Brace yourselves, folks. Tulane actually won a game. Yes, the Green Wave toppled Army 34-31 in West Point on Saturday and snapped its five-game losing streak. Pick your jaw up off the floor and read on as we break down the roller coaster Tulane rode in 60 minutes of game action.
Opened up a 28-7 lead in the second quarter
Something got into the Green Wave after the Black Knights marched 75 yards on their opening drive and took a 7-0 lead. Whatever it was, it worked. Tulane (3-7) forced Army (2-8) to turn the ball over on downs on each of its next two possessions and scored on each ensuing drive. The Green Wave's first touchdown came on a 90-yard pass from Tanner Lee to Teddy Veal — the second longest touchdown pass in program history. Then Tulane went 59 yards in seven plays and Lee found Kendall Ardoin from 15 yards out. A fumble recovery for a touchdown put the Green Wave up 21-7 and a fourth consecutive score (25-yard run by Josh Rounds) made it 28-7.
Managed to give 14 of those points back before halftime
Rounds scored with 3:35 left, which would feasibly mean there was enough time for one more good drive. Not so fast, my friend. The Black Knights scored in less than two minutes and sent the ball back to Tulane. The Green Wave promptly went three-and-out, its punt was blocked and returned for a touchdown.
Held another option offense well below its season average
Granted, Army wasn't quite Georgia Tech or Navy, but the Black Knights entered Saturday's game with the nation's eighth best rushing attack (257.4 yards per game). Army gained 70 yards on its opening drive and looked poised to run all over Tulane. Well, the Green Wave held strong and limited the Black Knights to 146 the rest of the way.
Only committed two penalties
You take the victories where you can if you're Tulane. The Green Wave knew it had to play disciplined against a service academy to have any shot at winning. Tulane did just that after having been penalized seven times per game in its nine previous contests.
Won a game with its special teams
Usually it's the other way around. Case in point: the blocked punt at the end of the first half. But the Green Wave set Andrew DiRocco up with a chance to be the hero if he made a 35-yard field goal with four seconds left. DiRocco answered the call as his kick split the uprights and sent Tulane back to New Orleans with a win. It was the second field goal of the game for DiRocco, as he converted from 31 yards out earlier in the fourth quarter.