Sept. 8, 1999
SMU at Tulane
Sept. 11 • New Orleans, LA
5:00 p.m. (CDT)
Tulane opened with a 48-14 loss at Southern Miss, while SMU lost at home to Arkansas, 26-0.
Chris Scelfo (NLU, 1981) is 1-1 in his first full season at Tulane. He led the Green Wave to a 41-27 Liberty Bowl win over BYU last year in his TU debut.
SMU’s Mike Cavan (Georgia, 1972) is 11-13 in his third year with the Mustangs and 78-62-2 in his 14th year overall.
Tulane leads the series, 7-4, and has won five of the seven games played in New Orleans. Although the Green Wave has won the last two meetings, SMU won the most recent contest in the Crescent City, 31-17 in 1991.
The Wave claimed a 31-21 win over SMU last year in Dallas.
The game will be televised live in Dallas only on KLDT-TV.
The Tulane Radio Network provides radio coverage to 20-plus stations. Ken Berthelot (play-by-play), Steve Barrios (color) provide gameday analysis.
Tulane and SMU both go for their first win of the season when they meet in the Green Wave’s home opener at the Louisiana Superdome.
SMU offensive coordinator Greg Briner coached with Tulane head coach Chris Scelfo at both Marshall and Georgia.
Mustang receivers coach Derek Dooley and tight ends coach Paul Etheridge served as graduate assistants at Georgia while Scelfo was with the Bulldogs.
Seeking Another Winning Season
After consecutive seasons of 7-4 and 12-0, Tulane enters 1999 seeking its third-straight winning campaign. The Wave hasn’t had three-straight winning seasons since 1979-81.
Tulane in Home Openers
Tulane is 62-34-4 all-time in home openers and has won its last two home openers.
Tulane vs. the WAC
Tulane is 22-26-1 all-time against the eight schools that currently make up the WAC. The Wave owns a 14-10-1 mark against those teams at home.
Scelfo Looks to Join in Success
Tulane’s Chris Scelfo is attempting to become the fourth-straight Tulane coach to win his first game in the Superdome.
Greg Davis defeated Chattanooga (33-19) in his home debut in 1988. Buddy Teevens won his dome opener against Nevada (34-17) in 1992. Tommy Bowden defeated Cincinnati (31-17) in his first Tulane home game in 1997.
13-Game Win Streak Ends
While Tulane saw its 13-game overall winning streak and eight-game road winning streak snapped at Southern Miss, the Green Wave still has a pair of streaks alive as it returns home to face SMU.
Tulane has won six-straight home games as it entertains the Mustangs. Another longer, although more obscure, phenomenon is a 17-game winning streak against non-Mississippi teams. The Green Wave is 17-3 in its last 20 games, with those three losses coming against Southern Miss (twice) and Ole Miss.
The last non-Mississippi team to beat Tulane was Syracuse on the road in 1997. Tulane’s last home loss to a non-Magnolia State team was against Rice in 1997, nine home wins ago.
Prior to a second-quarter interception by Southern Miss, Tulane had gone 24 quarters (spanning parts of seven games) without committing a turnover. The Green Wave finished fifth nationally in turnover margin last year (+15, +1.36 per game). The Wave also tied for third nationally with just 11 giveways.
Dawson Surpasses 2,000 Mark
WR JaJuan Dawson, a member of the Biletnikoff Award preseason watch list, become the fifth Tulane player in history to surpass 2,000 career receiving yards.
With nine catches for 71 yards and a touchdown against Southern Miss, Dawson is now ranked in the top five on Tulane’s career lists for pass receptions (4th, 147), receiving yardage (5th, 2068) and touchdown receptions (2nd, 24). He needs one more touchdown reception to tie Mark Zeno’s school record of 25. Dawson needs 90 receptions and 1,658 yards to become Tulane’s career leader in those categories.
Ironically, despite catching a combined 120 passes the last two seasons, Dawson is the only member of Tulane’s all-time top 15 receivers to have never led the team in receptions.
WR JaJuan Dawson reached a significant milestone with his 13-yard TD catch against Southern Miss. Dawson has now scored a touchdown against every Conference USA opponent, except for UAB, whom he faces for the first time in Tulane’s regular-season finale on Nov. 20.
Phillips Named to Butkus List
Junior LB Jerry Phillips, Tulane’s 1998 leading tackler, is on the Butkus Award preseason watch list. He is one of 65 players named to the list, which is presented by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando and goes annually to the nation’s top linebacker.
Phillips, a New Orleans native, had six tackles against USM.
Converse on the Charts
Junior RB Toney Converse is currently ninth on Tulane’s career rushing list with 1,672 yards, fourth in rushing yards per game with 72.7, and second in rushing yards per attempt with 5.536. Converse needs 38 more attempts and three more rushing touchdowns to join the Green Wave career top 10 in those categories.
Burnette Joins 100-Yard Club
Junior WR Adrian Burnette caught eight passes for 107 yards against Southern Miss, marking his first career 100-yard receiving day. Burnette's eight catches against the Golden Eagles matched his total from all of 1998, when he had eight receptions for 189 yards, including a 71-yard TD catch-and-run at Rutgers.
Newcomers See Action vs. USM
Tulane's season opener at Southern Miss featured an abundance of new faces, namely eight first-time starters.
Offensively, three players earned their first career starts - QB Patrick Ramsey, TE Mike Truax and OT Charles Caldwell. On defense, LB Delando Davis, CB Ky Joseph, DE Glenn Lemoine, DE Kenan Blackmon and DT Roxie Shelvin all started for the first time.
In addition, eight true freshman also played against the Golden Eagles, highlighted by WR Kerwin Jones, who made his first career catch on a 10-yard touchdown reception for the Green Wave's first points of 1999.
Other true freshman to play included PK Seth Marler, who attempted all placements, FS Quentin Brown, RB Jeff Sanchez, DT Marlon Tickles, DE Floyd Dorsey, WR James Dunn and DB Terry Fontenot.
Tulane Home Replays on WB38
Throughout the 1999 season, Tulane’s home football games will be rebroadcast in a one-hour package each Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. on WB38 in New Orleans.