Oct. 21, 2012
NOTES FOLLOWING TULANE FOOTBALL'S 24-20 CONFERENCE USA LOSS VS. UTEP
Tulane 20, UTEP 24
Tulane Game 7
El Paso, Texas
Saturday's game marked eighth all-time meeting between Tulane and UTEP and with the win tonight the Miners now lead the series, 5-3, and have now won back-to-back games in the series for just the second time. UTEP topped Tulane in the first two meetings in 2005 and 2006.
The Green Wave now has a 1-3 all-time record at the Sun Bowl with the lone win coming in 2010. Tulane has lost match-ups in 2006, 2008 and 2012.
Junior running back Orleans Darkwa finished the night with a season-high 61 yards on 14 carries, which are the most rushing yards by a Tulane player this season. Tulane's 77 total rushing yards was also a season high.
Senior linebacker Darryl Farley led the Wave with a season-high 10 tackles, which are the second most of his career.
With UTEP's fourth quarter fumble, Tulane has now forced an opponent turnover in every game this season. For the year, TU's defenders have forced 10 total turnovers (five interceptions; five fumbles).
Tulane recorded a season highs 440 yards of total offense. The previous was 342 yards last week against SMU and Tulane has now surpassed the 300-yard passing plateau in consecutive weeks. The Green Wave finished the game with 363 yards through the air and 77 yards on the ground.
Senior quarterback Ryan Griffin completed the night 28-of-44 for 363 yards and two touchdowns. His 363-yard passing night was the seventh 300-yard game of his career and his second straight after finishing with 302 yards last week against SMU. His seven 300-yard passing games ties him with J.P. Losman (2000-03) for fourth place in the school record books.
Sophomore WR Justyn Shackleford recorded a career-high 130 receiving yards on six receptions and one touchdown.
Junior WR Ryan Grant finished the night with 115 yards on six catches and one touchdown. His 115 yards marked his third 100-yard receiving day of the year and he now has four for his career.
The last time Tulane has two receivers post 100-yard days in the same game was last season at home against Memphis on Oct. 22 when Wilson Van Hooser finished with 100 yards and running back Orleans Darkwa had 112 yards.
Junior running back Orleans Darkwa made his first start of the season.
Darkwa missed the first three games, but returned against ULM. It was Darkwa's first start since starting the 2011 season finale on the road at Hawai'i on Nov. 26, 2011. Darkwa has now started 18 of 28 career games.
Sophomore safety Renaldo Thomas earned his first start of the season.
Thomas, who missed the majority of the season with an injury, made his last career start on the road Duke on Sept. 24, 2011. He now has four career starts.
Junior PK Cairo Santos remained perfect on the season kicking a field goal with 46-yard and 37-yard FGs against UTEP. For the season, he is now 10-for-10, including a 7-for-7 showing from 40-plus yards.
Junior WR Ryan Grant extended his consecutive games with a catch streak to 15 after hauling. 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.
Three Tulane players extended their double-digit starting streaks on Saturday at UTEP -senior DE Austen Jacks (32), senior CB Ryan Travis (31) and senior OT Eric Jones (21).
Freshman offensive guard Todd Jacquet made his first career start when he opened the game at tight end, becoming the 20th Green Wave student-athlete to earn his first collegiate start during the 2012 season. With Jacquet's first career start, a combined 10 freshmen (7 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 at UL-Lafayette. Redshirt-freshman wide receiver Marc Edwards started for the first time last week against SMU.
Tulane's game captains for Saturday's contest at UTEP were junior offensive guard Rio Mares representing the offense, senior linebacker Darryl Farley representing the defense and junior kicker Ryan Rome representing the special teams.