Tulsa, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - An interception in the end zone by Tulsa
safety Demarco Nelson sealed the deal as the Golden Hurricane pulled out a
38-31 victory against the Tulane Green Wave in double-overtime at H.A. Chapman
Tulsa (1-0), now a member of the American Athletic Conference after making the
move from Conference USA, was led by quarterback Dane Evans who converted 31-
of-53 passing for 438 yards and four touchdowns, against two interceptions.
Wide receiver Keevan Lucas recorded 13 receptions for 233 yards and three
The Green Wave (0-1) was directed by Tanner Lee who connected on 22-of-44 for
262 yards and three TDs, while running back Sherman Badie made a huge impact
with 15 carries for a game-high 215 yards and a score in the losing cause.
Tulsa appeared to get on the scoreboard first early in the opening quarter,
but a touchdown pass was brought back for a penalty, eventually pushing the
team out of scoring range.
Following the first turnover of the night, an interception by the Tulane
defense, Lee hit Charles Jones with a 15-yard TD strike over the middle,
the receiver's first career reception.
The Green Wave added to their advantage at the 9:56 mark of the second frame
as Lee finished off a 14-play, 80-yard drive with a one-yard scoring pass to
Tulsa finally responded just over two minutes later as Evans hooked up with
Lucas for a 43-yard aerial score, cutting the deficit to 14-7.
However, on the very next possession, Tulane moved the advantage back to two
touchdowns when Badie raced 90 yards to the end zone for the visitors.
Needing a big play of their own, the Golden Hurricane turned to Lucas who
logged his second receiving TD of the night on an 84-yard pass from Evans with
just 37 seconds remaining in the first half.
The teams slowed a bit on offense in the third quarter, with the only points
being scored by Tulsa kicker Carl Salazar on a 42-yard field goal. Salazar
also knocked through a 26-yard field goal at the 8:31 mark of the fourth,
making the score 21-20 in favor of the Green Wave.
Tulane added another touchdown less than two minutes later thanks to a 60-yard
strike from Lee to Xavier Rush.
With under three minutes remaining in regulation, Evans found Lucas for a
three-yard touchdown. Trailing by two (28-26), the Golden Hurricane went for
the tie, locking the score as Joshua Atkinson caught a pass in the front
corner of the end zone.
Tulane appeared poised to take the lead late after Badie recorded a 73-yard
run down the right sideline to the eight-yard line. However, after the offense
was stopped on third down, kicker Andrew DiRocco proceeded to hook a 21-yard
field goal attempt wide to the left, leaving the game destined for overtime.
In the first overtime DiRocco redeemed himself with a successful 30-yard field
goal, giving the visitors a 31-28 advantage.
On the first play of their possession, the Golden Hurricane managed to move
the ball down inside the five-yard line, but they too could not capitalize and
make it into the end zone, calling on Salazar for a 26-yard field goal.
Taking the first possession of the second extra period, Evans found Conner
Floyd on a slant for a eight-yard TD, giving the hosts a 38-31 advantage.
Needing to respond, Lee threw incomplete on first down and then fired over the
middle into the end zone on the next play, the ball landing in the waiting
arms of Nelson.
Tulsa, which ranked 100th in the nation last year with an average of 356.2 ypg
of offense, generated 592 yards in the opener, compared to 516 yards for the
Tulane, which averaged a mere 311.8 ypg to rank 115th in the country a season
ago, won last year's meeting by a score of 14-7 at home on Oct. 26.