Tulane WR Discusses Crazy Finish Against Houston

The game was supposed to go to overtime; two plays later, it was over

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September 20, 2019 - 8:08 am
Tulane Houston Trick Play

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In one of the wildest finishes of the college football season, Tulane (3-1) used a trick play and a 53-yard touchdown pass to stun Houston (1-3), 38-31, on Thursday. Tulane quarterback Justin McMillan hit wide receiver Jalen McCleskey for the game-winning score with three seconds to go, as the Green Wave overcame a 28-7 deficit.

“Justin put the ball on the money,” McCleskey said on Ferrall on the Bench. “He hit me right in the chest, and I knew I was probably going to get hit. I was just trying to make sure that I secured the ball, made sure we got the yards, and then they missed a tackle. I saw nothing but open field and the end zone, and I just put the burners on.”

It appeared the game would go to overtime, as Tulane lined up to take a knee on its own 29-yard-line with 18 seconds to go. Only it was a trick play. Running back Amare Jones rushed 18 yards to set up McCleskey’s score.

“We had that in our back pocket. We worked on it,” McCleskey said. “One thing you got to love about (offensive coordinator) Coach (Will) Hall, he’s not afraid to call big plays in big situations. We trust him with the play-calling. He does a great job. It’s just great that that play worked.”

Tulane’s defense, meanwhile, limited Houston to three points in the second half.

“The defense came up big,” McCleskey said. “They made a bunch of plays. They got key stops in that second half. When it was time to get down to it, the offense made plays. The O-Line did great in blocking, and our running game got started.”

Darius Bradwell rushed 20 times for 113 yards, while Justin McMillan carried 15 times for 91 yards and a score.

Tulane, which has a bye next week, plays at Army (2-1) on Oct. 5.

“That’s going to be my first year playing them, but I’ve watched them on TV,” McCleskey said. “They do a great job of just playing tough and playing hard, so we’re just going to have to come out there, prepare that week like it’s any other week: watch the film, come to practice, have that mindset (to) just keep it one game at a time.”

Click below to listen to McCleskey’s interview in its entirety.