wind affected the play calling because we couldn't be as aggressive as we would have liked. We did some good things, but we had a lot of mistakes."
Line's touchdown run for SMU's lone score cut Tulsa's lead to 24-7 early in the second half, but the Hurricane responded with a 14-play, 74-yard drive capped by Singleton's third touchdown to make it 31-7. After forcing a punt on the ensuing possession, Kinne found Carter open for a 40-yard scoring strike.