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Football Plagued by Miscues in 52-17 Loss at Syracuse

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM Justyn Shackleford
TULANEGREENWAVE.COM
Justyn Shackleford
TULANEGREENWAVE.COM

Sept. 21, 2013

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Rob Kelley and Justyn Shackleford each found the end zone for the Green Wave on Saturday afternoon in the Carrier Dome, but the Tulane football team was plagued by numerous first half miscues and fell to Syracuse, 52-17.

Tulane's (2-2) turnovers led to 28 Syracuse (2-2) points, including a fumble, interception and a pair of blocked punts. Those points by the Orange proved to be too much for the Green Wave to overcome.

"I thought they (Syracuse) played outstanding," Tulane head coach Curtis Johnson said. "They did the things they had to do. They threw it underneath a lot. They played very, very well.

"The special teams really hurt us," Johnson added. "We just have to keep working on our special teams."

The Orange jumped out to the lead on their first offensive possession of the game and never relinquished it. Syracuse rattled off a seven-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown run by Jerome Smith.

On the ensuing drive, Tulane went 50 yards on 11 plays that culminated in a 21-yard field goal by Cairo Santos to put the Green Wave on the board. The kick extended the preseason All-American's streak to 26 straight field goals. Santos later had a kicked blocked in the second quarter that snapped the streak, the second longest in NCAA FBS history.

Syracuse added 14 points before Tulane was able to find the end zone for the first time. The first of two Orange scores came two plays after the first blocked punt of the game in the first quarter.

Kelley gave the Green Wave new life when the junior scampered for a career-long 45-yard touchdown run that capped a five-play 75-yard drive to cut the deficit to 11, making the score 21-10.

The Orange scored two more times, including one four plays after the second blocked punt that gave Syracuse a 35-10 lead.

Tulane managed to cut the deficit back to 17 with the second touchdown of the game. This time, quarterback Nick Montana hit Shackleford on a fade in right corner of the end zone from 16-yards out for the Green Wave.

Shackleford finished the game with a career-best seven catches and 106 yards for his second 100-yard game of his career. Montana was 22-38 for 213 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Darion Monroe led the Green Wave on the defensive side of the ball with seven tackles, while Edward Williams collected six stops.

Syracuse led 42-17 at the half after scoring another touchdown with 0:04 left in the second quarter. The Orange added a touchdown in the third quarter and a field goal in the fourth that made the final score, 52-17.

Tulane finished the game with 330 total yards with 121 coming on the ground and 209 through the air. Syracuse collected 405 total yards, 205 on the rushing and 200 passing. Four of the Orange touchdowns came through the air and three more were on the ground.

Saturday's game was the second of three straight road games for the Green Wave, who will play at ULM on Sept. 28 before returning to the Superdome on Oct. 5 when the Wave play host to North Texas for Homecoming 2013.

For tickets to the Tulane/North Texas game, as well as future Green Wave events, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. The Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the Wilson Center on Ben Weiner Drive, and tickets can be purchased in person weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., over the phone at 504-861-WAVE (9283) or via the Internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.