Sept. 10, 2011
Tulsa 31, Tulane 3
Tulane Game 2
New Orleans, La.
Saturday's game marked the eighth meeting between Tulane and Tulsa on the gridiron. With the loss, the Green Wave fall to 1-7 against the Golden Hurricane, including a 0-7 mark since Tulsa joined Conference USA prior to the 2005 season.
The loss drops Tulane to 1-1 on the season and 0-1 in Conference USA play. It marks the second consecutive season that the Green Wave split their first two games and the fifth straight year that Tulane dropped the league opener.
By scoring just a field goal in the loss to Tulsa, the Green Wave failed to score a touchdown for the first time in 15 games. The last time Tulane did not reach the endzone came back on Nov. 21, 2009, when the Green Wave fell to UCF 49-0 in Orlando, Fla.
Two Green Wave defenders - junior middle linebacker Trent Mackey and junior safety Shakiel Smith - finished with double-digit tackle totals at 10 each. It was Mackey's second straight game with 10-plus tackles this season and his 10th in 14 games as a member of the Green Wave. Smith, meanwhile, tallied his first double-digit tackle outing of the year and the sixth of his career.
Junior cornerback Ryan Travis recorded his first career interception on Saturday against Tulsa, picking off a G.J. Kinne offering with 7:55 to play in the opening quarter. He returned the interception 36 yards to help set up sophomore Cairo Santos' 32-yard field goal.
After not turning the ball over in the season-opening win over Southeastern Louisiana, Tulane gave it up three times against Tulsa - one interception, two fumbles. The Golden Hurricane turned the three turnovers into a combined 14 points.
Cairo Santos' 32-yard field goal with 6:38 to play in the first quarter gave Tulane a 3-0 lead in Saturday's ballgame. It marked the first time since Tulsa joined Conference USA (prior to the 2005 season) that the Green Wave held a lead when facing the Golden Hurricane.
The Green Wave defense continued to be a force up front and finished Saturday's game with three sacks among six tackles for loss. For the season, Tulane now has 10 sacks among 14 tackles for loss.
After not recording a sack in his initial season with the Green Wave a year ago, junior linebacker Trent Mackey added his second career sack in as many games this season with a half sack against Tulsa.
Junior defensive end Austen Jacks had a career-best 1.5 sacks for 17 yards in losses on Saturday against Tulsa. He now has 2.5 sacks for the season and 6.0 for his career.
Sophomore punter Jonathan Ginsburgh averaged 45.9 yards on seven punts (321 yards) on Saturday against the Golden Hurricane. His average for the day was the highest of his career when punting seven-or-more times. His career-best average is 49.2 after punting six times for 295 yards against Ole Miss on Sept. 11, 2011, in the Louisiana Superdome.
Freshman kick returner Robert Kelley surpassed the 100-yard barrier for the second time in as many career games as the rookie from New Orleans returned six kickoffs for 107 yards on Saturday against Tulsa. For the season, Kelley has now returned 13 kickoffs for 320 yards (24.6 avg.).
Four Tulane players extended their double-digit starting streaks on Saturday vs. Southeastern Louisiana - junior DT Austen Jacks (14), junior LB Trent Mackey (14), junior safety Shakiel Smith (14) and junior cornerback Ryan Travis (14)
Freshman Renaldo Thomas made his first collegiate start on Saturday against Tulsa, opening the game at free safety. He becomes the fifth Tulane player to make his first start this season and is the first true freshman to do so. Redshirt-freshman Matt Marfisi is the only other Green Wave rookie to start so far this season, earning the call last week against Southeastern Louisiana.
Starting their first career games were true freshman Gary Owens at receiver and junior cornerback Justin Skillens. Senior quarterback G.J. Kinne and junior defensive end Cory Dorris each made their 27th straight start.
All seven Louisiana natives on the Tulsa roster saw action in the game. Those players were Kalen Henderson, Milton Howell, Jordan James, Ricky Johnson, Dexter McCoil, Alex Singleton and Tyrunn Walker.
Senior Milton Howell had his first career interception in just his second start of the season, and coming in his hometown of New Orleans.
Alex Singleton's 46-yard run was a career-high, bettering his previous best run of 42 yards in 2010 against Central Arkansas.
For the second straight week, junior receiver Bryan Burnham caught a touchdown pass. He finished with seven catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns, posting career highs in each category.
Jordan James had a career-high three receptions for 70 yards in the game.
The Golden Hurricane held Tulane to 3 points in the game. The last time TU kept an opponent out of the end zone was Sept. 26, 2009 against Sam Houston State (56-3). The last time Tulsa held a Conference USA opponent without a touchdown was Nov. 24, 2006, when it defeated Tulane, 38-3, at Skelly Stadium.
Tulsa held Tulane to 59 total rushing yards on 35 attempts. It was the fourth time in the last 15 games TU has held an opponent to less than 100 rushing yards. The Hurricane held Hawaii to 71 yards rushing in the Hawaii Bowl last season.