Sep 7, 2013
South Alabama 41, Tulane 39
Tulane Game 2
New Orleans, La.
Saturday's game marked the first-ever meeting between Tulane and South Alabama on the gridiron.
The Green Wave have scored a combined 73 points in the first two games of the 2013 season. That is the most by Tulane in the opening two contests of a campaign since 1998 when the Wave racked up 83 points during the course of a 52-34 win at Cincinnati (Sept. 5) and a 31-21 victory at SMU (Sept. 12).
Tulane's team safety with 7:30 to play in the third quarter was the first by the team since Nov. 26, 2011, at Hawai'i when then-sophomore linebacker Zach Davis forced a fumble in the endzone which was recovered by a member of the Warriors' offense.
The Green Wave defense forced three turnovers against South Alabama (two interceptions, one fumble recovery) to bring their season total to nine Tulane has now forced at least one turnover in each of its last 15 games dating back to the 2011 season finale at Hawai'i.
The Tulane defense's eight pass break-ups were the most by the Wave since batting down eight passes vs SMU on Oct. 13, 2012.
Tulane's gave up a blocked punt for the first time since Oct. 22, 2011, when Memphis' Ricky Holloway batted one down. The resulting touchdown for the Jaguars was the first blocked punt for a score since Oct. 15, 2011, at UTEP when Travaun Nixon blocked the punt and Adrian Jones fell on the ball in the endzone.
Senior WR Ryan Grant posted career highs with 14 catches for 187 yards while tying a personal best with a pair of touchdown receptions. His 14 grabs ranks as the fourth-highest total in Tulane single-game history while his yardage total sits 11th. Grant's previous high-water mark in receptions was 13 (for 108 yards) at Houston on Nov. 24, 2012, while his yardage total bested his mark of 184 (on six catches) vs UAB on Oct. 27, 2012. It was also the 10th 100-plus yard receiving game of his career.
Grant extended his consecutive games with a catch streak to 22 on Saturday against the Jaguars. The last time Grant - who missed the final 12 games of the 2011 season due to injury - failed to catch a pass in a game he played in came on Oct. 9, 2010, against Army. He now has multiple-catch outings in each of his last seven contests.
For his career, Grant has now caught 136 passes for 1,999 yards (14.7 avg.) and 14 touchdowns. In the Tulane career record book, he moved up to 10th in in receptions [passing Derrick Franklin (1993-96) and Larry Route (1983-86) with 123, Jerome McIntosh (1986-89) and Robert Griffin (1980-83) with 126, Casey Robottom (2007-10) with 133 and Rodney Holman (1978-81) with 135] and receiving yards [passing Griffin with 1,945] while sliding up to a share of 10th in 100-yard games [equaling the mark of Jeremy Williams (2006-09)] and up to a tie for 11th in scoring receptions [equaling the marks of Route and Kerwin Cook (1997-2000)]. He remains eighth in yards per reception.
Senior preseason All-American K Cairo Santos was perfect on the day with a 47-yard field goal and four PATs in as many attempts. He has now converted each of his last 24 field goals and 34 PATs dating back to last season.
For his career, Santos has now scored 243 points after connecting on 48-of-58 field goals (.828) and 99-of-102 PATs (.971). In the Tulane record book, he moves into a tie for second in field goals made [equaling the mark of Brad Palazzo (1995-98)] and a tie for fifth [equaling the mark of Nick Buecher (33-of-34 in 2004)] while remaining first in field goal percentage, third in points scored kicking, fourth in PATs made, PAT attempts, fifth in total points scored, seventh in field goal attempts.
Senior RB Orleans Darkwa scored a pair of rushing touchdowns to bring his season total to four and his career mark to 31. He now sits tied for second in Tulane career history in rushing touchdowns [equaling the mark of Bill Banker (1927-29)] and tied for fifth in total touchdowns [equaling the mark of Eddie Price (1946-49) and JaJuan Dawson (1996-99)].
In addition, Darkwa ran 10 times for 32 yards against South Alabama to bring his career totals to 2,172 yards on 498 carries (4.36 avg.). He moves to seventh in Tulane career history in rushing attempts [leaping Jamaican Dartez' mark of 495 from 1995-98] and rushing yards [leaping Marvin Christian's mark of 2,152 from 1977-79]
Junior QB Nick Montana posted his first 300-yard game in a Green Wave uniform, going for 327 yards on 29-of-47 passing with three touchdowns and an interception. His completion and pass attempts were both career highs while tying a career high in scoring strikes. His previous career high in completions was 25 vs Cerritos on Sept. 15, 2012, and Riverside on Nov. 10, 2012, while his previous high in pass attempts was 42 vs Saddleback on Nov. 17, 2012. All of those numbers came while Montana was at Mount San Antonio College.
Junior SS Sam Scofield and senior MLB Dominique Roberston both posted career-high tackle totals with respective totals of 15 and 11 against South Alabama. Scofield's previous high was 12 at Tulsa on Sept. 8, 2012 while Robertson's previous high was 10 vs Army on Oct. 9, 2010.
Robertson added his first career interception, as did freshman WLB Nico Marley. Marley also had a fumble recovery, which was also the first of his career.
Two Green Wave players made their debut for the team on Saturday as senior DE Jeremy Peeples and junior CB Taurean Nixon took the field against South Alabama. Peeples previously played at LSU while Nixon played at Memphis. Tulane has now seen 22 players make their debut in a Green Wave uniform this season, including five transfers with previous Division I experience.
Tulane's game captains for Saturday's contest against South Alabama were senior WR Ryan Grant representing the offense, senior NB Derrick Strozier representing the defense, and sophomore P Peter Picerelli representing the special teams.