1998 Season in Review

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM Quarterback Shaun King <BR>led the Green Wave to <BR>a perfect 12-0 record in 1998.
Quarterback Shaun King
led the Green Wave to
a perfect 12-0 record in 1998.

The Games

Tulane 52
Cincinnati 34

September 5, 1998 * 20,721

Tulane jumped out to a 24-0 second-quarter lead en route to a decisive, 52-34 season-opening win at Cincinnati.

The Green Wave offense used its hurry-up attack to post 390 yards in the first half alone. Tulane opened scoring on Brad Palazzo's 27-yard field goal on the game's first drive. Before the first quarter was over, Shaun King had hit Toney Converse on a 41-yard scoring pass and Jamaican Dartez had scampered in from the two for a 17-0 Green Wave lead.

Leading 31-6 at the intermission, Tulane padded its lead to 52-14 in the second half on a pair of King to P.J. Franklin scoring tosses and a Manny Cuellar fumble recovery in the end zone.

The Bearcats posted three late scores, one of which came on a Tulane blocked punt.

Dartez finished with 195 yards rushing on 21 carries, the highest rushing total for a Tulane back in 28 years.

Tulane 31
SMU 21

September 12, 1998 * 12,316

For the second-straight week, Tulane jumped out to a big lead and held on as the Green Wave improved to 2-0 for the first time 23 years.

Shaun King completed 20-of-29 passes for 352 yards and a pair of touchdowns to pace the Green Wave offense. Included in those numbers was a school-record 94-yard touchdown strike to JaJuan Dawson in the first quarter that gave Tulane a 14-0 lead.

King opened the game by leading the Wave on a seven-play, 80-yard drive in under two minutes before scoring himself on an eight-yard scamper.

After Brad Palazzo's 46-yard field goal early in the second quarter stretched the lead to 17-0, David Dorsey blocked a Mustang punt in the end zone, where it was recovered by Delando Davis for another Tulane touchdown.

Midway through the third quarter, King struck again, connecting with P.J. Franklin on a 36-yard scoring toss to extend the lead to 31-0.

SMU rallied with a pair of long scoring passes from freshman quarterback Josh McCown to Albert Johnson.

After the Mustangs had trimmed the lead to 31-21 on Rodnick Phillips' two-yard run with 6:19 remaining, Tulane ran out the clock with an 11-play drive that ended at the SMU 42.

Navy 24
Tulane 42

September 26, 1998 * 19,371

Despite trailing for the first time in 1998, Tulane responded with 21-straight, second-half points to dispense of Navy and move to 3-0.

Trailing 10-7 early in the second quarter, the Green Wave took the lead for good on a two-yard scoring run by Jamaican Dartez. After a Navy field goal trimmed the lead to 14-13, Shaun King hit JaJuan Dawson for a five-yard touchdown pass with :06 left before halftime.

Navy opened second-half scoring on a 34-yard Vanderhorst field goal to make it 21-16, but a pair of King-to-P.J. Franklin touchdown passes sandwiched a King touchdown run to give Tulane a 42-16 lead early in the final quarter.

The first King-to-Franklin touchdown covered 78 yards, while the second went for 17 yards. King's touchdown run was a one-yard plunge on a quarterback sneak.

Southern Miss 7
Tulane 21

October 3, 1998 * 32,527

Led by an opportunistic defense that forced six turnovers, Tulane defeated defending Conference USA champion Southern Miss to take an early lead in the league's title chase.

The Green Wave dodged bullets early to keep Southern Miss off the scoreboard. A Shaun King interception set up a 19-yard field goal attempt for USM's Tim Hardaway, which he missed wide right. On the Eagles' next possession, Tim Carter jarred the ball loose from Southern Miss' Todd Pinkston as the receiver was about to cross the goalline. The fumble went out the back of the end zone for a touchback.

Southern Miss' next miscue led to Tulane points, as the first of four Lee Roberts' interceptions was returned 59 yards for the score by Green Wave cornerback Alphonso Roundtree.

