WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — Amare Jones caught six passes for 104 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score, and Tulane beat Army 42-33 on Saturday to snap the Black Knights’ 15-game home winning streak.
Tulane (4-1), which hasn’t started this well since going 4-1 in 1998, outgained Army 525-363 and outrushed the Black Knights 324-193, the fourth time this season the Green Wave have gone for 250 yards on the ground. The Green Wave have gone over 500 yards offensively in all but one game this season. Army’s triple option was averaging 293.5 yards.
Darius Bradwell scored on a 13-yard run midway through the third quarter to snap a 21-all tie, Jones scored on a 1-yard run early in the fourth and Cameron Carroll tacked on a 41-yard scamper to give the Green Wave a comfortable lead.
Army (3-2) staged a furious late rally with two scores in the final 3 minutes, Jabari Moore’s 54-yard fumble return closing the gap to nine points with 2:36 left, but Tulane recovered an onside kick and held on.
Tulane coach Willie Fritz and Army’s Jeff Monken are well-schooled in the run game. Fritz succeeded Monken at Georgia Southern when Monken took the job at West Point six years ago, and the Green Wave excelled in this one. Army, which relies on ball control with its triple option, ran only 12 plays in the first quarter and trailed 21-7 early in the second, victimized repeatedly by big plays.
Tulane, which outgained the Black Knights 134-9 on the ground in the quarter, overcame a turnover in the first minute of play that led to an Army touchdown and reeled off six plays of least 15 yards in scoring 21 straight points.
Justin McMillan started the surge by hitting Jones with a 15-yard scoring pass at 10:53 and Corey Dauphine’s 30-yard run with 5 minutes left in the opening quarter gave the Green Wave a 14-7 lead.
McMillan’s 1-yard run early in the second boosted the lead to 21-7 before Army settled down and began pounding the ball inside at defensive tackle De’Andre Williams. Hopkins, who missed the previous two games with a leg injury, guided the Black Knights on one of their signature drives, completing a 15-play possession that took 8:39 with a 1-yard TD run with 4:36 left before halftime.
Hopkins scored again to tie it 21-all early in the third, breaking a 43-yard run around the right side and capping the first possession of the quarter with a 4-yard run up the middle.
Army got an early gift when McMillan simply lost the ball while running on the second play from scrimmage and Arik Smith recovered for the Black Knights at the Tulane 38. Hopkins completed a 36-yard pass to Cam Harrison on Army’s first play from scrimmage and Connor Slomka scored on a 2-yard run to give Army a lead just 79 seconds into the game.
The Green Wave, whose only loss was to Auburn, were favored in the game despite Army’s long home winning streak.
Trailing 28-21 late in third, Army executed a fake punt to perfection as linebacker Cole Christiansen scampered 31 yards for a first down at the Tulane 39. The play was nullified by a holding penalty and the Black Knights had to punt.
Tulane: The Green Wave are 4-1 for just the sixth time since 1960 and only the second time since 1980. McMillan, who was 15 of 21 for 201 yards, is 9-2 as a starter and the Green Wave’s up-tempo offense can strike in multiple ways. They should be a factor in the American Athletic Conference now that UCF has lost twice.
Army: The defense will have to regroup after its worst performance of the season. Hopkins gained 132 yards rushing and threw for 170 yards, showing no effects of the injury that had kept him out.
Tulane hosts Connecticut next Saturday.
Army is at Western Kentucky next Saturday night.