The battle for Louisiana mid-major supremacy came down to the wire, but the Ragin' Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette edged out the Tulane Green Wave 24-21 in the New Orleans Bowl.
After coming back from a 21-point deficit, Tulane had a chance to force overtime in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter, but a Cairo Santos 48-yard field goal attempt hooked left, sealing the win for the Cajuns.
Looking for a third straight New Orleans Bowl victory, the Ragin’ Cajuns started off hot, scoring the game’s first 21 points. Quarterback Terrance Broadway was questionable to start for ULL, but the junior played and led the Cajuns on touchdown drives on two of the team’s first three drives.
The ULL defense stymied the Tulane offense early. The Green Wave used a dual-quarterback attack with Nick Montana and Devin Powell until ULL defensive back Corey Trim stepped in front of a Montana third down pass and returned it 82 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter to give ULL a 21-0 lead.
With Powell leading the offense exclusively, the Green Wave did not buckle under the three touchdown deficit and quickly responded with two Orleans Darkwa touchdown runs to close out the first half trailing 21-14.
Both defenses stiffened in the second half, but a terrible interception thrown by Broadway set up Tulane for another Darkwa touchdown run to tie things up at 21 late in the third quarter. A few drives later, Powell later matched Broadway with a terrible interception of his own – this one from his own end zone.
The interception set up a 27-yard field goal attempt from Hunter Stover, a converted linebacker coming off his third torn ACL surgery who had never attempted a field goal in his career. He promptly drilled it to from the right hash to give ULL a 24-21 lead.
After regaining possession later in the fourth at its own 5 with 1:35 to go, Powell led the Green Wave down to the ULL 25-yard line with off-balance passes. A sack pushed the Green Wave back and Tulane’s attempt to force overtime with a Santos field goal, but the 2012 Groza Award winner's attempt sailed left, clinching the win and ULL's third straight New Orleans Bowl victory.
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