Football Opens Season Against Independence Bowl Champion Ole Miss

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM Senior receiver Adrian Burnette leads the Green Wave against long-time foe Ole Miss in the season opener.
Senior receiver Adrian Burnette leads the Green Wave against long-time foe Ole Miss in the season opener.

Aug. 29, 2000

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Sept. 2, 2000 ? 11:30 a.m. (CDT)
Oxford, Miss.
Vaught Hemingway Stadium (50,577)

Kicking Off
Tulane opens its 107th season season with a regional television match-up versus long-time foe and #18 ranked Ole Miss in the season opener for both teams. Ole Miss, the 1999 Independence Bowl champion, is led by all-star candidate Deuce McAllister.

Tulane is 59-45-2 all-time in season-openers and has won three of its last four season opening games. It's the eighth time Tulane has met Ole Miss in the first game of the year, but just the third time since 1936. All-time, the Green Wave is 4-3 vs. the Rebels in season openers.

Opening Away
The Green Wave opens the season on the road for the fourth time in the last five years. Tulane has not started a season with a non-conference game since 1995, when Maryland visited the Superdome. All-time, the Green Wave is 12-17 in opening games played on the road and 40-58-1 in its first road game of the year.

A Year Ago
Tulane put together its best defensive effort of the season and carried a 10-6 lead into the fourth quarter, but couldn't overcome two key turnovers and fell to 25th ranked Ole Miss in Oxford, 20-13. QB Patrick Ramsey set new TU single-game records for completions (25) and attempts (59) in the contest.

No Favors
The schedule-makers did not do the Green Wave any favors in putting together this year's line-up. Tulane will play six of its first eight games of 2000 on the road, and does not play a home game until Sept. 30 this year. The Green Wave's lone open date of the season falls after the Ole Miss game, after which Tulane will face one of the Conference USA preseason favorites in East Carolina and then travel to SMU.

Diamond Darlings
Two of the brightest stars to come out of Tulane's preseason camp are freshmen receiver Roydell Williams from Reserve, La. and running back Mewelde Moore out of Baton Rouge. In order to keep them, the Green Wave not only had to win a recruiting battle, but are holding their breath until the two attend classes at Tulane on Aug. 30th, lest the two Major League Baseball draftees jump sports. Williams was a fifth-round draft choice of the Cincinnati Reds, while the San Diego Padres chose Moore in the fourth round last year.

Impact Class
In addition to Williams and Moore, four other true freshmen are listed on the Green Wave depth chart entering the Ole Miss game. New Iberia's Joe Mitchell is quickly turning into the team's "sixth-man" on the offensive line, while Kris Coleman out of Marrero provides TU with a big back. Defensively, Lonnie Crayton from Springfield, Fla. has made a bid for snaps on the defensive line and New Orleans' Lynaris Elpheage, a QB/WR in high school, has picked up quickly at cornerback and as a return man and will see action Saturday.

Vs. The SEC
Tulane is 156-229-24 all-time against its former conference foes. In road contests, TU is 41-81-1 against the SEC. The Green Wave was a member of the SEC from 1933-65.

Vs. Top 25
No. 18 Ole Miss is one of two preseason Top 25 teams on the Green Wave's 2000 schedule (No. 25/23 AP Southern Miss is the other). Tulane is looking for its first win over a Top 25 ranked team since 1982, when they defeated No. 12 LSU 31-28. Since that time, Tulane is 0-22 vs. the Top 25. All-time, the Green Wave is 19-95-2 vs. teams ranked in the AP Top 25 poll.

The state of Mississippi has not exactly been kind to the Green Wave as Tulane is 58-82-2 all-time against the three current Division I-A schools in the state of Mississippi (Southern Miss, Miss. State, Ole Miss). In games versus those teams played in Mississippi, Tulane is 9-35 with its last win coming in Hattiesburg in 1993.

And He Can Sing
Freshman offensive lineman Joe Mitchell has not just had an impact on the field for the Green Wave. The young 300-pounder from New Iberia, La. showed during camp that he was not overwhelmed by his new surroundings as he wowed the team with his rendition of "Amazing Grace." Mitchell repeated the performance a week later when TU President Scott Cowen dropped by practice.

Oh (No) Brother!
Despite the multitude of players with the same last names on the Tulane team, none of them are related. The Green Wave has two each of Dorseys (Floyd and Davis), Jones' (Corey and Jamal), Joseph's (Derrick and Ky), Mitchell's (Adrian and Joe), Phillips' (Jerry and Adrian), Robinson's (Eddie and Zander), Sewell's (Corey and Emmanuel) and Williams' (Marcus and Roydell), but there's not a family tie in the bunch!

Feeling Good
After all the bumps and bruises, aches and pains of training camp healed, the Green Wave enters the season opener relatively healthy. Only defensive end Matt Glapion (rt. ankle sprain) and defensive back Jamal Jones (severe shin splints) are listed as questionable for the contest.

