SHREVEPORT, La. — What was expected to be an offensive shootout turned into a night of vindication for Washington's defensive unit.
Chris Chandler threw for 234 yards and 2 touchdowns Saturday night, and the Huskies shut down Tulane's offense on the way to a 24-12 victory in the Independence Bowl.
"I'd say it's a good effort when you can hold such a high-powered offense to just a field goal," Husky Coach Don James said. "I admit I was expecting more of a shootout.
"If anyone had told me they would only score 12 points, I'd expect us to have a pretty good chance of winning."
Tulane's only touchdown came on a punt return.
The loss spoiled the farewell party for Tulane Coach Mack Brown, who became coach at North Carolina with the final gun.
Brown said, however, that he was more inclined to remember the good things about his three-year effort to rebuild Tulane's sagging football fortunes.
"These have been the best three years of my life," he said. "I'm very proud of this team. I'm disappointed we didn't win tonight.
"Tulane needs to continue playing well, get into another bowl game next year and win."
If that happens, it will be under Greg Davis, promoted from assistant head coach.
Chandler's touchdown passes, both for five yards in the second quarter, went to tight end Bill Ames and split end Darryl Franklin.
Tony Covington opened the scoring with a three-yard run for Washington (7-4-1) in the first quarter.
Tulane (6-6) tied it, 7-7, on a 44-yard punt return by Mitchell Price, but Washington took the kickoff and drove for the go-ahead touchdown, capped by the pass to Ames.
After Todd Wiggins kicked a 21-yard field goal for Tulane with 3:18 left in the second quarter, the Huskies drove 63 yards to Franklin's touchdown for a 21-10 halftime lead.
Channing Wyles kicked the first field goal of his college career in the fourth quarter, a 41-yarder that made it 24-10.
Washington took an intentional safety with seven seconds left to complete the scoring.
"We had been accused of not showing any heart following some of our earlier games," Washington linebacker David Rill said. "Tonight's game showed that our defense does have heart, and we stuck in there and played to the end."
Washington's defense, led by Dennis Brown, who had two sacks, manhandled a Tulane offense that had averaged 417 yards and 32 points a game.
"Our kids played well, and our defensive staff did a great job," James said. "The key was to stop the option. We didn't let them beat our brains out with the option like other teams have done this season."
Tulane quarterback Terrence Jones struggled for much of the game, finishing with 17 completions in 40 attempts for 248 yards.
Tulane's Marc Zeno had 7 catches for 116 yards.