NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -
Tulane went to Orlando on a mission to win their first bowl game since 2002, and they accomplished their mission in impressive fashion with a 41-24 victory over UL-Lafayette.
The game appeared to be a track meet early on when both teams scored on their opening possessions. First it was Ragin' Cajuns running back Raymond Calais finding the endzone on a 38-yard touchdown run. Tulane’s Darius Bradwell would follow suit with a 15-yard rush to pay dirt.
But then the Green Wave buckled down with their defense. After forcing the Cajuns to go three and out, Justin McMillan capitalized on the ensuing possession with a 38-yard strike to Terren Encalade to give the Wave a 14-7 lead.
From there, the defense continued to play well throughout the first half and held UL-Lafayette to just a field goal in the second quarter, as Tulane took a 24-10 lead to halftime.
However, after Tulane failed to find the endzone in the third quarter, the Ragin' Cajuns worked their way back into the game. A 13-yard touchdown pass from Andre Nunez to Jarrod Jackson got UL-Lafayette back within three points, 27-24. But the Green Wave would finish strong.
With under four minutes to play, Bradwell’s second touchdown of the day gave Tulane a 34-24 lead. He carried the ball 35 times for 150 yards on the afternoon. After the Cajuns turned it over on downs in Tulane territory on the next drive, the Green Wave slammed the door with a touchdown run from McMillan on fourth down.
The win marks the first bowl game victory for the Green Wave since the Hawaii Bowl more than a decade ago.