Defense struggles as Tulane football falls to Tulsa 38-31 in 2OT

Mackenna Barker, Contributing Reporter

Tulane football (0-1, 0-1 American Athletic Conference) lost a heartbreaker 38-31 in double overtime to Tulsa (1-0, 1-0 AAC) Thursday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

Tulane led 21-14 at the half and kept the lead throughout the entire game until the final three minutes, when Tulsa’s sophomore quarterback Dane Evans passed for a touchdown and then successfully converted a two-point conversion to tie the game at 28-28.

Both teams successfully converted field goals in the first overtime, but Tulane’s defense could not slow Tulsa in the second overtime, as Tulsa pulled ahead 38-31. Tulane redshirt freshman quarterback Tanner Lee threw an interception on the Wave’s final drive of second overtime to end the game.

“Tulsa played well,” head coach Curtis Johnson said. “They have an outstanding young quarterback and I felt like the offensive line dominated us. We had turnovers and timely missed opportunities.”

Tulane’s defense struggled to contain Tulsa throughout the game. While the Wave forced two turnovers, Evans passed for 438 yards and four touchdowns. Tulsa rushed for 154 rushing yards for a total 592 yards.

“We have to get more pressure from our front four,” Johnson said. “I don’t think we played as well as we could have. Our secondary played a little more loose in coverage than we are accustomed to.”

The Green Wave’s offensive, however, showed great promise and potential for the season.

Lee completed 22 of 44 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns. Lee was the first freshman quarterback to start a game since 1976.

“I felt like we had that game [won], but we hurt ourselves,” Lee said. “The offense needed to step up at the end and we didn’t.”

Redshirt freshman running back Sherman Badie, a first-time starter, had 15 carries for 215 yards, including a 90-yard touchdown run. Badie’s 215 rushing yards are the most a Green Wave player has collected since 2008, and the second-most by a freshman in Tulane history.

“I owe it all to my offensive line and fullbacks,” Badie said. “I listened to my coaches and they told me to stay humble, take the small pieces and eventually it will pop for me and that’s exactly what happened. After my first carry I felt comfortable.” 

Tulane will open Yulman Stadium 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6 against Georgia Tech. 

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