Tulane built a 14-0 halftime lead when Jamaican Dartez scored with 3:07 remaining in the first half. The Green Wave then opened the second half by going on a nine-play, 80-yard drive that was capped by a 35-yard, King-to-P.J. Franklin scoring toss.

King played with a broken left wrist he injured the previous week against Navy, forcing Tulane to use backup Jeff Curtis when taking snaps from under center.

Louisville 22
Tulane 28

OCTOBER 17, 1998 * 26,217

Tim Carter broke up a Chris Redman pass from the Tulane three-yard line on the game's final play as the Green Wave thwarted Louisville's last drive in a 28-22 win.

The Cardinals began their final drive at Tulane's 30 after Brad Palazzo missed a 46-yard field goal with 1:06 remaining that would have given the Green Wave a nine-point lead.

Redman was phenomenal on the day, completing 41-of-56 passes for 477 yards. However, he threw only one touchdown and also had a pass intercepted.

His counterpart, Tulane's Shaun King, was 16-of-29 for 273 yards, but threw three TDs and no interceptions.

Louisville took a 7-0 lead on Redman's touchdown pass, a 35-yard post pattern to Arnold Jackson midway through the first quarter. Tulane tied the game at 7-7 on the first play of the second quarter when Jamaican Dartez scored on a two-yard run.

Tulane took a 21-16 lead into halftime and led 28-19 after three quarters.

Jon Hilbert's final field goal, a 39-yarder with 6:02 remaining, cut Tulane's lead to 28-22. The Green Wave followed by taking 4:56 off the clock on an 11-play drive that set up Palazzo's missed FG.

Tulane 52
Rutgers 24

OCTOBER 24, 1998 * 20,714

Shaun King completed 23-of-27 passes for 320 yards and accounted for six touchdowns as 22nd-ranked Tulane clinched back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in 17 years with a 52-24 road win against Rutgers.

After Rutgers tied the game at 10-10 on the final play of the first quarter, the Green Wave used King's four second-quarter scoring tosses to stake a 38-17 lead at the intermission.

King's first touchdown pass was to tight end Joseph Akin from a yard out. It was Akin's first career reception. King later hit Adrian Burnette on a 71-yard touchdown and P.J. Franklin on scoring passes of 10 and seven yards.

In the second half, King ran for a pair of scores, one from six yards out and the other from the Rutgers one.

Franklin led all receivers with a career-high 12 catches for 159 yards. Eight of his receptions came in the first half.

Tailback Toney Converse gained 105 yards on 14 carries off the bench.

USL 20
Tulane 72

OCTOBER 31, 1998 * 25,177

The Green Wave treated visiting Southwestern Louisiana to an offensive explosion on Halloween, producing its highest point total in 61 years in a 72-20 win.

Behind 706 yards of total offense, the second-highest outupt in school history, Tulane improved to 7-0 for the first time since 1931.

Shaun King was once again at the controls, leading the Green Wave to four second-quarter touchdowns. King finished with a career-best 385 yards passing on a 21-of-39, three-touchdown day.

The Tulane defense also got into the scoring act, providing a safety and a Wayne Blair fumble return for a touchdown.

After a USL touchdown pass cut the lead to 16-7 with nearly nine minutes remaining in the first half, King hooked up with Jamaican Dartez for a 45-yard touchdown pass. Dartez also scored a pair of touchdowns rushing.

Tulane 41
Memphis 31

NOVEMBER 7, 1998 * 18,192

Continuing a recurring theme, Tulane jumped out to an commanding lead and held off a late rally to remain undefeated.

The Green Wave built a 41-10 lead after three quarters, but three fourth-quarter Memphis touchdowns closed the gap.

Quarterback Shaun King was once again the Tulane catalyst, accounting for 355 total yards passing, rushing and receiving. He passed for four scores and 285 yards,s while rushing for another touchdown and 62 yards. In addition, he caught his first career pass, an eight-yard reception thrown by tailback Jamaican Dartez.

