Oct. 12, 2013
Tulane 36, East Carolina 33 (3 OT)
Tulane Game 7
New Orleans, La.
Saturday's game marked the 13th meeting between Tulane and East Carolina on the gridiron and the Green Wave's first win since a 28-18 victory on Nov. 22, 2003 - snapping a five-game skid in head-to-head match-ups with the Pirates. Despite the victory, Tulane still trails in the all-time series, 10-3.
The triple-overtime contest marked the fifth Green Wave game to extend past regulation and the longest in school history as each of the previous four each lasted only one overtime period. Tulane is now 4-1 in overtime contests. The game was the game was the first overtime contest by the Green Wave since defeating UTEP, 45-38, on Nov. 7, 2009, in the then-Louisiana Superdome.
With the win, Tulane improves to 5-2 on the year and 3-0 in Conference USA contests. It marks the first time the Green Wave has five wins through seven games and started 3-0 in league play since 1998 when Tulane finished 12-0 and won the C-USA title with a 6-0 conference record.
With five wins to date, the Green Wave are guaranteed their best season since 2004 when Tulane finished 5-6.
Combined with the Wave's 31-14 victory at ULM on Sept. 28 and last week's 24-21 homecoming victory over North Texas, Tulane has now won three consecutive games for the first time since 2004 when the Green Wave won consecutive home games over Navy (42-10 on Nov. 6) and Army (45-31 on Nov. 13) before posting a 35-31 win at TCU on Nov. 27.
Combined last week's win over North Texas, Tulane has now posted Conference USA wins in consecutive weekends since 2007 when the Green Wave earned a 34-19 home win over UTEP on Nov. 10 and a 45-31 road decision at Rice on Nov. 17. Including the 24-15 league win at Louisiana Tech on Sept. 12, Tulane's three-straight wins in C-USA play are the most since the perfect season of 1998.
The Green Wave defense held East Carolina to 63 rushing yards on 35 carries, marking the third consecutive contest Tulane held an opponent to under 100 yards on the ground. The performance against the Pirates comes after holding North Texas to 34 yards on 20 carries last week and limiting ULM to 26 yards on 24 carries on Sept. 28.
The defense also posted season highs with 15 tackles for loss and six sacks. The totals surpass the previous high-water marks of 10 tackles for loss at Louisiana Tech on Sept. 12 and five sacks at ULM on Sept. 28. The Green Wave's tackles for loss were the most since tallying 16 at SMU on Sept. 24, 2005.
With an interception and a recovery of a muffed punt, the Tulane defense posted its sixth multiple-turnover outing of the season. The Green Wave entered with an NCAA-best 19 turnovers, including six against Jackson State on Aug. 29 and five at ULM on Sept. 28.
Senior NB Derrick Strozier's 99-yard interception return for a touchdown was the second in as many weeks for Tulane as sophomore CB Lorenzo Doss had a 59-yard pick-six last weekend against North Texas. It was Strozier's second interception of the season and his fourth of his career. Strozier's score was his second in as many weeks, as he returned a blocked field goal 62 yards for a touchdown against the Mean Green.
Strozier has now reached the endzone three times. In addition to the two scores over the last two games, he also had a 55-yard interception return for a touchdown at UAB on Sept. 17, 2011. The Green Wave defense (not counting Strozier's special team's touchdown on the blocked field goal) has now scored 20 points so far in 2013. In addition to the two interception returns for a touchdown, senior LB Dominique Robertson had a 33-yard fumble return for a touchdown at ULM and the Wave got a team safety against South Alabama on Sept. 7.
Senior PK Cairo Santos posted a career-high 17 points after connecting on both of his PAT tries and 5-of-6 field goals, including a game-winning 42-yard boot on Tulane's first play of the third overtime. Santos' five made field goals tied a Tulane single-game record, equaling the mark originally set by Bart Baldwin against Rice on Sept. 10, 1994 and tied by Brad Palazzo vs. Louisville on Oct. 11, 1997. His final kick was Santos' second game-winning field goal in as many weeks as he nailed a 27-yarder on the final play of last week's 24-21 win over North Texas.
For his career, Santos has now scored 284 points after connecting on 57-of-71 field goals (.803) and 113-of-116 PATs (.974). In the Tulane career record book, he moved into third place in field goal attempts (leaping the mark of 66 by Palazzo from 1995-98 and Ross Thevenot from 2006-09) while remaining first in field goal percentage, second in field goals made, third in total points, points scored kicking, PATs made and PAT attempts, and fourth in PAT percentage.
With six receptions for 90 yards, senior WR Ryan Grant extended his consecutive games with a catch streak to 27 on Saturday against East Carolina. 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. He now has multiple-catch outings in each of his last 13 contests.
For his career, Grant has now caught 165 passes for 2,341 yards (14.2 avg.) and 18 touchdowns. In the Tulane career record book, he moved into seventh place in receiving yards (leaping P.J. Franklin's 2,260 from 1995-98) and to eighth place in touchdown receptions (leaping Will Ursin's 17 from 1990-93 and breaking a tie with Chris Bush of 16 from 2001-04) while remaining tied for fifth in 100-yard games (10), ninth in receptions and 10th in yards per catch.
With 56 rushing yards on 12 carries, senior RB Orleans Darkwa has now run 573 times for 2,493 yards (4.35 avg.) and 33 touchdowns for his career. In the Tulane career record book, he remains second in rushing touchdowns, fourth in rushing attempts and fifth in both rushing yards and 100-yard games (8).
Junior WR Justyn Shackleford tied a career-high with seven catches (for 60 yards) in Saturday's game against the Pirates. It was the fourth seven-catch game of his career as he reached the mark against Memphis on Oct. 22, 2011, ULM on Sept. 29, 2012, and at Syracuse on Sept. 21.
Redshirt-freshman Devin Powell started his first game of the 2013 season, opening the game at quarterback in place of junior Nick Montana. It was Powell's second start of his career after getting the nod against Ole Miss last Sept. 22 before missing the rest of the 2012 campaign with an ankle injury.
Tulane's game captains for Saturday's contest against East Carolina were sophomore DB Jordan Batiste, senior TB Orleans Darkwa, senior WR Ryan Grant, senior PK Cairo Santos, and senior DLs Chris Davenport and Julius Warmsley.