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Tulane Green Wave Beats UCF Knights 45-31

Tanner Lee tosses four touchdown passes and the Green Wave defense forces five turnovers in the rout.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Many thought Saturday's game between Tulane and UCF would be a pillow fight.

After all, the Green Wave and Knights had two of the worst offenses in the nation and their defenses weren't that much better. Plus, Tulane and UCF did little in non-conference play to instill much confidence that anything else would happen in their American Athletic Conference opener.

Well, the Green Wave filled its pillows with bricks and walloped the Knights 45-31.

Tulane (2-2, 1-0 AAC) bracketed halftime with two huge quarters to blow the game open and its defense stepped up in a big way. The Green Wave scored 31 total points in the second and third stanzas, and forced five turnovers (three interceptions, two fumbles).

UCF (0-5, 0-1 AAC) scored first on an 8-yard pass from Bo Schneider to Jordan Franks early in the first quarter, but it was all Tulane after that. The Green Wave scored 38 of the game's next 41 points and during that span, quarterback Tanner Lee tossed four touchdown passes to four different receivers.

Once the Knights swapped Schneider (20 for 37, three INTs) for Tyler Harris under center, their offense moved the ball better — albeit against the Green Wave's second-string defense. Harris and wide receiver D'erren Wilson hooked up three times in the fourth quarter for three different scores and brought UCF within 14. Harris finished 10 of 15 for 156 yards and those three touchdowns.

Both Tulane and the Knights are back in action next Saturday. The Green Wave travels to Philadelphia to face Temple, while UCF hosts UConn.