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Year-By-Year Summaries (1940s)

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM Eddie Price led the Green Wave to the 1949 SEC title as a senior. It was one of three SEC titles won by Tulane from 1934 to 1949.
TULANEGREENWAVE.COM
Eddie Price led the Green Wave to the 1949 SEC title as a senior. It was one of three SEC titles won by Tulane from 1934 to 1949.
TULANEGREENWAVE.COM

1940 (5-5, 1-3 SEC)
Head Coach: Red Dawson

Hit hard by graduation, Tulane's 1940 team posted a 5-5 record, marking the first time since 1927 that the Green Wave did not field a winning football team. Coach Red Dawson rallied the troops after the season started 0-3, but a loss to LSU in the season finale prevented a winning campaign. Guard Tommy O'Boyle earned All-America recognition as he led the charge for Dawson's ground-oriented attack. The 1940 team still holds the season record for rushing attempts with 649.

                                                  Ranking
Date  Opponent                Location            Tul/Opp  Score  Result  Attendance
S28   Boston College          New Orleans, La.             7-27     L
O5    Auburn*                 New Orleans, La.             14-20    L
O12   at Fordham              Bronx, N.Y.                  7-20     L
O19   Rice                    New Orleans, La.             15-6     W
O26   at North Carolina       Chapel Hill, N.C.            14-13    W
N2    Clemson                 New Orleans, La.     NR/10   13-0     W
N9    at Alabama*             Birmingham, Ala.             6-13     L
N16   Georgia*                New Orleans, La.             21-13    W
N23   Northwestern State      New Orleans, La.             47-0     W
N30   at LSU*                 Baton Rouge, La.             0-14     L     30,799

1941 (5-4, 2-3 SEC)
Head Coach: Red Dawson

The nation drifted toward World War II as Red Dawson delivered a winning record in his last season as Tulane head coach. The 1941 team finished 5-4 and displayed a bit more offense than Dawson's previous squads, scoring better than 30 points in four of their five wins.

Ernie Blandin led the way from his tackle spot and was named a consensus All-American after the season. Bobby Glass, who would be killed in action in World War II, led the rushing attack with 683 yards and eight TDs. Lou Thomas established a season record with an average of 6.8 yards total offense per play, and also returned a kickoff 100 yards in a 52-6 win over North Carolina.

                                                  Ranking
Date  Opponent                Location            Tul/Opp  Score  Result  Attendance
S27   Boston College          New Orleans, La.             21-7     W
O4    Auburn*                 New Orleans, La.             32-0     W
O11   at Rice                 Houston, Texas               9-10     L
O18   North Carolina          New Orleans, La.     17/NR   52-6     W
O25   Ole Miss*               New Orleans, La.     10/NR   13-20    L
N1    at Vanderbilt*          Nashville, Tenn.     NR/10   34-14    W
N8    Alabama*                New Orleans, La.     14/NR   14-19    L
N15   at New York             New York, N.Y.               45-0     W
N29   LSU*                    New Orleans, La.             0-19     L     50,764

1942 (4-5, 1-4 SEC)
Head Coach: Claude Simons, Jr.

Claude "Little Monk" Simons, an All-American for the Green Wave in 1934, took over the head coaching reins from Red Dawson and was faced with putting together a football team during the chaos of World War II. Players were leaving for military service, while others were coming to campus from other universities to participate in military training programs.

Simons led the Wave against a nine-game schedule and wound up with a 4-5 record, Tulane's first losing season since 1927. The season started off well as Tulane journeyed west to defeat the USC Trojans, 27-13. A three-game losing skid to conclude the season ended hopes of a winning campaign.

Lou Thomas led the team in rushing and passing.

                                                  Ranking
Date  Opponent                Location            Tul/Opp  Score  Result  Attendance
S26   at Southern Cal         Los Angeles, Calif.          27-13    W
O3    Auburn*                 New Orleans, La.             13-27    L
O10   Rice                    New Orleans, La.             18-7     W
O17   at Georgia*             Athens, Ga.          NR/2    0-40     L
O24   North Carolina          New Orleans, La.     NR/19   29-14    W
O31   Vanderbilt*             New Orleans, La.             28-21    W
N7    Mississippi State*      New Orleans, La.             0-7      L
N14   Georgia Navy P-F        New Orleans, La.             0-7      L
N26   at LSU*                 Baton Rouge, La.             6-18     L     30,071

1943 (3-3, 1-1 SEC)
Head Coach: Claude Simons, Jr.

