NEW ORLEANS – When Tulane’s football team last took the field at Yulman Stadium, it walked away a dejected team after a last-minute loss to SMU that dropped the Green Wave’s record to 2-5.As it gets set to return for Homecoming Saturday at 3 p.m. against East Carolina, its bowl hopes and American Athletic Conference West Division hopes are suddenly alive after road victories over Tulsa and South Florida.Two wins in the last three games, and the Wave is bowl eligible. Run the table, and a division title is still very much in play.What’s changed since three Saturdays ago? The most notable difference is a move at quarterback, where LSU transfer Justin McMillan has taken over for Jonathan Banks. But there’s much more, running back Darius Bradwell said, and it started in meeting rooms.“We don’t just meet as a position, we meet as a group – running backs, offensive line and tight ends,” Bradwell said. “That was a push in the right direction. Once we figured out the little mistakes we were making, we can correct them and move on.”McMillan said the backs, line and tight ends “have to work together on a lot of stuff. That’s a lot of units that have to connect.”Tulane coach Willie Fritz attributed the change to “accountability.”“To have a good team, you’ve got to be player-led and not coach-led,” he said. “We need to start getting a little peer pressure. We’ve got a good group of young men.”Tulane rushed for 312 yards against Tulsa and 365 against USF – its first back-to-back road wins in 11 years.“We just have gotten a little bit better every week,” Fritz said. “I think our guys understand when we’re assignment sound and play smart football, we’ve got a chance to be successful.”Standing between the Wave and its first three-game winning streak since its last bowl season, 2013, is a 2-6 ECU team. Bradwell knows the team has to approach this game the same as it has the last two weeks.“Don’t get relaxed, don’t get complacent,” Bradwell said. “I’ve been taught complacency is the worst disease you can have.”Added McMillan, “Winning changes everything. It’s easy to tell people to work harder. When you start to see the results and the excitement on each other’s faces … winning definitely pushes and drives these people a lot. The more wins we have, the better the atmosphere.”The game will be televised by ESPNews.
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