Nov. 30, 2013
NOTES FOLLOWING TULANE FOOTBALL'S 17-13 LOSS TO RICE
Rice 17, Tulane 13
Tulane Game 12
Saturday's game marked the 36th meeting between Tulane and Rice, and the last as Conference USA opponents, as Tulane will be joining the American Athletic Conference in July 2014. The all-time record between the two programs is still in favor of Rice, who leads 20-15-1.
Saturday's matchup marks the first Conference USA meeting between the two schools in which both squads came into the game with a winning record. The last time the Rice and Tulane squared off against one another with winning records coming into the contest was Sept. 16, 1995, when Tulane was 1-1 and Rice was 1-0 early in the season.
For Tulane, Saturday's game represented the third-straight contest against a team from Texas, as Tulane visited San Antonio for a contest against UTSA on Nov. 9 before returning home to host UTEP on Nov. 23. Tulane is 1-2 in those contests.
With the loss, Tulane has now failed to win a regular-season finale for the 10th-straight season. The last regular-season finale that Tulane won was a 28-18 victory over East Carolina during the 2003 campaign.
Senior CB Derrick Strozier recorded his first career blocked field goal during the first quarter of the game, as he blocked a 40-yard field goal attempt from Rice's Chris Boswell. Strozier recorded a blocked PAT during his sophomore season against Memphis for his only other block in his career.
Senior LB Zach Davis forced his second fumble of the season midway through the first quarter for his third career forced fumble. Davis also forced a fumble against UTEP last week, giving him forced fumbles in consecutive contests for the first time in his career.
The Green Wave defense was a force against the Rice quarterback, sacking him a total of seven times on the day. Coming into the game with 27 total sacks, the 2013 Green Wave were tied for eighth in school history for sacks in a single season. After Saturday's contest, the 2013 squad vaulted to a tie for sixth place in a single season, as they have equaled the sack output of the 1981 team.
The seven sacks on the season were a single-game season-high for the Green Wave, as they outdid their six-sack performance that they recorded against East Carolina earlier this year.
The last time Tulane posted seven sacks in a single game was against Southeastern Louisiana on Sept. 3, 2011.
Rice's first-quarter touchdown against Tulane on Saturday marked the first time an opponent scored a touchdown in the first quarter against the Green Wave since Tulane visited FAU on Nov. 2. On the season, FAU, Syracuse, South Alabama and now Rice have scored touchdowns in the first quarter against the Green Wave.
The touchdown allowed by Tulane to Rice in the first quarter was the first touchdown allowed by the Green Wave since a third-quarter touchdown run by UTSA on Nov. 9. Last week, the Green Wave held UTEP to just three points, keeping their opponent from scoring a touchdown for the first time since Nov. 18, 2006 when the Green Wave defeated UCF, 10-9, holding the Knights to three field goals.
When Rice scored a rushing touchdown in the second quarter against Tulane on Saturday, it marked the first time since the contest against FAU where Tulane has allowed two touchdowns in a single game. Before holding UTEP to just a field goal last weekend, Tulane allowed just one touchdown and a field goal to UTSA on Nov. 9. FAU notched four touchdowns against the Green Wave on Nov. 2.
Saturday's game marked the second time this season that Tulane failed to score a touchdown in the first half, as they were held to just one field goal through two frames. The only other time this season Tulane did not manage to reach the end zone during the first 30 minutes of play was against East Carolina on Oct. 12.
Late in the third quarter, freshman LB Nico Marley stripped a Rice ball carrier and recovered the fumble, marking his first career forced fumble and his second career fumble recovery. His other fumble recovery came against South Alabama during the second week of this season.
With Nico Marley's forced fumble and recovery, it gave Tulane their 11th multi-takeaway game of the season. The lone contest in which Tulane did not record multi-takeaways this season was against Syracuse.
After Nico Marley's forced fumble and recovery, Tulane picked up their first first-down of the game on a 14-yard pass from junior QB Nick Montana to junior WR Xavier Rush. Two plays later, Montana connected with redshirt-freshman WR Devon Breaux on a touchdown pass, giving Breaux his second touchdown reception of the season.
On a 34-yard reception with a little over 13 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, senior WR Ryan Grant extended his consecutive games with a catch streak to 32. 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. On the very next play, Grant hauled in another reception, giving him multiple-catches in 17 straight contests.
In the fourth quarter, senior K Cairo Santos connected on a 32-yard field goal, three quarters after hitting one from 30 yards out for the game's initial points. Saturday's contest marks just the third game this season that Santos has connected on multiple field goals this season, and 17th career multi-field goal contest.
Sophomore S Darion Monroe tied his career high in tackles for loss with 2.0. Monroe also recorded 2.0 tackles for loss against East Carolina earlier this season.
For just the third time this season, the Green Wave failed to haul in an interception. The other two contests that Tulane did not record an interception were against UTSA and Syracuse.
Tulane gained only six first downs on the afternoon, the season's lowest total, while only totaling 123 yards of offense, also a season-low.
For the season, Tulane has now recorded 33 takeaways (16 fumbles/17 interceptions). Tulane has turned those takeaways into 106 points on 13 touchdowns.
Grant finished the day with two receptions for 45 yards, and he now has season totals of 70 receptions for 926 yards and nine touchdowns.
For his career, Grant has now caught 189 passes for 2,656 yards (14.05 avg.) and 21 touchdowns. In the Tulane career record book, he passed Wil Ursing in career receptions and is now tied with Mewelde Moore for the fifth-most career receptions in school history. Grant remained tied for fifth in 100-yard games (11), tied for sixth in touchdown receptions (21) and tenth in yards per reception (14.05 avg.).
Senior RB Orleans Darkwa chalked up 26 on the ground on 14 carries. For his senior season, Darkwa now has rushed for 780 yards on 172 carries (4.53 avg.) with nine touchdowns.
With the aforementioned 26 yards on 14 carries, Darkwa has now run 647 times for 2,870 yards (4.44 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 (2,870).
Senior PK Cairo Santos scored seven points on the afternoon, connecting on two field goals and one PAT. For his career, Santos has now scored 309 points after connecting on 61-of-77 field goals (.792) and 126-of-129 PATs (.977). In the Tulane career record book, Santos remained in second place for career field goal attempts with 76, second place in Tulane history in most points kicking and total points (309), second in field goals made (61), third in PATs made (127), third in PATs attempted (129) and tied for third in PAT percentage (.977).
A total of seven Tulane players extended their double-digit starting streaks on Saturday against Rice, while two joined the ranks for the first time. Sophomore FS Darion Monroe (24), sophomore CB Lorenzo Doss (13), junior SS Sam Scofield (12), senior CB Jordan Sullen (12) and senior DT Julius Warmsley (12) were all on the field at the start of the game. Sophomore DE Royce LaFrance joined them in the double-digit start club, as he logged his tenth straight start on the afternoon. Two offensive players in senior RB Orleans Darkwa and redshirt-sophomore OL Arturo Uzdavinis also made their 12th straight starts on the season on the offensive side of the ball, while junior WR Justyn Shackleford made his tenth-consecutive start on the year.