Attention-Getting I
TU senior linebacker Jerry Phillips was one of 70 players named to the Butkus Award Watch List. Phillips, the Green Wave's leading tackler over the last two years, was also named to the list in 1999. The senior from New Orleans, nicknamed "Fish", has 240 career stops.

Attention-Getting II
Offensive tackle Bernard Robertson also earned preseason recognition as he was selected to the preseason All-Conference USA team in a vote by league coaches. Robertson, a senior from New Orleans who mans the left tackle spot, has started 33 games for the Green Wave during his career.

Near & Far
Although 53 Green Wave players are from Louisiana and 14 of those hail from New Orleans, Tulane has players from 10 states on its roster with Florida, Texas and Georgia well-represented on the list. Four Green Wave players, TE Eddie Robinson, WR James Dunn and quarterbacks J.P. Losman and Chris Peterson, came to New Orleans from California.

Led By
The players selected Tulane's 2000 permanent captains at the conclusion of preseason drills. QB Patrick Ramsey (Jr.), and seniors CB Tim Carter, WR Adrian Burnette and LB Jerry Phillips will fill the captain role for Tulane this season.

Impressive Numbers
In his first year as a starter in 1999, quarterback Patrick Ramsey posted one of the most impressive statistical seasons in Tulane history. Now a junior, Ramsey established five single game and 11 single season passing records (see inside front cover of media guide for list). He also currently holds five TU career records.

It's Better to Receive
Despite the loss of JaJuan Dawson (now a Cleveland Brown), Ramsey may have an even better receiving corps to throw to in 2000. In addition to super frosh Roydell Williams (dubbed "Franchise" by the Green Wave coaching staff), Kerwin Cook has returned after missing the last six games of the 1999 season with a back injury. The senior needs 91 yards to surpass the 1,000-yard career receiving mark. The receivers are led by senior Adrian Burnette, who amassed 1,095 yards on 79 catches receiving a year ago to rank fourth and second, respectively, on the TU single season receiving chart. Add Terrell Harris (47-386), Zander Robinson (11-126) and Derrick Joseph (1-30) to the mix and Ramsey should have his choice of talented receivers.

Young D-Line Up
The Green Wave defensive line is one of the "greenest" groups on the squad with three sophomores and one junior currently listed as starters, while their back-ups include a pair of freshmen. Two players expected to give that area a boost are Roxie Shelvin and Kenan Blackmon, who both suffered knee injuries in 1999 and missed spring drills. Shelvin missed the last six games of the season while Blackmon was injured in the year's final game.

Academically Inclined
The Green Wave continues to rank among the national leaders in terms of academic achievement of its football squad. With a graduation rate of better than 70 percent last year, Tulane was one of 26 schools to win honorable mention status from the American Football Coaches Association. Tulane also won the Conference USA Team Academic Award for Football in 1999.

On the Radio
The Tulane-Ole Miss game will be heard across Louisiana on the 12-station Tulane Radio Network. WWL-AM (870) in New Orleans serves as the flagship station and will air the season opener beginning 60 minutes before kickoff. TU Asst. AD for Broadcast Properties Ken Berthelot handles the play-by-play duties while former Green Wave receiver Steve Barrios (1969-71) provides analysis.

On Television
JP Sports will broadcast the Tulane-Ole Miss contest to 51 stations across the southeast, including New Orleans station WNOL, as part of its SEC package. Dave Neal is the play-by-play announcer while Dave Rowe serves as the color analyst. Charles Davis will handle sideline reporting duties.

On the Web
All the latest news on Tulane football is on the web at www.TulaneGreenWave.com. Game recaps, updated stats, bios on the players and coaches, audio from Coach Scelfo's weekly conference call and many other special features are available on the official website of Tulane Athletics.

Broadcasts of the Green Wave football games can also be heard on the internet. Connect to the Tulane radio network broadcast at www.TulaneGreenWave.com or at www.broadcast.com.

Chris Scelfo Radio Show
Hear Tulane Head Coach Chris Scelfo discuss the Green Wave's upcoming opponent and latest game weekly on WWL-AM 870 beginning Tuesday, August 29. The Chris Scelfo Show airs from 7:05-8 p.m. CT every Tuesday during the football season. Fans can call-in to the show and talk to the coach at 504-260-1870.

Chris Scelfo Show
The Chris Scelfo Show airs weekly during the football season beginning Sunday, August 27 and continuing through Sunday, Nov. 19. WWL-TV, Channel 4 in New Orleans airs the show Sunday nights at 11:05 p.m. The show can also be seen in New Orleans on Cox Cable channel 10 Mondays at 8 p.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. Regional cable station College Sports Southeast will broadcast the show at 6 p.m. Wednesdays.