Oct. 13, 2012
Tulane 27, SMU 26
Tulane Game 6
New Orleans, La.
Saturday's game marked the 21st meeting between Tulane and SMU. With the win, the Green Wave now hold a 13-8 lead in the all-time series. The win also snapped a three-game skid against SMU dating back to the 2009 season. Prior to today's outcome, the Green Wave's last win over the Mustangs came back on Sept. 25, 2008, also at home, when Tulane came away with a 34-27 victory.
The win was the first of the season for Tulane and the first for head coach Curtis Johnson as the Green Wave improve to 1-5 on the year and 1-1 in Conference USA action. The victory snapped a 15-game losing streak dating back to the fourth week of the 2011 season.
The victory also marked the first time Tulane overcame a fourth-quarter deficit since rallying for a 54-49 victory over Rice on Nov. 13, 2010, in the Superdome. In that game, the Green Wave trailed 49-48 with 2:02 remaining before scoring the go-ahead touchdown with 1:46 to play.
Tulane posted season highs with 342 yards of total offense and 302 passing yards in the win over SMU. The Green Wave's previous high-water marks came in the season opener when Tulane had 262 yards of total offense and 254 passing yards. The last time Tulane had 300-plus yards of total offense was on Nov. 10, 2011, when the Wave had 331 vs Houston. The last 300-yard passing day came on Oct. 22, 2011, when the Wave had 377 against Memphis.
Making his first start since Sept. 8, senior QB Ryan Griffin completed 17-of-32 passes for 302 yards and three touchdowns. It was the sixth 300-yard passing game of his career and his first since tallying 377 vs Memphis on Oct. 22, 2011. Griffin missed the last three games with a shoulder injury sustained in the second quarter against the Golden Hurricane.
With his performance against the Mustangs, Griffin moved into second place in Tulane career history in completions with (649) - leaping Shaun King (646 from 1995-98) - fourth in passing yards (6,871) - leaping Lester Ricard (6,608 from 2004-06) and J.P. Losman (6,754 from 2000-03) - fifth in touchdown passes (40) - leaping Deron Smith (37 from 1987-90) and Roch Hontas (39 from 1976-79) - and sixth in 300-yard passing games (6) - leaping Jones - while remaining third in pass attempts (1,095).
Sophomore RB Rob Kelley posted a career-high 64 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns (on four total catches) on Saturday against the Mustangs. He becomes the first Tulane player to pull down a pair of scoring strikes since Xavier Rush had a pair against Syracuse on Oct. 8, 2011.
Redshirt-freshman WR Marc Edwards' 79-yard touchdown catch from senior QB Ryan Griffin was the first of his career and the longest play during the 2012 season. The play was the longest from scrimmage by the Green Wave since an 87-yard touchdown pass from Lester Ricard to Roydell Williams against Navy on Nov. 6, 2004, in the Superdome.
Sophomore WR Xavier Rush tallied a season-high 55 receiving yards and tied a season-best with three catches against SMU. In addition, redshirt-freshman WR Marc Edwards posted a career-high 96 receiving yards (on two catches) in the win over the Mustangs.
Junior WR Ryan Grant extended his consecutive games with a catch streak to 14 after hauling in one pass for 28 yards. 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.
Tulane tied a season-best with three sacks on the day. Senior DE Austen Jacks had a career-high 2.0 sacks, marking the third time during his career that Jacks posted a multiple-sack performance after posting 1.5 sacks vs Tulsa on Sept. 10, 2011, and another 1.5 showing last week at Louisiana-Lafayette. Freshman DE Calvin Thomas added the other sack - the first of his career.
The Green Wave also posted a season-best eight pass break-ups - including career-best outings by freshman CB Jordan Batiste (3) and sophomore LB Matthew Bailey (2). The last time Tulane had eight pass break-ups was in the 2011 season opener against Southeastern Louisiana (Sept. 3).
Sophomore LB Matthew Bailey's third quarter interception of a Garrett Gilbert pass was the first of his career. Tulane has now forced at least one turnover in each of the first six games of the 2012 season and its last seven games dating back to the 2011 season finale at Hawai'i.
Three Green Wave defenders tallied career-high tackle outings against SMU. Freshman FS Darion Monroe led the way with 13 tackles (10 solo, 3 assists), surpassing his previous high of 12 solo stops vs Ole Miss on Sept. 22, while freshman CB Jordan Batiste tallied six (3 solo, 3 assists) and sophomore LB Cameron DeJean posted four (all solo). In addition, senior LB Darryl Farley (3 solo, 4 assists), junior linebacker Dominique Robertson (5 solo, 1 assist) and senior DE Austen Jacks (3 solo, 3 assists) had season-high tackle totals with seven, six and six, respectively.
Redshirt-freshman wide receiver Marc Edwards started for the first time on Saturday against SMU, becoming the 19th Green Wave student-athlete to earn his first collegiate start during the 2012 season. With Edwards opening the game, a combined nine freshmen (6 true, 3 redshirts) have started for Tulane this year. 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. Against Ole Miss on Sept. 22, sophomore Danté Butler opened at running back while true freshmen Devin Powell, Jordan Batiste and Lorenzo Doss started at quarterback, cornerback and nickelback, respectively. Senior quarterback D.J. Ponder earned his first start last against ULM on Sept. 29, and true freshman tight end Sydie London garnered his first start last week at UL-Lafayette.
Tulane's game captains for Saturday's contest against SMU were sophomore RB Rob Kelley representing the offense, redshirt-freshman DE Aaron Bryant representing the defense and junior WR Brent Comardelle representing the special teams.