King led the Green Wave to touchdowns on its first three possessions of the game. He capped the first by hitting tight end Mike Turner for a three-yard touchdown pass, followed by running in from five on the next drive and, finally, hit John Wilson in the back of the end zone for a six-yard scoring toss.

JaJuan Dawson was King's primary target, catching 10 passes for 127 yards and two second-half touchdowns.

Memphis' fourth-quarter rally came on the strength of freshman quarterback Neil Suber. Suber passed for 165 of his 279 yards in the final stanza.

Tulane 49
Army 35

NOVEMBER 14, 1998 * 39,038

Tulane captured a share of its first conference title in 49 years with a 49-35 road win over Army. The victory clinched a share of the 1998 Conference USA championship.

At 9-0 and off to its best start since 1931, Tulane used an remarkable performance by quarterback Shaun King to overcome a inspired Army squad.

King, who threw for three touchdowns and rushed for three more, became the first Tulane player ever to throw for over 300 yards and rush for more than 100 in the same game.

The win marked Tulane's school-record, seventh-straight road win dating back to 1997.

Tied 21-21 at the half and 28-28 late in the third quarter, the Green Wave scored two touchdowns within 37 seconds to take control of the game.

After Toney Converse's four-yard run gave Tulane a 35-28 lead with :33 left in the third quarter, the Green Wave recovered an Army fumble on the next play from scrimmage and scored two plays later on JaJuan Dawson's 12-yard pass from King.

Houston 20
Tulane 48

NOVEMBER 21, 1998 * 26,978

The Green Wave completed a perfect Conference USA record with a 48-20 win over Houston as Tulane claimed the outright league title.

Once again, Shaun King led the way, throwing for a career-high five touchdowns on 26-of-33 passing. At one point, King completed a school-record, 18-consecutive passes.

Houston jumped out to an early 7-0 lead on Ketric Sanford's 50-yard scamper just over a minute into the game. The Cougars held a 10-3 lead midway through the second quarter before King struck for a pair of quick touchdowns.

Tulane tied the game at 10-10 when Kerwin Cook grabbed a deflected pass and raced into the end zone for a 38-yard score. After Houston fumbled on its next play from scrimmage, King found Adrian Burnette for a 22-yard touchdown.

After leading 17-13 at halftime, the Green Wave put the game away during a 17-point third quarter when King found JaJuan Dawson for a pair of touchdown passes.

Louisiana Tech 30
Tulane 63

NOVEMBER 26, 1998 * 37,391

Scoring touchdowns on nine of its first 10 possessions, Tulane celebrated Thanksgiving with a 63-30 win over in-state foe Louisiana Tech.

QB Shaun King, TB Toney Converse and WR Kerwin Cook keyed the Green Wave offensive explosion. King completed 19-of-26 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 92 yards and another score. Converse rushed a career-high 182 yards and a school record-tying four touchdowns. Cook also had a career day, catching 9 passes for 171 yards and two scoring receptions.

Trailing 10-7 late in the first quarter, Tulane went on a 35-6 tear to open a 42-16 lead midway through the third quarter.

After the Bulldogs scored late in the third quarter to cut the lead to 49-30, King scored from 12 yards out and Converse added a fourth-quarter 10-yard run to close the scoring.

The win capped Tulane's first 11-0 regular season since 1931.

BYU 27
Tulane 41

DECEMBER 31, 1998 * 52, 192

Tulane capped its first 12-win season in school history with a surprisingly easy 41-27 win over WAC foe BYU in the 40th Anniversary AXA/Equitable Liberty Bowl.

In winning its first bowl game since the 1970 Liberty Bowl, the Green Wave built a 34-6 lead after three quarters against a BYU defense that was ranked fifth nationally during the regular season.

BYU took an early 6-0 lead when Kevin Feterik found Ben Horton in the corner of the endzone for an 11-yard scoring toss. Tulane cut that lead to 6-3 on Brad Palazzo's 31-yard field goal.

