Ryan Griffin returned from a shoulder injury to throw for 302 yards and three touchdowns to beat Southern Methodist 27-26 Saturday.
Griffin, who missed the last three games, completed 17 of 32 passes and threw touchdown passes of 31, 79 and 16 yards. His first touchdown gave Tulane a 7-0 lead and his second helped the Green Wave (1-5, 1-1 Conference USA) jump ahead 20-6 at halftime.
SMU's offense picked up after halftime, scoring 20 consecutive points behind two Chase Hover field goals and two Garrett Gilbert touchdowns.
Hover's second field goal, a 19-yarder, gave the Mustangs a 26-20 lead with 1:22 remaining.
Tulane began its next drive on its own 32 but quickly advanced to the SMU (2-4, 1-1) 16 behind two deep passes from Griffin.
Griffin and Kelley then linked up for their second touchdown, a 16-yard strike that put Tulane ahead with 35 seconds left.