The passing combination of Dane Evans and Keevan Lucas proved to be Tulsa's main thrust Thursday night in its thrilling 38-31 comeback win over Tulane in double overtime, before a crowd of 19,032 at Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium.
Evans and Lucas hooked up for three touchdowns in the season opener for both teams, including one to tie the game, sending it into extra periods.
It was an 8-yard pass from Evans to Connor Floyd in the second overtime that won the game. The clincher came when Demarco Nelson made an end zone interception to thwart the Green Wave’s efforts to answer.
In what was the first American Athletic Conference game of the year between the former Conference USA members, Lucas finished the night with a league record 225 yards receiving on 12 catches and Evans threw for 438 yards on 29-of-50 attempts, while overcoming two picks.
Tavarreon Dickerson made some impressive runs in the rushing attack for Tulsa (1-0 overall, 1-0 in the AAC), finishing with 84 yards on 15 carries.
Tulsa fell behind by two TDs twice in the first half, but drew to within 21-14 at halftime after Evans hit Lucas for scores covering 43 and 84 yards.
Down 28-20 with under three minutes left, Evans hit Lucas again, this time in the end zone from three yards on fourth down for the Golden Hurricane’s third TD of the night. Evans connected with Josh Atkinson in the corner of the end zone on the two-point conversion to tie the game.
Both teams exchanged a pair of field goals in the first overtime.
Tulane (0-1, 0-1) had its own offensive power to give Tulsa fits. Tanner Lee threw for 262 yards on 22-of-41 with one pick, which decided the game, Sherman Badie rushed for 223 yards on 15 handoffs, including a 90-yard TD, and Justyn Shackleford had eight catches for 113 yards.
Tulsa will have an extra day to enjoy the win, then it has to prepare for date with in-state rival and fourth-ranked Oklahoma at home on Sept. 6.