Sept. 29, 2012
ULM 63, Tulane 10
Tulane Game 4
New Orleans, La.
Saturday's game marked the third meeting between Tulane and ULM. Despite the loss, the Green Wave still hold a 2-1 lead in the all-time series. Tulane won the first two meetings with the Warhawks 52-9 on Oct. 5, 2002, in Monroe, La., and 24-10 on Sept. 20, 2008, in the Superdome.
With the loss, Tulane fell to 0-4 on the season. It marks the first time the Green Wave dropped four straight games to open a season since 2001 when Tulane dropped contests at BYU (70-35 on Aug. 25), at LSU (48-17 on Sept. 1), vs. East Carolina (51-24 on Sept. 8) and vs. UCF (36-29 on Sept. 22).
Senior Cairo Santos' 54-yard field goal tied a Tulane record for longest kick. Mark Olivari originally set the record vs. Air Force on Nov. 8, 1975, and Ed Murray equaled the mark vs Memphis on Oct. 28, 1975. The last time a Tulane player hit a 50-plus yard field goal was back on Nov, 15, 2008, when Ross Thevenot nailed a 50-yarder against UAB in the Superdome.
Junior WR Ryan Grant, who hauled in six passes for 50 yards and a touchdown, has now caught at least one pass in his last 12 games. 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.
Fifth-year senior D.J. Ponder opened the game at quarterback, becoming the third player to start under center for the Green Wave during the 2012 season. Senior Ryan Griffin started the first two contests, and true freshman Devin Powell started last week vs. Ole Miss. The last time Tulane had three players start at quarterback was back in 2007 when Scott Elliott started the first three games, Anthony Scelfo started eight of the final nine contests. The lone game not started by the pair was in the final home game of the year when running back Matt Forté opened the UTEP game taking the snap in the Wildcat formation. The last time three full-time quarterbacks started in a season was in 1995 when Aley Demarest started the first four contests, true freshman Shaun King started six and Tracey Watts started one.
Ponder's 18-yard touchdown pass to junior WR Ryan Grant was the first scoring strike of his career. He finished the day 21-of-44 for 160 yards and the score. All of his offensive numbers ere career highs.
Sophomore WR Justyn Shackleford set a career high with 78 receiving yards and tied a career mark with seven catches against ULM. His previous seven-catch outing was vs. Memphis on Oct. 22, 2011, and his previous high-water mark in receiving yards was 65 on three grabs at SMU on Nov. 5, 2011.
Junior LB Zach Davis had a career-high 12 tackles (8 solo, 4 assists) in the game against the Warhawks. He also tallied a sack among a pair of tackles for loss - the first multiple TFL outing of his career - and added an interception. The pick was the first of the year for Davis and the second of his career.
Sophomore DB Brandon LeBeau also posted career-high tackle honors on Saturday with five (4 solo, 1 assist).
Freshman CB Lorenzo Doss tallied the first career interception of his career with second-quarter pick of ULM reserve quarterback Cody Wells. It marks the fourth time in as many games this season the Green Wave have forced at least one turnover.
Junior running back Orleans Darkwa made his season debut on Saturday, rushing for seven yards on as many carries. Darkwa missed the first three games of the year after suffering an ankle injury during preseason practice.
Freshman punter Peter Picerelli booted his second 60-plus yard effort with a 62-yard bomb in the fourth quarter. It was the second-longest punt of his career, which was a 70-yard effort at Tulsa on Sept. 8.
Tulane was held to minus-nine yards rushing on 21 carries against ULM. The last time the Green Wave were held to negative rushing yard was on Nov. 21, 2009, when UCF limited Tulane to minus-30 yards on 24 attempts in a 49-0 Knights' victory.
Junior Derrick Strozier earned his first career start as an offensive player on Saturday against ULM, opening the game at running back. It was Strozier's ninth career start as he started eight games as a safety a year ago.
Senior QB D.J. Ponder becomes the 17th Green Wave student-athlete to earn his first start during the 2012 season. Included in that list are seven freshmen (5 true, 2 redshirts. In the season opener against Rutgers on Sept. 1, Tulane's first-time starters were sophomore Sean Donnelly started at left tackle, junior Mike Henry at center, sophomore Rob Kelley at tailback, junior Rio Mares at right guard, true 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. At Tulsa on Sept. 8, redshirt-freshman Aaron Bryant and true freshman Alex Paul joined the list with starts at defensive end and right guard, respectively. In last week's game vs. Ole Miss, sophomore Danté Butler opened at running back while true freshmen Devin Powell, Jordan Batiste and Lorenzo Doss started at quarterback, cornerback and nickelback, respectively.