Football
Year-By-Year Summaries (1950s)
 

 

 
 

1950 (6-2-1, 3-1-1 SEC)
Head Coach: Henry Frnka

Coach Henry Frnka led the Green Wave to its third consecutive winning season with a 6-2-1 record. Harold Waggoner replaced Price as the team's top rusher, and he set a new season record by averaging 6.8 yards per carry.

Quarterback Joe Ernst set a new Tulane record with 990 passing yards. In a 27-0 win over Navy, he connected with Joe Shinn 10 times for 152 yards. Ernst's yardage record lasted 19 years, while Shinn's single-game receiving marks stood for 32 seasons. Tackle Paul Lea was named All-SEC for the third year in a row, the only Tulane player to ever achieve this honor.

FINAL RANKING: 20th AP

                                                  Ranking
Date  Opponent                Location            Tul/Opp  Score  Result
S30   Alabama*                New Orleans, La.             14-26    L
O7    Louisiana College       New Orleans, La.             64-0     W
O14   Notre Dame              New Orleans, La.     NR/10   9-13     L
O21   Ole Miss*               New Orleans, La.             27-20    W
O28   at Auburn*              Auburn, Ala.                 28-0     W
N11   at Navy*                Baltimore, Md.               27-0     W
N18   Virginia                New Orleans, La.             42-18    W
N25   Vanderbilt*             New Orleans, La.             35-6     W
D2    LSU*                    New Orleans, La.     20/NR   14-14    T

1951 (4-6, 1-5 SEC)
Head Coach: Henry Frnka

Tulane posted a losing 4-6 mark in Coach Henry Frnka's final season. Facing an athletic deficit, the university put football on an austerity program and limited the number of scholarships. Coach Frnka left Tulane after the 1951 season with 31 wins.

A lanky Texan named Max McGee, who went on to earn fame in the NFL as a wide receiver, led Tulane rushers as a sophomore with 537 yards. W.C. McElhannon led the team with 33 receptions and Lester Kennedy just missed the school record with eight interceptions.

                                                  Ranking
Date  Opponent                Location            Tul/Opp  Score  Result  
S29   Miami (Fla.)            New Orleans, La.             21-7     W
O6    Baylor                  New Orleans, La.     NR/19   14-27    L
O13   Holy Cross              New Orleans, La.     NR/15   20-14    W
O20   at Ole Miss*            Oxford, Miss.                6-25     L
O27   Auburn*                 New Orleans, La.             0-21     L
N3    Mississippi State*      New Orleans, La.             7-10     L
N10   Kentucky*               New Orleans, La.     NR/12   0-37     L
N17   at Vanderbilt*          Nashville, Tenn.             14-10    W
N24   Southeastern Louisiana  New Orleans, La.             48-7     W
D1    at LSU*                 Baton Rouge, La.             13-14    L

1952 (5-5, 3-5 SEC)
Head Coach: Raymond Wolf

Raymond "Bear" Wolf replaced Henry Frnka as head coach and rallied the squad from a 1-3 start to end up 5-5. The offensive highlight of the season was a 46-14 romp over Louisiana College that saw quarterback Fred Dempsey throw five TD passes. In that game, Tulane rushed for 240 yards and passed for 219.

Max McGee led Tulane rushers for the second straight season, but Roy Bailey had some bright moments, rushing for 127 yards against Mississippi State and 121 yards against Vanderbilt.

                                                  Ranking
Date  Opponent                Location            Tul/Opp  Score  Result
S27   Georgia*                New Orleans, La.             16-21    L
O4    Santa Clara             New Orleans, La.             35-0     W
O11   at Georgia Tech*        Atlanta, Ga.         NR/5    0-14     L
O18   Ole Miss*               New Orleans, La.             14-20    L
O25   at Auburn*              Auburn, Ala.                 21-6     W
N1    Mississippi State*      New Orleans, La.             34-21    W
N8    at Kentucky*            Lexington, Ky.               6-27     L
N15   Vanderbilt*             New Orleans, La.             16-7     W
N22   Louisiana College       New Orleans, La.             46-14    W
N29   LSU*                    New Orleans, La.             0-16     L

1953 (1-8-1, 0-7 SEC)
Head Coach: Raymond Wolf

Coach Bear Wolf's brief tenure came to an end after a 1-8-1 record. Led by Max McGee's 132 yards, Tulane rushed for 432 yards and demolished The Citadel 54-6 in the season opener. The team did not win another game as scholarship limits began to show up on the scoreboard. McGee ended the year as the squad's leading rusher for the third year in a row.