On BYU's next possession, cornerback Michael Jordan stepped in front of a Feterik pass and raced 79 yards untouched down the sideline to give the Green Wave a 10-6 lead it wouldn't relenquish.

QB Shaun King rushed for a game-high 109 yards, mostly on draw plays. King also passed for 276 yards and two touchdowns, including a 60-yard scoring strike to Kerwin Cook early in the second half to stake Tulane to a 27-6 lead.

Sophomore TB Toney Converse also rushed for 103 yards, giving Tulane a pair of 100-yard rushers in the same game for the first time since 1986.

1998 Season Notes


Tulane's 12-0 regular season is its best ever. The 1939 Green Wave went 11-0 in the regular season before losing to Southern Cal, 21-12, in the Rose Bowl.


Tulane finished the 1998 season riding a 13-game winning streak dating back to the final game of the 1997 season. The Green Wave and Tennessee are tied for the nation's longest current winning streak.

It is the Green Wave's longest winning streak since winning 18 straight between the 1930-31 seasons.


For just the third time in school history, and the first since 1934, Tulane recorded 10 wins in a season. It was just the second time the Green Wave had won 11 games and the first time to win 12 games in a season.


    Year    Coach                     Record
    1931    Bernie Bierman              11-1
    1934    Ted Cox                     10-1
    1998    Tommy Bowden/Chris Scelfo   12-0


The Green Wave was one of just two undefeated Division I-A teams. Tulane (12-0) was joined in that distinction by top-ranked Tennessee (13-0).


The 1998 Conference USA title was Tulane's first conference championship since winning the SEC in 1949. The Green Wave won three SEC titles (1934 and 1939) as a charter member of that league (1933-65).


Tulane's 12-0 record in 1998, coupled with the Wave's 7-4 mark in 1997, gives it back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1980-81.


Tulane's turnover margin (+15, 1.36 per game) finished fifth nationally. The Green Wave, tied for third nationally with only 11 giveaways, went nearly six games (23 quarters, including the Liberty Bowl) at the end of the regular season without committing a turnover.


Senior senior CB Michael Jordan, QB Shaun King and sophomore OL Bernard Robertson were first-team All-Conference USA selections in 1998.

Junior WR JaJuan Dawson, senior WR P.J. Franklin, junior OL Jerry Godfrey, senior DL Dennis O'Sullivan, senior LB Brett Timmson were all named to the All-C-USA second-team.


Tulane placed six newcomers on the Conference USA All-Freshman squad: DB Meldon Barnes, DL Ryan Brewer, WR Terrell Harris, WR Zander Robinson, OL Corey Sewell and OL Torie Taulli.

Sewell was also named to the Football News Freshman All-American team after starting all 12 regular-season games at left tackle.


The AXA/Equitable Liberty Bowl, televised by ESPN, was Tulane's sixth TV appearance of the 1998 season.


Tulane spent the final final 10 weeks of the regular season ranked in the national polls and finished the season ranked seventh in both the Associated Press poll and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. That was Tulane's highest ranking since finishing the 1939 season ranked fifth.

Prior to 1998, the Green Wave's last national ranking had come in December 1979 (15th, AP).


Tulane finished second nationally in scoring offense (45.4), fourth nationally in total offense (507.1) and 13th in passing offense (304.7).

The Green Wave is also 23rd in rushing offense (202.4).

Tulane, Kansas State, UCLA and Ohio State were the only four schools in the nation to compile 3,000 yards passing and 2,000 yards rushing.


Tulane's 41-27 win over BYU in the Liberty Bowl marked the ninth time in 1998, and the seventh-straight game, the Green Wave had scored at least 40 points in game. Both accomplishments were school records.


Despite playing eight games with a broken left (non-throwing) wrist, Shaun King set a new NCAA I-A pass efficiency record after leading the nation with a rating of 183.3.

King, who played most of the season with the injury he sustained Sept. 26 against Navy, broke the old record set by Florida Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel (178.4) in 1995.

