Tulane’s sputtering offense cost the Wave dearly Saturday at Rice.
The Wave was held to 123 yards of total offense as Rice held off the Green Wave 17-13 before 20,048 at Rice Stadium. Rice won the Conference USA West Division Championship.
Tulane’s only touchdown was a 13 yard third quarter pass from Nick Montana to Devon Breaux. The Wave drove 27 yards after a Charles Ross fumble.
Tulane’s offense ineptitude spoiled a big day for the defense. The Wave had 13 stops behind the line, 7 sacks, and two fumble recoveries.
“I thought they were sensational,” said head coach Curtis Johnson of his defense.
Rice took a 17-3 halftime lead and held on. A 16 yard run by Jowan Davis in the second quarter gave the Owls 14-3 lead.
Tulane is expected to earn a bid to the New Orleans Bowl, December 21st at the Superdome. If so, the Wave will play UL-Lafayette. The Cajuns accepted a third straight bid to the New Orleans Bowl, despite losing to UL-Monroe Saturday.
Tulane finishes the season 7-5. The Wave will play in its first bowl since the 2002 Hawaii Bowl.