October 1, 2020

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Tulane Loses Heartbreaker to Navy 41-38

The Tulane Green Wave suffered a heartbreaking loss this weekend in Annapolis, MD, falling to 5-3 (2-2) overall due to a last second field goal to give Navy a 41-38 victory. With the win, Navy improved to 6-1 (4-1) on the season and is one game behind SMU in the American West. 

1st Half

Navy quickly got the 1st half jump on the Green Wave, scoring 3 touchdowns in the 1st quarter and a field goal in the 2nd to put the Midshipmen up 24-0 early in the ballgame. Navy’s Jamale Carothers had an absolute monster day from scrimmage, rushing 14 times for 154 yards and 3 touchdowns. 2 of Carothers touchdown runs coming in the 1st quarter, and accounting for a 3rd through the air on a 31 yard reception from QB Malcolm Perry.

Down 24, Tulane finally found the scoreboard around halfway through the 2nd quarter. Wave QB Justin McMillan surmounted a 5 play, 79 yard drive, capping off with a 1 yard rushing touchdown by McMillan. 

Tulane’s defense finally got a much needed stop against the Midshipmen, giving the ball back to McMillan and co. McMillan lead another fast scoring drive in only 3 plays, amounting for 74 yards while scoring in only 54 seconds. McMillan found the always dangerous Darnell Mooney for a 22 yard touchdown through the air, cutting Navy’s lead to 24-14.

The stingy Tulane defense came up with another huge stop following the Mooney touchdown, forcing Navy to punt after only 4 plays which included a sack on Navy QB Malcolm Perry by the hands of Tulane’s Marvin Moody. Unfortunately, Justin McMillan’s first pass following the punt would be intercepted and returned for a Navy touchdown by Diego Fagot for 17 yards and a 31-14 Navy lead. Neither Tulane or Navy would score before half, with the score staying 31-14 going into the 3rd quarter.

2nd Half

Neither team would score again until late in the 3rd quarter. Tulane began working the ground game with Cameron Carroll and Tyjae Spears, and after 8 straight run plays, the Green Wave scored on a 2 yard touchdown pass from McMillan to Yngenio Booker to cute Navy’s lead to a field goal. 

On the Midshipmen’s following offensive possession the Wave defense forced a quick 3 and out in which Navy only managed to amount 4 yards and would be forced to punt. 

Tulane quickly capitalized on the punt, stringing together an 11 play, 68 yard drive, setting up a successful 39 yard field goal by Merek Glover to tie the game at 31.  

Navy’s offense broke the tie on a long, time consuming drive that would eventually end up with Carothers picking up his 4th total touchdown, this time coming on a 15 yard sprint to the endzone.

Tulane kept the game alive. Their offense responded to the Navy score with a long, methodical drive of their own going 12 pays, 77 yards while burning over 4 minutes off the clock. McMillan eventually got his offense all the way down to the Midshipmen 1 yard line, where he would punch it into the endzone on a 1 yard run to tie things back up. 

With only 1 minute remaining in the game, the Green Wave hoped to force overtime, however, Navy strung together a quick 7 play, 44 yard drive. The drive set up a game winning field goal attempt by Navy’s Bijan Nichols, splitting the uprights from 48 yards to give Navy a 41-38 victory over the Wave.

Final Thoughts

The Green Wave faithful have a lot to be proud about for the game. Tulane showed incredible fight, overcoming a 24 point deficit and setting themselves up for a possible overtime. Justin McMillan had a good night as well, going 20-29 and 290 yards through the air, while accounting for 4 total touchdowns with 2 in the air and 2 on the ground. Cameron Carroll and Tyjae Spears did an excellent job of filling in for the Wave’s two injured starters in Darius Bradwell and Corey Dauphine. The future looks extremely bright for these two young backs.

Next week, Tulane is back home at Yulman to face the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes on Homecoming night.