NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -
What started as a night Tulane (3-1) would want to forget ended as one that the Green Wave and their fans will NEVER forget. They rallied to not only erase a 21-point deficit, but also scored in the final seconds of the game to defeat Houston (1-3), 38-31.
After tying the game up 7-7 in the first quarter with a strike from Tulane quarterback Justin McMillan to Jalen McCleskey, Houston and their own dual-threat quarterback D’Eriq King put their foot on the gas and racked up 21 unanswered points. In the process, King broke Tim Tebow’s record, as his rushing touchdown to make it 28-7 marked 15 straight games where King’s scored in the air and on the ground.
But from there, Tulane bounced back with 21 unanswered points of their own. On their first drive of the third quarter, McMillan found connected with Darnell Mooney on a deep ball to get them within seven points. Then in the fourth quarter, the senior quarterback did it with his legs. McMillan’s touchdown tied the game at 28.
After trading field goals, and with less than a minute remaining, it appeared that Tulane was going to take a knee to run out the clock. However, offensive coordinator Will Hall had a few tricks up his sleeve. They faked the QB kneel, and instead gave the ball to running back Amare Jones, who ran for 18 yards before getting out of bounds to stop the clock.
And on the next play came pure magic.
McMillan found McCleskey in traffic over the middle of the field, and after absorbing a couple of hits from Houston defenders, he raced for the endzone to provide the game-winning touchdown with just three seconds remaining.
For the Green Wave, it was all about the big play. McMillan completed just seven of his 20 passes, but almost all of those completions came in huge moments, including a 3rd and 14 conversion from their own 3 yard line on a drive that led to a Green Wave touchdown.
Tulane has more than two weeks off to rest before facing Army on the road on October 5th.