The six games Tulane played in 1943 were the fewest since the wartime year of 1918, and Monk Simons led his second Green Wave squad to a 3-3 record. End Ray Olsen, guard Gaston Bourgeois, center Lester Gatewood and back Joe Renfroe all earned All-SEC recognition that fall. Bourgeois, a 16-year-old freshman, started for Tulane for four years and earned All-SEC recognition each season. The 1943 victories came over Rice, SMU and LSU.

                                                  Ranking
Date  Opponent                Location            Tul/Opp  Score  Result  Attendance
O2    Memphis Navy            New Orleans, La.             7-41     L
O9    at Rice                 Houston, Texas               33-0     W
O23   SMU                     New Orleans, La.             12-6     W
O30   Georgia Navy P-F        New Orleans, La.             13-14    L
N13   Georgia Tech*           New Orleans, La.     NR/19   0-33     L
N20   LSU*                    New Orleans, La.             27-0     W     35,893

1944 (4-3, 1-2 SEC)
Head Coach: Claude Simons, Jr.

Monk Simons fielded his only winning team in 1944 as the squad finished another war-abbreviated schedule 4-3.

This team enjoyed considerable success on the ground as it rushed for more than 300 yards four times, the only Tulane team since 1940 to do so. The biggest victims of the Tulane running game were Clemson (504 yards) and SMU (417 yards). Dub Jones led Wave rushers with 700 yards and earned All-America recognition.

                                                  Ranking
Date  Opponent                Location            Tul/Opp  Score  Result  Attendance
O7    at Notre Dame           South Bend, Ind.             0-26     L     45,000
O14   Rice                    New Orleans, La.             21-0     W     30,000
O21   Auburn*                 New Orleans, La.             16-13    W
O28   SMU                     New Orleans, La.             27-7     W     22,000
N11   at Georgia Tech*        Atlanta, Ga.         NR/13   7-34     L
N18   Clemson                 New Orleans, La.             36-20    W     10,000
D2    at LSU*                 Baton Rouge, La.             6-25     L     25,248

1945 (2-6-1, 1-3-1 SEC)
Head Coach: Claude Simons, Jr.

The wartime shuffling of players on and off campus finally caught up with Tulane, and the 2-6-1 record in 1945 was the school's worst since 1910. Coach Monk Simons had his team off to a 2-2-1 start in his final season, but then saw his team suffer through a four-game losing streak at the end.

Ernest Crouch produced one of the highlights of the season by returning two interceptions for touchdowns in a 19-7 win over SMU, a single-game record that still stands.

                                                  Ranking
Date  Opponent                Location            Tul/Opp  Score  Result  Attendance
O6    Florida*                New Orleans, La.             6-6      T     20,000
O13   at Rice                 Houston, Texas               7-13     L     14,000
O20   Auburn*                 New Orleans, La.             14-20    L
O27   SMU                     New Orleans, La.             19-7     W     28,000
N3    Mississippi State*      New Orleans, La.     NR/15   14-13    W     25,000
N10   Georgia Tech*           New Orleans, La.             7-41     L     30,000
N17   Clemson                 New Orleans, La.             20-47    L     18,000
N24   Notre Dame              New Orleans, La.     NR/5    6-21     L     63,000
D1    LSU*                    New Orleans, La.             0-33     L     52,644

1946 (3-7, 2-4 SEC)
Head Coach: Henry Frnka

Coach Henry Frnka moved to Tulane to take over the football program after leading Tulsa to four bowl games, including two Sugar Bowls. The initial results were disappointing, but Frnka was laying a foundation that would produce significant success for the Green Wave in the late 1940s.

One of the keys to that foundation was New Orleanian Eddie Price, just out of the Navy and about to become one of the most feared rushers in college football. Price played sparingly early in his freshman year, but still led Tulane in rushing with 309 yards.

The 1946 team ended with a 3-7 record as military veterans like Bennie Ellender, O.J. Key, Ken Tarzetti, Vic Klein and Don Fortier returned to campus to help Frnka rebuild Tulane football fortunes.

                                                  Ranking
Date  Opponent                Location            Tul/Opp  Score  Result  Attendance
S28   Alabama*                New Orleans, La.             6-7      L     64,371
O5    Florida*                New Orleans, La.             27-13    W     35,000
O12   Rice                    New Orleans, La.             6-25     L     45,000
O19   Auburn*                 New Orleans, La.             32-0     W     35,000
O26   Mississippi State*      New Orleans, La.             7-14     L     45,000
N9    Clemson                 New Orleans, La.             54-13    W     25,301
N16   at Georgia Tech*        Atlanta, Ga.         NR/7    7-35     L     32,000
N23   Notre Dame              New Orleans, La.     NR/2    0-41     L     65,841
N30   at LSU*                 Baton Rouge, La.     NR/9    27-41    L     46,000
D21   Southern California     New Orleans, La.             13-20    L     25,000

1947 (2-5-2, 2-3-2 SEC)
Head Coach: Henry Frnka

Henry Frnka's second Green Wave team finished 2-5-2, but some of the pieces of the squad that exploded to success in 1948 were beginning to fall into place.