Sixth nationally in total offense (342.2 ypg), King completed 68 percent of his passes (223-of-328) while throwing for 3,232 yards, 36 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also rushed for 532 yards and 10 touchdowns.


Rk      Player, School (Year)          Rating
    1.  SHAUN KING, TULANE (1998)       183.3
    2.  Danny Wuerffel, Florida (1995)  178.4
    3.  Jim McMahon, BYU (1980)         176.9
    4.  Ty Detmer, BYU (1989)           175.6
    5.  Steve Sarkisian, BYU (1996)     173.6


QB Shaun King became the first player in I-A history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 500 yards in an 11-game season. King finished with 3,232 passing yards and 532 rushing yards for Tulane.

New Mexico's Stoney Case accomplished the feat (3,117 pass/532 rush) in 12 games in 1994.


QB Shaun King finished the season, including the Liberty Bowl, throwing 204-consecutive pass attempts without an interception. His last pick came in the first quarter against USL, thus he played the final 23 quarters of 1998 interception-free ... King threw for over 300 yards a school-record six times this season, including five of the last six regular-season games ... In his last five games (including the Liberty Bowl), King was 118-of-166 (71 percent) for 1,542 yards (308.4 ypg), 17 TDs and no interceptions ... With his 78-yard scoring strike to P.J. Franklin against Navy, QB Shaun King now has four of Tulane's seven longest passes of all-time. Earlier in the year against SMU, King hooked up with JaJuan Dawson on a 94-yard TD, the longest pass play in Green Wave history.


QB Shaun King became the Tulane's career passing yardage leader against Army, moving past Terrence Jones (7,684, 1985-88). King finished with 8,419 career yards. He broke Jones' total offense record against Louisiana Tech, finishing with 9,468.

King is also the Green Wave's career leader in yardage, pass attempts (1,163), completions (646) and touchdown passes (70).


Junior WR JaJuan Dawson joined senior teammate P.J. Franklin to form one of the nation's top receiving duos.

Franklin finished ninth nationally in receiving yards per game (106.7) and was tied for 12th nationally in receptions per game (6.73).

Dawson finished tied for 20th nationally and fourth in C-USA in receptions per game (6.18) and 30th nationally in receiving yards per game (86.1).

Franklin (74 rec., 1,174 yards, 11 TD) and Dawson (68 rec., 947 yards, 12 TD) combined to account for 142 of Tulane's 230 pass receptions and 23 of the Green Wave's 38 TD receptions. At least one of them reached 100 yards receiving in nine of Tulane's 11 regular-season games.


Senior placekicker Brad Palazzo became Tulane's career leader in field goals made, moving past Eddie Murray (1976-79) on the Wave's all-time list.

Palazzo, who is also Tulane's career leader in field goal accuracy (48-for-66, .727) and points scored kicking (290), broke Murray's old field goal mark of 45.

Palazzo was a perfect 68-of-68 on PATs in 1998 and connected on a school-record 88-straight point-afters.


Sophomore WR Kerwin Cook caught a career-high nine passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns in the regular-season finale against Louisiana Tech. In Tulane's final three games (including the Liberty Bowl), Cook caught 19 passes for 389 yards (129.7 ypg and 20.5 ypc) and four scores.


Tulane's 49-35 win at Army was its school-record, seventh-straight road win. Tulane won its final two road game of 1997 and went 5-0 away from New Orleans in 1998. Add the 41-27 win over BYU in Memphis, and the Green Wave has won eight-straight away from home.


Sophomore TB Toney Converse rushed for a career-high 182 yards and tied a school record with five touchdowns against Louisiana Tech.

Including the 103 yards he ran for in the Liberty Bowl, Converse rushed for over 100 yards in five of Tulane's last seven games.


In the 945 football games Tulane had played prior to 1997 the Green Wave had gained 200 yards both passing and rushing just 13 times. In the 23 games during the 1997-98 seasons, Tulane reached the 200-yard mark both rushing and passing 10 times.