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Three Things We Learned From Tulane's 45-31 Win Over UCF

Early wake-up call didn't ruffle the Green Wave's defense or wide receivers.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that was certainly unexpected.

Tulane absolutely had its way with UCF throughout Saturday's game en route to a 45-31 win at Yulman Stadium. While the Knights scored the first touchdown of the game, the Green Wave reeled off 38 of the next 41 points and turned it into a rout.

Without further ado, here are three things we learned from Tulane's win.

So that's what a defense looks like!

I need to make sure I'm reading these stats right, because there is no way the Green Wave's defense put up these kind of numbers.

Seven sacks!? Tulane entered Saturday's game against UCF with just one sack to its credit through three games. Royce LaFrance tripled that total by himself and four others joined him before the game was over.

Five takeaways? The Green Wave picked off Knights quarterback Bo Schneider three times and also recovered two fumbles.

UCF had minus-35 rushing yards!? If you want to be a stickler about it, take away the 52 yards from the seven sacks and the Knights finished with 17 rushing yards on 15 carries. Still good.

While I'm sure these numbers were inflated due to UCF's abysmal offense (dead-last in total yards and not much better in scoring), Tulane was stringy. This is the kind of effort the Green Wave needs moving forward in conference play.

Early? Schmearly. No worries there.

Saturday's game kicked off at 11 a.m. CDT.

For many teams, that would be cause for concern. Not for Tulane.

"Well, one of the things we do is practice in the morning," Green Wave head coach Curtis Johnson said. "Our practice starts at 8:40 a.m. I thought we would have more day games, so that's why we practice at that time. I think it's outstanding for us."

Outside of a slow start, which was to be expected, Tulane didn't look weary. And that's a good thing.

As of now, there are three more early starts on the Green Wave's schedule - Saturday at Temple (11 a.m. CDT), October 24 at Navy (12 p.m. CDT) and November 14 at Army (11 a.m. CDT). Can Tulane surprise the nocturnal Owls this weekend and then beat the Midshipmen to the chow line two weeks later? Probably not, but we'll see.

Give me Breaux with a side of Veal

Tulane has a formidable tandem of wide receivers - Devon Breaux and Teddy Veal.

The Green Wave just have to find a way to get them the ball more - and it helps if quarterback Tanner Lee isn't running for his life.

Lee had enough time to throw Saturday afternoon and connected with the duo eight times for 141 yards and two touchdowns. Breaux scored for the third time in the past four games and now has 240 receiving yards for the season. Veal hauled in a 49-yard scoring strike that put Tulane up 17-7 and all but sealed the Green Wave's win.