NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Wake Forest freshman Sam Hartman passed for 378 yards and two touchdowns in his collegiate debut, Cade Carney powered in for a short TD in overtime, and the Demon Deacons defeated Tulane 23-17 on Thursday night.
Jonathan Banks connected with Terren Encalade for touchdown passes of 52 and 74 yards for Tulane, which had the ball on the edge of game-winning field goal range in the last minute of regulation before stalling after a false-start penalty.
Tulane's Peter Woullard was flagged for a personal foul when the Green Wave began overtime with the ball. Tulane turned the ball over on downs soon after, setting up Wake Forest's winning score.
Alex Bachman caught both of Hartman's first two touchdown passes, which went for 10 and 19 yards. Sage Surrratt had 11 catches for 150 yards and Greg Dortch caught 12 passes for 149 yards.
Hartman was starting the opener because projected starter Kendall Hinton was suspended three games for an unspecified violation of team rules. The Demon Deacons also had their starting tight end sent off the field within the first five minutes of the game when his hit to the head of Tulane returner Jacob Robertson was ruled a targeting foul.
Hartman wound up with a promising performance in a victory, but it was by no means mistake free. He finished 31 of 51 and threw two interceptions, the second of which could have cost Wake Forest the game.
The Demon Deacons were threatening to take a two-score lead when Hartman attempted a desperate, underhanded pass in an effort to avoid being sacked by Tulane's Tirise Barge. The ball went straight to linebacker Larry Graham for an interception.
Banks scrambled twice for first downs during the game-tying drive, once up the middle for 17 yards on third-and-5 and later scrambling 15 yards on fourth-and-11 from the Wake Forest 37.
That set up Merek Glover's career-long 39-yard field goal to tie it at 17 with 3:53 left.
Banks finished 18 of 37 for 281 yards, but constantly found himself spinning and scrambling away from pressure. He was sacked three times and often had to throw the ball away. Even his first TD pass to Encalade came after he was forced to scramble to his right and lofted a deep ball down the sideline.
The Green Wave repeatedly squandered good field position, punting seven times from Wake Forest's side of midfield. Tulane never ran a play from inside the Wake Forest 22.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons saw that Hartman can play well with protection and could become a prolific passer. Yet, as expected with young players, he struggled to maintain composure and made some regrettable decisions when defenders were able to get pressure in the backfield.
Tulane: The Green Wave can be encouraged by its ability to compete in the American Athletic Conference and vie for a bowl bid after taking a power-conference team to overtime in its opener. But Tulane will be disappointed it squandered chances to take a statement victory.
Wake Forest: Hosts Towson of the second-tier FCS in its home opener on Sept. 8.
Tulane: Hosts FCS program Nicholls State on Sept. 8.
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