Oct. 6, 2012
LAFAYETTE, La. - Junior kicker Cairo Santos split the uprights from 40 and 47 yards out, and senior defensive end Austen Jacks tallied 1.5 sacks, but it was not enough as the Tulane University football team dropped a 41-13 decision at Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday evening at Cajun Field.
The Green Wave defense held the Ragin' Cajuns to just a field goal in the first quarter, but UL-Lafayette scored 21 in the second quarter and 17 more in the second half to claim its first win over Tulane since 1995. In defeat, the Wave fell to 0-5 on the year. The Cajuns, meanwhile, improve to 4-1.
"During the first half, I thought our defense played really well," first-year Tulane head football coach Curtis Johnson said. "We finally got some run stops with a four-man front and our secondary really didn't up many big plays. I thought we began to push them back a little bit. They are a good football team.
"Offensively, we couldn't get going because we didn't make the throws that we needed to make early on. We had guys open and finally we settled down in the second quarter. (D.J.) Ponder made some plays with (Justyn) Shackleford, including the long touchdown. I thought Orleans Darkwa ran very hard and so did Rob Kelley. I thought we ran the ball better, but we have to become a lot more consistent and not turn the ball over."
Making his second start in as many week, senior quarterback D.J. Ponder threw for a career-high 173 yards with the bulk of that came on a 71-yard touchdown strike to sophomore wideout Justyn Shackleford in the second quarter. The Cajun defense, however, forced three turnovers with a fumble recovery and a pair of interceptions and held Tulane to 226 yards of total offense.
Shackleford was Tulane's leading receiver on the day with three grabs for 96 yards and a score while sophomore running back Rob Kelley finished with three catches for 25 yards. Kelley led the ground game with a season-best 55 yards on 10 carries.
Freshman cornerback Lorenzo Doss tallied a career-best six solo tackles to lead the team while Jacks (4 solo, 1 assist), senior linebacker Dominique Robertson (4 solo, 1 assist) and junior linebacker Zach Davis (2 solo, 3 assists) were next with five stops each. Sophomore safety Sam Scofield posted Tulane's lone turnover of the day with an interception, and junior defensive end Julius Warmsley paced the special-teams effort with a blocked field goal.
UL-Lafayette drew first blood when Brett Baer drilled a 46-yard field goal on the Cajuns' first possession. He had a chance to pad the lead later in the first quarter, but missed a 41-yard try. The Cajun offense picked up the slack from there, scoring touchdowns on five of their next eight possessions to take control of the game.
Cajuns' quarterback Terrance Broadway sparked UL-Lafayette's second quarter scoring barrage with a 23-yard touchdown strike to Javone Lawson 2:17 into the stanza, and Justin Anderson made it 17-0 when he picked off a Ponder pass and returned it 38 yards for the secore. Ponder's 71-yard strike to Shackelford cut the deficit to 10, but Broadway ran one in from 10 yards out to make it 24-7. Santos closed out the first-half scoring with a 40-yard boot with nine seconds left in the second quarter.
UL-Lafayette kept things rolling after the break as Broadway found Lawson for a 20-yard touchdown 10 plays into the third quarter and Alonzo Harris capped a 10-play, 73-yard drive later in the frame with a one-yard scoring plunge to make it 38-10.
Santos got Tulane back on the board four seconds into the fourth quarter with a 47-yard kick, and Baer closed things out with a 31-yard field goal with 6:45 left to play to account for the final score.
Broadway finished the day 9-of-22 for 150 yards, two touchdowns and one interception while adding 36 rushing yards on nine carries. Harris led a 294-yard rushing effort with 123 yards and a score on 23 totes. Lawson was the lone Cajuns' receiver to post a multiple-catch performance, hauling in four passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns.
Qyen Griffin led the UL-Lafayette defense with seven tackles (6 solo, 1 assist) and shared game-high tackle-for-loss honors with teammated Melvin White with 2.0 each. Griffin and Le'Marc Gibson each had a pair of pass break-ups.
Tulane returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 13, when they play host to Conference USA foe SMU at noon in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Tickets to that game and future Green Wave events are available through 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, over the phone at 504-861-WAVE (9283) or via the Internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.