                                                  Ranking
Date  Opponent                Location            Tul/Opp  Score  Result
S19   The Citadel             New Orleans, La.             54-6     W
S26   at Georgia*             Athens, Ga.                  14-16    L
O3    at Michigan             Ann Arbor, Mich.     NR/4    7-26     L
O10   Georgia Tech*           New Orleans, La.     NR/10   13-27    L
O17   Ole Miss*               New Orleans, La.             14-45    L
O24   Auburn*                 Mobile, Ala.                 7-34     L
O31   Army                    New Orleans, La.     NR/15   0-0      T
N7    Mississippi State*      New Orleans, La.             0-21     L
N14   Vanderbilt*             New Orleans, La.             7-21     L
N28   at LSU*                 Baton Rouge, La.             13-32    L

1954 (1-6-3, 1-6-1 SEC)
Head Coach: Andy Pilney

Long-time Tulane assistant and former Notre Dame All-American Andy Pilney assumed the coaching reins of a football program that needed a boost, and he made an immediate impact. The 1954 squad showed significant improvement on defense, and that kept them in more football games.

Although the team won only once, they played to a school record three ties and lost a tough 14-13 decision to LSU in the season finale. Pilney began to turn it around in 1954, and the results got a lot better the next two seasons. The only win in a 1-6-3 season was a 6-0 triumph over Vanderbilt.

                                                  Ranking
Date  Opponent                Location            Tul/Opp  Score  Result  Attendance
S18   at Georgia Tech*        Atlanta, Ga.         NR/7    0-28     L     28,000
S25   Memphis                 New Orleans, La.             13-13    T
O2    North Carolina          New Orleans, La.             7-7      T     15,000
O9    Mississippi State*      New Orleans, La.             0-14     L     17,000
O16   at Ole Miss*            Oxford, Miss.        NR/7    7-34     L     22,500
O23   Georgia*                New Orleans, La.             0-7      L     16,000
O30   vs. Auburn*             Mobile, Ala.                 0-27     L     13,500
N6    Alabama*                New Orleans, La.             0-0      T     22,000
N13   at Vanderbilt*          Nashville, Tenn.             6-0      W     15,000
N27   LSU*                    New Orleans, La.             13-14    L

1955 (5-4-1, 3-3-1 SEC)
Head Coach: Andy Pilney

Co-captains Tony Sardisco and Bryan Burnthorne led a resurgence in Tulane football as the program enjoyed its first winning season since 1950. Coach Andy Pilney's second Green Wave squad won three consecutive games late in the year to ensure a winning campaign.

Fullback Ronny Quillian finished second in the SEC in rushing and punting and had a big game in a Tulane win over Alabama, scoring two touchdowns, rushing for 107 yards and launching a 72-yard punt.

Quarterback Gene Newton also had some big games, running for both TDs in a 14-0 win over Georgia in Athens, passing for two TDs in a win over Auburn and scoring a TD in the 13-13 tie with LSU.

In the season opener, the Green Wave beat VMI 20-7 in the first night game ever in Tulane Stadium.

                                                  Ranking
Date  Opponent                Location            Tul/Opp  Score  Result
S17   VMI                     New Orleans, La.             20-7     W
S24   at Texas                Austin, Texas                21-35    L
O1    Northwestern            New Orleans, La.             21-0     W
O8    at Mississippi State*   Starkville, Miss.            0-14     L
O15   Ole Miss*               New Orleans, La.             13-27    L
O22   at Georgia*             Athens, Ga.                  14-0     W
O29   Auburn*                 New Orleans, La.     NR/8    27-13    W
N5    Alabama*                Mobile, Ala.                 27-7     W
N12   Vanderbilt*             New Orleans, La.             7-20     L
N26   at LSU*                 Baton Rouge, La.             13-13    T

1956 (6-4, 3-3 SEC)
Head Coach: Andy Pilney

Andy Pilney did one of the great coaching jobs in Tulane history, crafting a 6-4 record that included one point losses to Texas and LSU. Coaching a team of true student-athletes during a period of financial austerity, he led the program to its second consecutive winning season against a tough schedule.

Ronny Quillian, running behind the tough blocking of fellow captains Donald Miller and Dalton Truax, led the team in rushing for the second straight season. Against Mississippi State, Quillian rushed for 141 yards and scored the game-winning TD in the final two minutes.

Quarterback Gene Newton had some big moments, breaking off an 86-yard TD run to help defeat Ole Miss in Jackson, catching a 71-yard pass against Alabama and tossing five TD passes in wins over Virginia Tech and Navy. Sophomore Claude "Boo" Mason showed promise of things to come by rushing for 128 yards against LSU.

