Tulane rallies from early deficit to top UMass

Tulane football was down 14-0 in the opening four minutes against Massachusetts on Saturday afternoon, but rallied by scoring 24 unanswered points before eventually claiming the 31-24 victory.

It marked the biggest come-from-behind victory in the post-Katrina era, previously besting the time the Wave (3-2, 0-1 American Athletic Conference | West) rallied down 10-0 at Army on Oct. 3. 2009 to win it 17-16.

"It was just an overall team victory, said head coach Willie Fritz. "We didn't do a lot of great things in the kicking game. I was disappointed in some of our penalties. But we did enough to win and that's what we are trying to do every single week."

UMass (1-4) dealt a lightning quick first blow, going 59 yards in four plays on their opening drive, capped by a 12-yard touchdown pass form Andrew Ford to Andy Isabella. Tulane then fumbled on the ensuing kickoff as the Minutemen recovered and struck on another 12-yard touchdown connection between Ford and Isabella.

Down 14-0, the Olive and Blue remained poised and quickly retaliated, driving 75 yards via 10 plays as Dontrell Hilliard punched in an 11-yard run for the score. The touchdown marked the beginning of what would be 24 unanswered points for the Wave, as the Olive and Blue tacked on a second quarter Andrew DiRocco 22-yard field goal, a third-quarter 36-yard touchdown pass from Glen Cuiellette to Terren Encalade and a third quarter 19-yard touchdown carry by Lazedrick Thompson.

Tulane possessed a 24-14 lead to begin the fourth quarter but the Minutemen would not go away, recording a 28-yard field goal with 9:37 on the clock to cut the deficit to seven points.

Yet, the Green Wave responded once more by logging an eight play, 75-yard scoring drive on the ensuing offensive possession, as Josh Rounds tallied a 10-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 31-17.

Next, UMass countered with a quick touchdown drive, garnering 58 yards in a short two minutes and 47 seconds, cutting the deficit to a touchdown once more at 31-24.

The Minutemen would later get the ball back with 2:18 left in the game, but the Green Wave defense sealed the victory by stopping UMass in its tracks in four plays as they turned the ball over on downs.

Up next, Tulane stays on the road and heads to Orlando searching for a third-straight victory when the Green Wave clash with UCF on Friday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. CT.


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