Green Wave dominates second half in win over UMass, 31-24

Jared Chado, Contributing Reporter

The Green Wave (3-2, 0-1 American Athletic Conference) showed resilience by overcoming a halftime deficit and ultimately beating the Massachusetts Minutemen (1-4, 0-0 Mid-American Conference) 31-24.

Sophomore wide receiver Terren Encalade had his second straight dominant performance as he was able to gain 125 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions.

As has become habit, the Tulane offense had a slow start to the game. The Minutemen quickly jumped to a 7-0 lead after scoring a touchdown on its first possession. Tulane fumbled the subsequent kickoff, giving Massachusetts the ball on the 12-yard line. The Minutemen was able to capitalize on this field position and take a 14-0 lead with 11:20 left in the first quarter.

On its next drive, the Green Wave and junior running back Dontrell Hilliard were able to mitigate the Minutemen’s lead with an 11-yard touchdown run, making the score 14-7. Hilliard would end up racking up 99 yards on 22 carries for the day.

Tulane would go on to convert a 22-yard field goal and cut their deficit to 14-10 going into halftime.

In the second half of play, the Green Wave looked like a revitalized team.

On the third play of the half, the Tulane defense was able to force a fumble on a sack and recover the ball on the 38-yard line. Two plays later, quarterback Glen Cuiellette completed a beautiful, 36-yard pass to Encalade to allow Tulane to take their first lead of the game, 17-14.

The Green Wave would end up holding the lead for the remainder of the game. On its next drive, Tulane widened the gap to 24-14 after a 19-yard touchdown run by Lazedrick Thompson.

In the fourth quarter, the Minutemen would convert a field goal to make the game 24-17. After trading touchdown, Massachusett’s chances ultimately ended on a fourth down stop with 2:14 left. The Green Wave was able to sit on the ball from there.

Tulane’s strong display in the second half is certainly an encouraging sight to see. The Green Wave, and Encalade, will need to keep up its impressive performance next week when it plays in conference rival, UCF (3-2) on Friday night. So far, the Knights have averaged 43.8 points per game on the season.

http://www.ncaa.com/game/football/fbs/2016/10/01/tulane-massachusetts/