DURHAM, N.C. — It’s hard to find many positives when your football team loses 47-13 to a team that isn’t quite in the Top 25.
But Tulane actually had some good things happen — mixed in among the special-teams disasters — against Duke on Saturday at Wallace Wade Stadium.
Lazedrick Thompson, who had missed the final month of last season with a knee surgery, finished with a career-best 124 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. He was still in treatment in the training room and unavailable for comment after the game.
“Duke is a good football team, and I’d like to be there in a couple of years where they are right now,” Tulane coach Curtis Johnson said. “We’re playing a lot of young kids, and I know that’s what they did a couple of years ago and it worked out for them. That’s where we’re starting to get — that’s a model program of what we aspire to be.”
The Green Wave ran 95 plays and finished with 375 yards of total offense.
Linebacker Nico Marley was in on 12 tackles, including 11/2 for losses, forced a fumble and broke up a pass.
“We gave up too many yards,” Marley said. “We’ve got to respond faster. We’ve just got to start faster than we did today.
“I thought we were in the game at halftime, but we just let it get away.”
Free safety Sam Scofield was a terror to the Duke offense, which came into the game without a single turnover. Scofield had an interception and a fumble recovery to go along with seven tackles.
“Duke’s offensive line and their quarterback and (Jamison Crowder) are all really good,” Scofield said. “For the most part, we were slowing them down early in the game. But then we had some special teams mistakes and then other mistakes and really shot ourselves in the foot.
“We just can’t start the way we did. We had a stop when it was 26-13, and then a muffed punt — that was the turning point in the game.”
Redshirt freshman quarterback Tanner Lee had some flashes of good play but was up-and-down, finishing 14-for-35 for 160 yards with three interceptions.
“We just had too many turnovers and penalties,” Lee said. “Duke’s a good team and hats off to them. Their defense is very disciplined. They bend but they don’t break.
“I’m learning a lot more about situations. Things got away from us a little bit today, but I need to do a better job being tough and being the type of guy a team can look to as a leader.”