NEW ORLEANS -- Deron Smith threw five touchdown passes Saturday night, including a 21-yard strike to Jerome McIntosh with 50 seconds remaining for his third fourth-quarter score, to hand Tulane a 38-34 win over Memphis State.
After John Butler missed a 41-yard field goal try for Memphis State that would have given the visitors a 37-31 lead, Smith needed only 29 seconds and two completed passes to move Tulane 76 yards for the TD.
The drive began was a 55-yard completion to James Toney, the longest play from scrimmage this season for Tulane, 3-6. Smith then threw out of bounds and missed an end zone throw to McIntosh before connecting with him on the same pattern for the score.
It was Smith's third touchdown pass of the quarter. Earlier he hit Jerry Ursin for a 9-yard score and connected with McIntosh for a 33-yard touchdown.
Smith completed 21 of 33 passes for 305 yards and tied a school record with his five TD passes. Tim Jones passed for 185 yards and ran for another 135 for Memphis State, 2-7.
Memphis State's last chance to regain the lead was killed with 30 seconds left when Mitchell Price intercepted Jones' pass at the Green Wave 22.
Down 17-10 at the half, Memphis State shut out Tulane in the third quarter en route to a 27-17 lead entering the final quarter.
Starting their first possession of the half at midfield following a Tulane punt, the Tigers pushed to the Wave 24 before Butler kicked a 41-yard field goal, his second of the night.
Tulane's Terrance Strickland fumbled after catching a 1-yard pass on the next series, and Lish Trice recovered at the Tulane 47 to set up another Memphis State score, an 18-yard pass from Jones to John Bush.
Jones scored on a 1-yard run on the Tigers' next possession for a 27-17 lead. Memphis State got its final score on a 29-yard pass from Jones to Van Drayton, but Smith's passing turned the game in Tulane's favor.
Tulane's Chance Miller carried four times for 40 yards before hauling in an 8-yard pass from Smith for the first score of the night. Smith was 4 of 4 for 33 yards on the 67-yard drive.
Memphis State came back with a 20-yard field goal by Butler, but Tulane went up 17-3 on Smith's second touchdown pass, an 8-yard toss to Ursin, on the first play of the second quarter to cap a 70-yard drive.
On the following kickoff, Leslie Washington recovered a fumble by Reginald Jones after he returned the ball 34 yards but Tulane was unable to do anything with it and had to punt.
Memphis State then mounted its only touchdown drive of the half, marching from its own seven in 11 plays. Jones scrambled out of danger to toss a 28-yard pass to Bush for the score.