Tulane’s offense wakes up at Army ... and it faces a punchless SMU defense next _lowres

Advocate staff photo by A.J. SISCO -- Tulane running back Dontrell Hilliard

It took 138 minutes and 5 seconds, but Tulane finally took the lead for the first time this season Saturday when Lazedrick Thompson went over from 1 yard out with 11:55 left in the second quarter to put the Green Wave ahead of Maine 9-3.

In its first two games, the Wave fell behind Duke 13-0 at halftime and gave up the first 21 points to Georgia Tech before scoring.

Tulane’s last lead before Saturday came in the first quarter of the 2014 season finale against Temple on Andrew DiRocco’s 28-yard field goal.

The 24 points Tulane scored in the first half were the most by the Wave in the opening 30 minutes since it had 28 last year against Southeastern.

Almost special

Given Tulane’s propensity for special-teams mishaps, this sounds like something that would have happened to the Wave.

In the final minute of the first half, Tulane’s Peter Picerelli got off a 54-yard punt that Maine’s Justin Flores appeared to muff at his 30. There was a scramble for the ball, and Rob Kelley finally recovered at the 15.

But the officials ruled that Flores had not touched the ball and that it had thus been downed at the 28 by Richard Allen. The call was upheld by the replay.

Maine had 43 seconds plus a time out remaining, and had actually called one after third down on Tulane’s previous possession.

But instead of trying to get some points in a game it already trailed 24-7. Black Bears quarterback Dan Collins took a knee to run out the clock, ending a strange sequence of events.

Do it again

True freshman wide receiver Rickey Preston made the first catch of his college career for a 14-yard gain in the second quarter. On the next play, Tanner Lee went back to the Hahnville graduate, this time for a 2-yard pickup.

Injury report

Tulane played without sophomore defensive tackle Sean Wilson (ankle sprain) for the second consecutive week and sophomore wide receiver Terren Encalade (sprained shoulder) for the first time.

Senior Corey Redwine started in place of Wilson. Junior Devon Breaux replaced Encalade, who started Tulane’s first two games and had four catches for 43 yards for the year before getting hurt in the first quarter against Georgia Tech on Sept. 12.

Scott suspended

Tulane announced Saturday that tight end Trey Scott had been suspended for the game for a violation of team policy.

Scott, a sophomore, had three receptions for 33 yards in the first two games and emerged as one of Lee’s favorite targets in the preseason.

Lagniappe

Former Tulane offensive tackle Sean Donnelly was suspended by the NFL for four games, according to a league source. Donnelly was a free agent signee of the New York Giants but was waived in the final round of cuts and was not picked up for either an active roster or a practice squad. Donnelly was a three-year starter for the Wave. ... Sherman Badie’s 56-yard TD run in the second quarter was the fourth 50-yard-plus run of his career and the third that went for a touchdown. ... After having three open dates last season, Tulane will have its only one of the season next week. The Wave’s next game is at home Oct. 3 against Central Florida.