                                                  Ranking
Date  Opponent                Location            Tul/Opp  Score  Result
S22   Virginia Tech           New Orleans, La.             21-14    W
S29   Texas                   New Orleans, La.             6-7      L
O6    at Northwestern         Evanston, Ill.               20-13    W
O13   Navy                    New Orleans, La.     NR/14   21-6     W
O20   at Ole Miss*            Jackson, Miss.       19/6    10-3     W
O27   at Georgia Tech*        Atlanta, Ga.         15/3    0-40     L
N3    Mississippi State*      New Orleans, La.             20-14    W
N10   Alabama*                New Orleans, La.             7-13     L
N17   at Vanderbilt*          Nashville, Tenn.             13-6     W
D1    LSU*                    NEW ORLEANS                  6-7      L

1957 (2-8, 1-5 SEC)
Head Coach: Andy Pilney

The Green Wave slumped to 2-8 in 1957, the first of a school-record nine consecutive losing seasons. The wins came against Marquette and Alabama.

Defense against the pass was a highlight, as the Green Wave held the opposition to only 33 completions, a modern school record.

Junior Boo Mason led the team in rushing and he enjoyed big games against Army, rushing for 130 yards, and Marquette, against whom he scored two touchdowns in a 20-6 Tulane win.

                                                  Ranking
Date  Opponent                Location            Tul/Opp  Score  Result
S20   Virginia Tech           New Orleans, La.             13-14    L
S28   at Texas                Austin, Texas        NR/13   6-20     L
O5    at Marquette            Milwaukee, Wis.              20-6     W
O11   Georgia*                New Orleans, La.             6-13     L
O18   Ole Miss*               New Orleans, La.     NR/11   0-50     L
O26   Georgia Tech*           New Orleans, La.             13-20    L
N2    at Mississippi State*   Jackson, Miss.               6-27     L
N9    Alabama*                Mobile, Ala.                 7-0      W
N16   at Army                 West Point, N.Y.     NR/10   14-20    L
N30   at LSU*                 Baton Rouge, La.             6-25     L

1958 (3-7, 1-5 SEC)
Head Coach: Andy Pilney

Coach Andy Pilney improved the Green Wave's record slightly, beating Navy, Texas Tech and Alabama to finish 3-7. Quarterback Richie Petitbon, who went on to an All-Pro career as a defensive back with the Chicago Bears, earned All-SEC recognition as he completed 66 of 125 passes for 728 yards.

In the win over Texas Tech, Boo Mason gained 104 yards receiving to become the first player in Tulane history to gain 100 yards in a game rushing and receiving in his career.

The season ended on a sour note as national champion LSU poured it on 62-0.

                                                  Ranking
Date  Opponent                Location            Tul/Opp  Score  Result  Attendance
S20   at Florida*             Gainesville, Fla.            14-34    L
S26   Texas                   New Orleans, La.             20-21    L
O4    at Georgia Tech*        Atlanta, Ga.                 0-14     L
O11   Ole Miss*               New Orleans, La.     NR/7    8-19     L
O18   Navy                    Norfolk, Va.         NR/6    14-6     W
O25   at Kansas               Lawrence, Kan.               9-14     L
O31   Texas Tech              New Orleans, La.             27-0     W
N7    vs. Alabama*            Mobile, Ala.                 13-7     W
N15   at Vanderbilt*          Nashville, Tenn.             0-12     L
N22   LSU*                    New Orleans, La.     NR/1    0-62     L     83,221

1959 (3-6-1, 0-5-1 SEC)
Head Coach: Andy Pilney

The Green Wave suffered its third consecutive losing season, but there was reason for hope in the presence of young running backs Tommy Mason and Terry Terrebonne. While Mason was a year away from one of the great seasons in Tulane history, there was nothing wrong with Terrebonne. The sophomore from New Orleans had big games in consecutive wins over Wake Forest and Detroit. Against Wake Forest, Terrebonne rushed for 112 yards in a 6-0 victory, while his 49-yard TD run keyed a 25-0 romp over Detroit.

A fog-shrouded win over Texas Tech the night before Halloween was the third victory in the 1959 season.

                                                  Ranking
Date  Opponent                Location            Tul/Opp  Score  Result  Attendance
S18   Florida*                New Orleans, La.             0-30     L     24,086
S25   at Miami (Fla.)         Miami, Fla.                  7-26     L     35,688
O3    Wake Forest             New Orleans, La.             6-0      W     14,604
O9    Detroit                 New Orleans, La.             25-0     W     14,246
O17   at Ole Miss*            Oxford, Miss.        NR/5    7-53     L     24,000
O24   Georgia Tech*           New Orleans, La.     NR/9    13-21    L     21,852
O30   Texas Tech              New Orleans, La.             17-7     W     13,216
N7    vs. Alabama*            Mobile, Ala.                 7-19     L     29,000
N14   Vanderbilt*             New Orleans, La.             6-6      T     13,698
N21   at LSU*                 Baton Rouge, La.     NR/3    6-14     L     65,000

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