Defense thrives as Tulane football defeats Connecticut 12-3 under the lights

Mackenna Barker, Associate Sports Editor

Tulane football (2-4, 1-1 American Athletic Conference) contained the Connecticut Huskies (1-5, 0-3 AAC) to 217 yards, picked up 4 sacks and forced 3 turnovers in the 12-3 win, the second win ever at Yulman Stadium.

Senior quarterback Nick Montana played his first start of the season as redshirt freshman Tanner Lee was sidelined due to a shoulder injury. Montana set the tone early on in the game. Montana drove the offense quickly down the field on Tulane’s first possession of the game, completing all 4 passes for 53 yards and a touchdown, putting Tulane up 7-3.

“It was so much fun to be back out there,” Montana said. “We may have struggled a little bit, but we were able to move the ball and come up with a big win.”

Montana ran the offense efficiently and cleanly throughout the game, completing 19 of 26 passes for 135 yards and one touchdown.

“I thought Nick did a good job. He managed the game and it was just a great job getting us in and out of plays.”

Despite playing a clean passing game, in which Tulane avoided the turnovers that have plagued the team this season, the offense was once again held back by penalties. The Green Wave offense racked up 7 penalties, opposed to the Huskies one.

The Tulane defense, however, had a breakout game. Prior to this game, Tulane has given up an average of 424 yards per game to opponents; the Wave only allowed the Huskies to convert 217 yards. Tulane also held UConn to three points, a record season low. Tulane had given up at least 20 points in each game prior to the game against UConn.

The Green Wave defense effectively shut down UConn’s offense in the first half, holding the Huskies to 104 yards and a field goal, which would be their only points for the night. The defense also forced two turnovers in the first half, with Lorenzo Doss catching his No. 14 career interception and the second of the season in the second quarter of the game.

Tulane’s defense buckled down in the second half, forcing another fumble on UConn’s first possession and then sacked UConn in the end zone for a safety on the first play of UConn’s second possession, putting the Green Wave up 9-3. 

“Our coaches told us in the meeting room, before the game, to just come out there and get takeaways,” junior cornerback Lorenzo Doss said. “Takeaways are a big part of this team, and we just had to go out there and get them.”

Montana continued to play with poise in the second half. Most notably, he slipped out of what looked to be a sure sack to then run and complete a pass to senior wide receiver Justyn Shackleford for a third down conversion that would help lead the Wave down the field to set up a 38 yard field goal, putting Tulane up for good, 12-3.

Tulane will take on UCF (3-2, 1-0 American) at 11 a.m. Saturday, October 18 in Orlando, Florida.​

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