Sept. 1, 2012
Rutgers 24, Tulane 12
Tulane Game 1
New Orleans, La.
Saturday's game marked the debut of Curtis Johnson as head coach of the Green Wave football program. With the loss, Tulane falls to 0-1 on the year.
The loss to the Scarlet Knights drops Tulane to 66-46-4 all-time in home openers. It is the first time the Green Wave lost a season opener since falling to Tulsa, 37-13, on Sept. 4, 2009, in the Superdome.
Saturday's game marked the sixth meeting between Tulane and Rutgers on the gridiron. The loss snapped the Green Wave's two-game streak against the Scarlet Knights as Tulane falls to 4-2 in the all-time series - including an 0-3 record in New Orleans.
Tulane's 12 points was the lowest output in a season opener since dropping a 29-10 decision to Maryland on Sept. 2, 1995.
Tulane's 17-play drive which led to a 32-yard Cairo Santos field goal in the second quarter was the longest by the Green Wave since driving 94 yards on 18 plays at UAB on Sept. 17, 2011.
Senior quarterback Ryan Griffin completed 34-of-48 passes for 254 yards, one touchdown and one interception against Rutgers. His completion total was the third highest of his career, falling behind his 36-completion efforts at Tulsa on Oct. 16, 2010 and at Marshall on Nov. 27, 2010.
Griffin has now completed 625-of-1050 passes for 6,509 yards and 37 touchdowns for his career. His pass attempts moves him into third all-time in the Tulane record book and his touchdown total is now tied for seventh with Deron Smith (1987-90). Griffin remains third in career completions and still sits sixth in passing yards.
Junior wide receiver Ryan Grant finished the day with six catches for a game-high 110 yards. Grant's 100-yard receiving day was the third of his career. The game marks his return to the lineup for the first time since the 2011 season-opener when he suffered an injury against Southeastern Louisiana.
Junior running back Derrick Strozier, sophomore running back Danté Butler and sophomore tight end Evan Tatford also posted career-high receiving numbers on Saturday against Rutgers. Strozier - who played his first two collegiate seasons at running back, had six catches for 40 yards while Butler's five receptions for 17 yards marked his first collegiate numbers through the air. Tatford, meanwhile, entered the game with one reception for 38 yards and that catch came last season against Memphis (Oct. 22).
Three Green Wave veterans posted career-high tackle totals on the night, including a nine-tackle performance by senior safety Devon Walker (7 solo, 2 assists). In addition, junior linebacker Zach Davis had eight stops (5 solo, 3 assists) and sophomore defensive tackle Kenny Welcome had four (all solo). Walker's previous career-high tackle total was seven on two occasions: at SMU on Nov. 28, 2009 and vs. UCF on Nov. 20, 2010. Davis's previous high-water mark was six at Armyu on Oct. 1, 2011, and at Hawai'i on Nov. 26, 2011, while Welcome had three at Duke on Sept. 24, 2011.
Senior cornerback Ryan Travis had his first interception of the year with a pick of Rutgers quarterback Gry Nova in the second quarter. It was the sixth of Travis' career and all of them have come since the start of the 2011 season.
Five Tulane players extended their double-digit starting streaks on Saturday vs. Rutgers - , senior QB Ryan Griffin (31), senior DE Austen Jacks (26), senior CB Ryan Travis (26), senior OT Eric Jones (16), and senior LB Darryl Farley (15)
Ten Green Wave players started for the first time on Saturday against the Scarlet Knights: sophomore Sean Donnelly at left tackle, junior Mike Henry at center, sophomore Rob Kelley at running back, junior Rio Mares at right guard, freshman Darion Monroe at cornerback, redshirt-freshman Corey Redwine at nose tackle, sophomore Justyn Shackleford at wide receiver, sophomore Adam Skidmore at left guard, sophomore Evan Tatford at tight end and sophomore Kenny Welcome at defensive tackle.
Darion Monroe and Corey Redwine were two of 15 Tulane players to make their collegiate debut on Saturday, 14 of which were freshmen. Joining the two starters in their collegiate debuts for the Green Wave were true freshmen Jordan Batiste (CB), Richard Carthon (DB), Lorenzo Doss (CB), Todd Jacquet (OL), Royce LaFrance (DE), Sydie London (WR), Alex Paul (OG), Peter Picerelli (P) and Calvin Thomas (DL), redshirt-freshmen Aaron Bryant (DE), Marc Edwards (WR) and Arturo Uzdavinis (OL), and sophomore Cameron DeJean (LB).