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TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Senior quarterback Paul Smith passed for a career-high 454 yards and five touchdowns to lead Tulsa to a wild 55-47 victory over Brigham Young on Saturday night.
In a game in which the teams with proud passing traditions combined for 1,289 yards, including 1,027 in the air, it was four second-half takeaways -- two interceptions and two fumble recoveries -- by the Tulsa defense and two penalties on a late BYU possession that spelled the difference.
BYU (1-2) drove to a first down at the Tulsa 12 with just over two minutes left. But consecutive false starts bumped the Cougars back to the 22 and quarterback Max Hall misfired on four consecutive passes from there.
Hall passed for a career-high 526 yards, completing 34 of 57 passes with four touchdowns and two interceptions. His final completion was fumbled by Andrew George and recovered by Tulsa's Steve Craver, allowing the Golden Hurricane to run out the clock on a game that lasted three hours and 57 minutes.
BYU amassed 694 yards and Hall's 526 passing yards were the most ever allowed by Tulsa (2-0). Tulsa had 595 yards, 490 of those through the air.
BYU led 34-28 after a wild first half, but a 49-yard interception return by Roy Roberts on BYU's first possession of the second half put Tulsa ahead to stay at 38-34. After Chris Chamberlain intercepted another Hall pass, Tarrion Adams dashed 10 yards for a score to give Tulsa a 45-34 advantage.
The Cougars cut the deficit on a 63-yard drive capped by a 6-yard run by Manase Tonga, and appeared to be driving for a go-ahead score when Hall had the ball knocked loose by Wilson Garrison, recovered by Terrel Nemons at the TU 26. Smith then directed a 74-yard drive polished off by his fifth TD strike, this one 37 yards down the middle to Charles Clay.
Smith's performance was the fifth-most productive ever by a Tulsa quarterback. He led Tulsa on five consecutive scoring drives in the first half. Hall was just as effective, throwing for 277 yards and three scores in the first half.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)