Sophomore Eddie Price led Tulane in rushing again. Against Auburn, Price rambled for 103 yards and Johnny Campora added 104 as Tulane rolled up 431 yards on the ground in a 40-0 win.

Against Alabama in the season opener, Price returned a kickoff 100 yards and Bennie Ellender came right back with a TD pass to Ray Prats as Tulane exploded for two quick TDs that keyed a 21-20 win.

                                                  Ranking
Date  Opponent                Location            Tul/Opp  Score  Result
S27   Alabama*                New Orleans, La.             21-20    W
O4    Georgia Tech*           New Orleans, La.             0-20     L
O11   at Rice                 Houston, Texas       NR/16   0-3      L
O18   Ole Miss*               New Orleans, La.             14-27    L
O25   Auburn*                 New Orleans, La.             40-0     W
N1    Mississippi State*      New Orleans, La.             0-20     L
N15   Florida*                New Orleans, La.             7-7      T
N22   at Notre Dame           South Bend, Ind.     NR/2    6-59     L
D6    LSU*                    New Orleans, La.             6-6      T

1948 (9-1, 5-1 SEC)
Head Coach: Henry Frnka

Junior Eddie Price led the Green Wave to a 9-1 record with 1,178 yards rushing, as he gained at least 100 yards in seven of the team's 10 games.

Coach Henry Frnka also crafted a strong passing attack that fall, as sophomore Joe Ernst threw for 809 yards and Dick Sheffield set a season record that lasted 22 years by averaging 18.6 yards per catch.

Operating behind a forward wall that included All-SEC tackle Paul Lea and center Stan Kottemann, Price and Ernst helped the Wave end the season on an eight-game winning streak as the only loss came to Georgia Tech in game two.

Defensively, linebacker Bill Svoboda and defensive back Bobby Jones led a unit that shut out four opponents and did not allow anyone to score more than twice. The season ended on a pleasant note as Tulane swamped LSU 46-0 in Baton Rouge. The team was richly deserving of a bowl invite but got none.

FINAL RANKING: 13th AP

                                                  Ranking
Date  Opponent                Location            Tul/Opp  Score  Result
S25   Alabama*                New Orleans, La.             21-14    W
O2    at Georgia Tech*        Atlanta, Ga.                 7-13     L
O9    South Carolina          New Orleans, La.             14-0     W
O16   Ole Miss*               New Orleans, La.     NR/10   20-7     W
O23   Auburn*                 New Orleans, La.     17/NR   21-6     W
O30   Mississippi State*      New Orleans, La.     19/NR   9-0      W
N6    VMI                     New Orleans, La.     20/NR   28-7     W
N13   Baylor                  New Orleans, La.             35-13    W
N20   at Cincinnati           Cincinnati, Ohio     14/NR   6-0      W
N27   at LSU*                 Baton Rouge, La.     14/NR   46-0     W

1949 (7-2-1, 5-1 SEC)
Head Coach: Henry Frnka

All-American Eddie Price ran wild again, rushing for 1,137 yards in only nine games as Tulane finished 7-2-1. Price ended his fabulous career as the NCAA's all-time leading rusher with 3,095 career yards. He rushed for 238 yards against Navy that season in his finest career performance, and had five games over 100 yards in the nine he played.

The team won its first three games to stretch the school's winning streak to 11. The only losses were to Notre Dame and LSU. A big upset by LSU in the season finale probably cost Tulane a bowl berth.

Tackle Paul Lea was named All-SEC for the second season in a row, and Jimmy Glisson set school records in the secondary with four interceptions in one game and nine in a season.

SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS

                                                  Ranking
Date  Opponent                Location            Tul/Opp  Score  Result  Attendance
S24   vs. Alabama*            Mobile, Ala.                 28-14    W
O1    Georgia Tech*           New Orleans, La.             18-0     W
O8    Southeastern Louisiana  New Orleans, La.      4/NR   40-0     W
O15   at Notre Dame           South Bend, Ind.      4/1    7-46     L
O22   Auburn*                 New Orleans, La.     20/NR   14-6     W
O29   Mississippi State*      New Orleans, La.             54-6     W
N5    Navy                    New Orleans, La.             21-21    T
N12   at Vanderbilt*          Nashville, Tenn.             41-14    W
N19   at Virginia             Charlottesville, Va. 19/NR   28-14    W
N26   LSU*                    New Orleans, La.     10/13   0-21     L     79,292