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Louisiana-Lafayette downs Tulane 24-21 in NO Bowl

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 22, 2013 at 1:31 am •  Published: December 22, 2013
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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — With Terrance Broadway toughing out the New Orleans Bowl with a cast on his broken right forearm, Louisiana-Lafayette figured its fortunes might hinge on whether its defense could make a few big plays.

Ragin' Cajun defensive backs Corey Trim and Sean Thomas answered that call.

Trim returned an interception 82 yards for a touchdown, Thomas' second interception set up Hunter Stover's go-ahead field goal in the fourth quarter, and Louisiana-Lafayette held off Tulane 24-21 Saturday night for its third straight New Orleans Bowl victory.

"We preached turnovers," Thomas said. "Going into the game, we knew we had to help our offense out a lot."

Tulane set up for a 48-yard field goal try in the final seconds, but Cairo Santos, the 2012 Lou Groza award winner as the nation's best kicker, missed just left.

Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had touchdowns runs for the Ragin' Cajuns (9-4), who led 21-0 on Trim's interception — the longest in the bowl game's history — against Nick Montana. But Tulane rallied to tie it at 21 on three TD runs by Orleans Darkwa.

Curtis Johnson, who coached the Green Wave to its first bowl in 11 years, said his team appeared too emotional to function well early on.

"It was uncharacteristic of us," Johnson said. "Then all of a sudden we settled down and for three quarters of the game, from the second quarter on, we played pretty well. ... A great comeback. We'll get it next year."

Broadway passed for 143 yards and ran for 33, but was intercepted twice and took a lot of hits in the second half before being replaced by Jalen Nixon in the fourth quarter.

Broadway said he was out of shape because of his injury, and cramping up.

"It was a blessing to be able to come out of that game still 50 percent instead of zero percent," Broadway said. "I didn't hurt my arm again and that's a blessing."

Devin Powell replaced Montana in the first half and passed for 223 yards for Tulane (7-6), but his underthrown pass that Thomas picked off was costly. Tulane's Ryan Grant had seven catches for 113 yards.

It wasn't clear until kickoff who was going to play quarterback for either team. ULL coach Mark Hudspeth had all but ruled out Broadway, who broke his throwing arm Nov. 30. Johnson said he was unsure if he could start Montana, who'd struggled much of the season with injuries, including to his throwing shoulder.

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