The Spartans (6-6, 4-3 Western Athletic Conference) must beat Fresno State next week to qualify for a bowl game. Teams that play 13 games require seven victories to be eligible.
San Jose State took advantage of five Tulsa turnovers and a blocked punt for 28 points. The Spartans led 42-21 at halftime. The Spartans added to their national-leading total of 20 interceptions and 32 overall takeaways with five more takeaways on three interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
"The turnovers made the difference. Whenever we can give the offense the ball, that is important to us," said Cook about his defensive teammates who have generated 134 points for San Jose State. "We practice it every day."
The Spartans gave up 567 yards, but Tulsa's turnovers did them in. San Jose State converted three of the turnovers into second-quarter touchdowns, ending a series in which the two teams matched each other's scores.
"We give up a lot of yards and we're generally on the field more than half the game. We are up there (nationally) in turnovers (gained). Today, they paid off," said La Herran. "They (Tulsa) brought everything out of the cabinet. We broke away from them in the second quarter. I don't know if we'd be 6-6 without the turnovers."
Rislov followed Tulsa fumbles with 34-yard and 32-yard scoring passes to Kendrick Starling and Trestin George. Lamar Ferguson, who had three TDs, scored from the 9 after Chip Kimmich intercepted Gooch's tipped pass at Tulsa's 19.
"In the second half, we did get a little more conservative. Their blitz was a little more effective," added Rislov. "They played hard the entire game. Gooch did a great job of making plays."
Rislov, who was 21-for-37 passing, broke the school's record for completions in a season. He now has 257.
"Everything clicked in the first half. We could do no wrong and the defense got turnovers," said Rislov, who finished 21-of-37 and set a new San Jose State single-season record for pass completions with 257. He also became the third quarterback in school history to throw for more than 3,000 yards in a season finishing the day with 3,097 yards.
Tulsa pulled within 11 in the fourth quarter on Uril Parrish's 7-yard touchdown run and his 14-yard scoring catch. But the Golden Hurricane failed to make a fourth-and-three with less than three minutes left, and the Spartans ran out the clock.
"Today, we didn't get it done defensively in the first half," said Tulsa head coach Keith Burns. "Our kicking game in the four quarters was inconsistent. They killed us in our kicking game. You can't have a blocked punt."
Before the game, a moment of silence was observed in memory of former Tulsa All-American, coach and athletic director Glenn Hobbs, who died Tuesday. Tulsa players wore Dobbs' No. 45 on their helmets.
"To be 6-6 and have something to play for, it's something I'm proud of for our guys," added SJSU's coach Fitz Hill.
San Jose State's win set's up a show down with Fresno State, Saturday, November 23, in Spartan Stadium at 2:00 p.m.
The Bulldogs (6-5, 4-2 WAC) defeated Nevada, 38-30, to keep their bowl hopes alive. Look for the "Red Wave" to be in force in the Spartans house this saturday.
SJSU Coach Fitz Hill announced on the Spartan Post Game Show that he is "Challenging the fans of SJSU to fill the stadium to root against arch rival Fresno State".
Director of Athletics, Chuck Bell, also has challenged the fans of SJSU and it's alumni to "out wear" the red wave by wearing blue and gold to the stadium next saturday as well.
It's just like old times again!
SJSU Versus Fresno State with the whole season on the line.
Hopefully SJSU can re-iterate that slogan of long ago "Till We Say it's Over!".