Santos kicks Wave to best start since 1998

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Tulane showed true grit, and for it the Wave has won its first two Conference USA games since 1998.

Cairo Santos kicked a 27 yard field goal as time expired to lift the Wave to a 24-21 win over North Texas Saturday afternoon at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The winning points came after North Texas tied the game on a 62 yard pass from Derek Thompson to Darnell Smith with 3:45 to play.

At that point, Tulane had mustered only 76 yards of total offense in the second half. But, quarterback Nick Montana led the Wave on an 11 play, 66 yard drive that set up Santos’ field goal attempt.

Tulane won its homecoming game for the first time since 2006.

The Wave scored on a 59 yard interception return by Lorenzo Doss to take a 21-7 lead.

Earlier, Tulane took a 14-7 lead on blocked field goal by Darion Monroe. The ball was scooped up by Derrick Strozier who raced 62 yards for a touchdown.

Special teams had been a Tulane achilles heel. Not on Saturday against North Texas. “This is the best special teams we have played all year,” said head coach Curtis Johnson.

Tulane, 4-2, won at least four of its first six games since the 1998 when the Wave went 12-0. Tulane hosts East Carolina next Saturday.