Despite offensive woes, Wake Forest holds off Tulane 7-3
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) Kendall Hinton ran for a short early touchdown and Wake Forest overcame some offensive struggles and held on for a season-opening 7-3 victory over Tulane on Thursday night.
Nothing came easy for the Demon Deacons (1-0) against a Tulane team playing its first game under new coach Willie Fritz and breaking in his run-heavy offense that produced the Bowl Subdivision's top rushing team in each of his two seasons at Georgia Southern.
Wake Forest managed just 175 total yards - 59 yards and three first downs in the second half - yet won a matchup of teams coming off consecutive 3-9 seasons. Tulane finished with 280 total yards for the game and held a nearly 10-minute advantage in time of possession.
The only touchdown came on Hinton's 1-yard run on the third play of the second quarter.
Andrew DiRocco capped Tulane's opening drive with a 41-yard field goal, but had a 43-yarder blocked early in the fourth quarter. That loomed large late because Tulane came up empty on its final two possessions: The Green Wave were stopped inside the Wake Forest red zone with 4:22 left, and got the ball back before Julian Jones stripped Glen Cuiellette on fourth down near midfield with 50 seconds left.
TULANE: The Green Wave rode their new option game as hard as expected and out of a range of formations, including out of an ''I'' in the shotgun. Tulane had 47 carries to 23 pass attempts, with none of the four running backs in the rotation carrying it more than seven times, while Glen Cuiellette added 54 yards rushing in his first college start at QB.
WAKE FOREST: It's only one game, but there are already some huge questions about the offense. To put the Demon Deacons' yardage numbers in perspective, they averaged 216.3 yards in 2014 - when they ranked last in the Bowl Subdivision in total offense. The leading passer - John Wolford - was 9 of 17 for just 79 yards, while the leading rusher - Hinton, his backup - managed just 24 yards.
TULANE: The Green Wave return home to take on Southern, a Championship Subdivision school from just up Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge.
WAKE FOREST: The Demon Deacons jump into Atlantic Coast Conference play when they visit instate rival Duke, which they haven't beaten since 2011, in their league opener.
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