Believe it or not, Tulane actually had more yards of total offense than Navy on Saturday afternoon.
It's true. The Green Wave put up 386 yards compared to Navy's 291.
Tulane also limited the Midshipmen to 133 rushing yards, well below their season average of 335.4.
Where the Green Wave didn't trump Navy was where it mattered — on the scoreboard. The Midshipmen took advantage of three Tulane turnovers in the second half en route to a 31-14 win.
The Green Wave made sure not to be part of a trivia question about Navy quarterback Keenan Reynold's eventual NCAA scoring record. While Reynolds found the end zone twice, he needed five to break former Wisconsin running back Monte Ball's mark for career rushing touchdowns. Reynolds now sits at 75, two behind Ball (77).
All things considered, the Tulane held strong against Navy's option attack. The Green Wave took away the dive, which is the bread and butter of any offense like that, and forced Reynolds and the slot backs to work for their yards. In total, the Midshipmen ran the ball 54 times on Saturday and only put up 2.5 yards per carry.
Navy found success through the air, however, completing eight of its 12 passes for 158 yards and one touchdown.
The game was closer through 30 minutes than many expected. The Midshipmen led 10-7 at the break and it seemed as if maybe Tulane was ready to add another surprising road win to its haul for the second consecutive year (Houston last year).
Then the Green Wave repeatedly shot itself in the foot and Navy took full advantage.
Tulane turned the ball over on downs on its first possession of the second half and the Midshipmen scored soon after to make it 17-7. Two drives after that, Green Wave quarterback Tanner Lee threw an ill-advised interception deep in his own territory and Navy added another touchdown nine plays later (24-7). The Midshipmen then sacked and stripped Lee on his first drop back of the next possession to set up the clincher (31-7).
Navy improved to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in American Athletic Conference play. The Green Wave fell to 2-5 and 1-3.
Both Tulane and the Midshipmen are in action next Saturday on Halloween. The Green Wave faces undefeated Memphis on the road, while Navy hosts South Florida.
Notes — Lee, playing in his first game since he suffered a concussion at Temple, had a rough go. The sophomore quarterback turned the ball over three times, including one fumble at the Midshipmen 1-yard line. If Lee punched that sneak in, Tulane would have cut Navy's lead to 17-14 in the third quarter. ... The Green Wave defense delivered some punishing hits (check out the above video) and sacked Reynolds four times. ... The Midshipmen failed to rush for 100 yards in the opening quarter for the first time since 2013.