Sept. 8, 2007
Mississippi State 38, Tulane 17
Tulane Game 1
New Orleans, La.
Today's game marked the 58th all-time meeting between the two teams, and the eighth time the squads have battled at the Louisiana Superdome. Tulane's 38-17 loss to the Bulldogs drops the Green Wave's series record vs. Mississippi State to 26-30-2, including a 2-6 mark in the Dome.
Today's game also marks the fifth consecutive season Tulane and Mississippi State have played each other dating back to 2003. The games were in the Superdome in 2003 and 2007, and in Starkville, Miss., in 2004 and 2006. The 2005 game was slated to be in New Orleans, but was moved to Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La., due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina.
New Tulane head football coach Bob Toledo becomes the Green Wave's first first-year coach to lose his opener since 1985 when Mack Brown lost in his debut, 38-12, vs. then-No. 19 Florida State on Aug. 31 in the Louisiana Superdome. Prior to Saturday's loss, Greg Davis, Buddy Teevens, Tommy Bowden and Chris Scelfo all emerged victorious in their Tulane coaching debuts in 1988, 1992, 1997 and 1998 (Scelfo's debut was Tulane's win over BYU in the Liberty Bowl), respectively.
Tulane is now 64-45-3 in home openers.
Tulane is now 21-16-1 in season openers under first-year head coaches.
Junior weak-side linebacker James Dillard finished the game with a career-high 16 tackles (10 solo, six assists), marking the highest total by a Tulane player since then-sophomore linebacker Anthony Cannon (now in his second year with the Detroit Lions) had 16 stops vs. Southern Miss in the Louisiana Superdome on Sept. 25, 2004.
Sophomore wide receiver Jeremy Williams' 56-yard reception from junior quarterback Scott Elliott was the longest catch of Williams' career. The 56-yard pass play was the longest by the Green Wave through the air since Elliott connected with then-junior wideout Preston Brown at Rice on Nov. 12, 2005, in Houston, Texas.
Senior running back Matt Forté rushed for 47 yards on 15 carries, which gives him 2,185 for his career. He moves into sixth place on the Tulane career rushing list, bypassing Marvin Christian, who had 2,152 yards on the ground from 1977-79. Forté is now 99 yards to catch Jamaican Dartez (2,284 from 1995-98) for fifth place all-time.
Jeremy McKinney's eight-yard touchdown reception with 2:33 remaining in the first half was not only the sophomore fullback's first career score, but his first career touch. McKinney, who missed most of the 2006 season due to injury, came to Tulane as a linebacker before being moved to his current position during spring drills.
Sophomore defensive end Logan Kelley's nine-yard sack of Mississippi State quarterback Michael Henig was a career first for the native of Houston, Texas.
Saturday's game marked the collegiate debut of eight Tulane freshmen - Justin Adams (DL), Tony Bryant (DL), Phillip Davis (CB), Pete Hendrickson (OL), Devin Holland (DB), Andrew Nierman (OL) and Casey Robottom (WR) - as well as sophomore Tyler Rice (OL). Hendrickson and Nierman started for the Green Wave at right tackle and right guard, respectively.
Junior defensive lineman Antonio Harris started his 35th consecutive game, the longest such streak on the Green Wave team.
Today's attendance of 31,076 marked Tulane's highest single-game attendance at the Superdome since the 2003 campaign when the Green Wave hosted Mississippi State in front of 33,723 on Sept. 13, 2003.