Nov. 23, 2013
Tulane 45, UTEP 3
Tulane Game 11
New Orleans, La.
Saturday's game marked the ninth all-time meeting between Tulane and UTEP and the Miners lead the series 5-4, but the Green Wave now holds a 3-1 edge in games in New Orleans.
Saturday's win snapped a two-game skid vs. UTEP and was Tulane's first win over the Miners since posting a 34-24 win at UTEP in 2010 and was the Wave's first win over the Miners at home since a 45-38 overtime win in the final home game of the 2009 campaign.
Saturday's game marked the final home game of the regular season for the Green Wave and was also Tulane's 219th and final game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. TU will move back to campus to the new state-of-the-art Yulman Stadium in 2014. The Superdome was the home of Tulane football since the facility opened in 1975. The lone season the Wave did not play in the Superdome was in 2005, when the facility was damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Tulane improved to 7-4 overall and 5-2 in Conference USA play on the year. TU's seven wins is the most in one season since the Green Wave completed the 2002 campaign with an 8-5 record. And the five league wins are the most since TU finished a perfect 6-0 and won the C-USA title in 1998.
Tulane's 45 points today marked the highest scoring output of the season and the highest since putting up 47 against Rice on Nov. 3, 2011. The Green Wave's 42-point win was the largest against a Conference USA opponent, besting the mark of 39 in a 49-10 win at UAB on Sept. 17, 2011.
Tulane held UTEP out of the end zone, marking the first time the Green Wave held its opponent without a touchdown since Nov. 18, 2006 when the Green Wave defeated UCF, 10-9, holding the Knights to three field goals. The three points was also the lowest point total by an opponent since Tulane shutout Army, 41-0, on Oct. 4, 1997, and was the fewest amount the Wave has ever surrendered in a C-USA game.
Tulane held UTEP to just 49 rushing yards, marking the third time this season the Green Wave held an opponent to less than 100 yards on the ground. TU also held North Texas to 34 yards and East Carolina to 63 yards.
The Green Wave forced three turnovers (2-fumbles/1-interception) on the day and has now forced a turnover in 10 of 11 games this season. Tulane now has forced 31 turnovers on the year (14 fumbles/17 interceptions).
Tulane's 17 interceptions this season ranks seventh on the school's single season list.
With two sacks today, the Green Wave now has 27 sacks on the year, which ranks eighth on the school's single season list, and is the most since 2011.
Tulane's 277 rushing yards today are the most since gaining 318 at UTEP on Oct. 11, 2008.
Tulane's 38 first-half points are the most scored in the opening half this season and the most since the Green Wave scored 38 first-half points against Rice on Nov. 13, 2010.
On the second offensive drive of the game for the Green Wave, junior QB Nick Montana connected with senior WR Ryan Grant on a nine-yard pass, extending Grant's consecutive games with a catch streak to 31. 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. For the contest against UTEP, Grant hauled in eight passes for 104 yards and two scores. He now has multiple-catch outings in each of his last 17 contests.
Grant pulled in a seven-yard touchdown pass from QB Devin Powell in the first quarter. The score was Grant's eighth receiving TD of the season and the 20th of his career. He currently sits in seventh-place on Tulane's career receiving touchdowns list, one behind P.J. Franklin's 21.
Grant finished the day eight receptions for 104 yards and a pair of touchdowns, which marked his 11th 100-yard receiving game of his career and second of the season. Grant moved into fifth-place all alone with his 11th 100-yard game, passing Jeremy Williams. He now trailed Roydell Williams and Adrian Burnette's 12.
For his career, Grant has now caught 187 passes for 2,611 yards (13.96 avg.) and 21 touchdowns. In the Tulane career record book, he remained in fifth place in receiving yards while remaining tied for fifth in 100-yard games (11), seventh in receptions (187) and moved into a tie for sixth in touchdown receptions (21).
Senior running back Orleans Darkwa chalked up 137 rushing yards, while senior receiver Ryan Grant compiled 104 yards. The last time Tulane had a 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver in the same game was against Rice on Nov. 14, 2010. Orleans Darkwa finished with 113 yards on the ground, while Ryan Grant produced 140 yards through the air.
Senior RB Orleans Darkwa scampered 20 yards for a touchdown on the opening drive of the game for his ninth TD of the season and the 36th of his career. With his 36 scores, he moves into a tie for third-place with Mewelde Moore on Tulane's career touchdowns scored record.
With his 137 rushing yards today, Darkwa has now gained at least 100 yards in back-to-back games for the first time since 2010 when he ran for 129 yards against UCF (11/20/10) and 113 against Rice (11/13/10). Last week against UTSA, Darkwa gained 103 yards on the ground.
Darkwa `s 100-plus rushing day marks his 10th career 100-yard rushing game, making his just the fourth Green Wave player to collected double digit 100-yard rushing games. The senior joins Mewelde Moore (22), Matt Forte (15) and Eddie Price (13) on the list.
With 137 rushing yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, Darkwa has now run 633 times for 2,844 yards (4.49 avg.) and 36 touchdowns for his career. In the Tulane career record book, Darkwa remains in second-place in rushing touchdowns in school history with 36. Darkwa also remains third in rush attempts (633) and fourth rushing yards (2,844).
Junior TB Rob Kelley scored a touchdown on the ground and in the air against UTEP, marking his second multi-touchdown game of his career, but the first with one of each score. Kelley had two receiving touchdowns against SMU on Oct. 13, 2012.
Junior Dante Butler's 54-yard run in the third quarter was the longest of his career. His previous long was a 43-yard run as a freshman at UAB on Sept. 17, 2011.
Senior PK Cairo Santos scored nine points on the afternoon, connecting on one field goal and six PATs. For his career, Santos has now scored 302 points after connecting on 59-of-75 field goals (.787) and 125-of-128 PATs (.977). In the Tulane career record book, Santos remained in second place for career field goal attempts with 75, second place in Tulane history in most points kicking and total points (302), second in field goals made (59), third in PATs made (125), third in PATs attempted (128) and fourth in PAT percentage (.977).
A total of seven Tulane players extended their double-digit starting streaks on Saturday against UTEP. Sophomore FS Darion Monroe (23), sophomore CB Lorenzo Doss (12), junior SS Sam Scofield (11) and senior CB Jordan Sullen (11) were all on the field at the start of the game. Three offensive players in senior RB Orleans Darkwa, senior C Zach Morgan, redshirt-sophomore OL Arturo Uzdavinis also made their 11 straight starts on the season on the offensive side of the ball.
Today's game marked the final home game for 19 Tulane seniors, including Taylor Bullock, Orleans Darkwa, Chris Davenport, Kyle Davis, Zach Davis, Jonathan Ginsburgh, Ryan Grant, Mike Henry, Rio Mares, Zach Morgan, L.J. Parker, Jeremy Peeples, Dominique Robertson, Cairo Santos, Adam Skidmore, Derrick Strozier, Jordan Sullen, Julius Warmsley and Devon Walker.
Tulane's game captains for Saturday's contest vs.UTEP were senior CB Jordan Sullen, senior LB Dominique Robertson, senior LB Kyle Davis, senior CB Derrick Strozier, senior OL Adam Skidmore, senior OL Rio Mares, senior C Zach Morgan, senior C Mike Henry, senior RB Orleans Darkwa, senior DT Chris Davenport, senior WR Ryan Grant, senior PK Cairo Santos, senior DT Julius Warmsley, senior LB Zach Davis and Devon Walker.