The Tulane University football team defeated Southern Miss, 30-13, in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl behind 215 passing yards and three touchdowns by senior quarterback Justin McMillan. This is the first time Tulane has won bowl games in back-to-back seasons.
Tulane (7-6) outrushed Southern Miss (7-6) 164-58. Redshirt senior quarterback Justin McMillan led the Green Wave with 215 yards and three touchdowns passing and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. Senior wide receiver Jalen McCleskey was tops on the team with two catches for 87 yards a one touchdown. Junior safety Chase Kuerschen logged a team-high seven tackles for the Olive and Blue.
McCleskey broke loose for a 52-yard touchdown reception on the Green Wave’s opening possession of the second half to tie the game at 13. This play finished a 5-play, 77-yard drive.
Redshirt junior Merek Glover made his third field goal of the game to give Tulane a 16-13 lead with 6:16 left in the third quarter. On the next Southern Miss possession, sophomore Larry Brooks picked off a pass and returned it to the Eagles’ seven-yard line. McMillan then connected with redshirt junior Justin Robertson Jr. for a touchdown to put the Olive and Blue up 23-13 with 5:37 left in the third. This was Robertson’s first touchdown of his career.
McMillan tossed his third touchdown of the game when he connected with sophomore Amare Jones for a 20-yard touchdown with 1:54 left in the third quarter. This capped a 4-play, 66-yard drive for the Olive and Blue.
Southern Miss jumped out to a 13-0 lead after the first quarter with touchdowns on its opening two drives.
The Green Wave cut the Eagles’ lead to 13-3 after Glover knocked down a 31-yard field goal to cap off a 10-play, 51-yard drive. Glover made his second 31-yard field goal of the game with 4:37 left in the first half to cut the Southern Miss lead to 13-6. The second kick closed a seven-play, 34-yard drive for the Green Wave.
Southern Miss held a 13-6 lead at halftime. The Green Wave held the Eagles to 39 total yards in the second quarter. Kuerschen led the Tulane defense with five tackles in the opening half before closing the game with his second interception of the season with 0:49 remaining in the fourth quarter.
With the win, the 2019 senior class became Tulane’s winningest senior class this century passing the 2003 seniors. The Green Wave rushed for 3,162 yards this season, which marks the first time in program history Tulane has logged more than 3,000 rushing yards in one season.