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Tulane's last second drive engulfs Army

Jonathan Banks led a last minute drive for the win in an old fashioned slugfest

NCAA Football: Tulane at Navy
Tulane Head Coach Willie Fritz
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Tulane was out-rushed by Army, beaten in time of possession nearly 2-to-1 and out-gained in total yardage. Yet when it came time to make a play Tulane's offense and quarterback Jonathan Banks came up with three fourth down conversions on a marathon 19-play 73-yard drive for the game clinching score, which came on a 4-yard Jonathan Banks option keeper. Tulane started the game with a splash, with Dontrell Hilliard exploding for a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game. Army responded with the next 10 points, including a 1-yard Ahmad Bradshaw run to take the lead 10-7. Army's lead was short lived as Tulane's Sherman Badie took the second play of the next drive for a 72-yard touchdown burst to retake the lead. The game remained at 14-10 until Army mounted a soul crushing 15-play 71 yard drive to take a 17-14 lead to set the table for Banks' heroics on Tulane's game winning drive.

Tulane's offense was obviously hindered by Jonathan Banks being less than 100%, as Banks was still feeling the effects of the rib injury he suffered a couple of weeks ago versus Navy. Tulane's option game was limited to zone gives for a large portion of the game, yet with the game on the line Banks shook off the injury, running and passing the Green Wave down the field for the victory. The Wave defense was not as successful versus Army as they were against Navy's option attack, yet they were able to keep Tulane close enough to win the game in the end. Tulane allowed 371 yards rushing but only 17 points. The Green Wave did not allow Army to complete a pass, and came up with two huge interceptions; one by Donnie Lewis in the end zone to halt a Army drive and another by Parry Nickerson to seal the game. Other defensive standouts included the Tulane line backing corps of Zachery Harris, Rae Juan Marbley and Luke Jackson who combined for 35 total tackles.

Takeaway: With the victory the Green Wave improves to 2-2 on the season heading into their bye week with an opportunity to get healthy going into conference play. The offense was limited to the two big runs until the final drive, while the defense bent but did not break. With the game on the line the Green Wave made the plays to win, something that has been lacking in the program was discovered today. This was a tough win versus a tenacious, resilient opponent that required this Green Wave squad to show a toughness and maturity that many outside of the program did not think they possessed.