Tulane 35, Southeastern Louisiana 20: Three-and-out _lowres

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- Tulane Green Wave running back Sherman Badie (3) runs in his team's first touchdown in the first quarter as DUPLICATE***Southeastern Louisiana Lions defensive back Harlan Miller (1) as Tulane plays Southeastern University at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans, La. Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014.


Tulane was supposed to need to dominate both sides of the line in order to win — but credit for this one goes to the back seven on defense, which time and again came to the point of attack to thwart Southeastern’s read-option attack while making the big plays in the secondary. Sam Scofield had a big fourth quarter interception when SLU was threatening to make it a one-possession game plus a pair of passes defended while Nico Marley had a pick and seemed to be in far more than the seven stops he was credited with.


Justyn Shackleford. Tulane’s senior wide receiver showed his knack for making the big play at the right time, starting with a 25-yard catch in triple coverage that kept the Green Wave’s initial touchdown drive alive. He finished with four receptions for 76 yards, all in the second half, including a 15-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. Shackleford had a career-high 36 receptions last season. But three games into this one, he has 17.


For Tulane, winning is always a welcomed event. The Wave was well-prepared, quicker to the ball and certainly better-disciplined than the Lions. This was the first “must-win” game of the Curtis Johnson era, and his team came through. That being said, this game was about as easy as the Wave can expect the rest of the way (although Tulane should be favored against UConn on Oct. 11). Next up: 3-0 Duke, which routed Kansas 41-3 on Saturday. There may not be a tougher test left on the schedule.