The Green Wave head to Greenville, N.C. to take on last year's Conference USA runner-up East Carolina.
Sept. 11, 2000
Overall: ECU leads 2-1
In Greenville: ECU leads 2-0
In New Orleans: TU leads 1-0
Last Meeting: Oct. 23, 1999 in Greenville -- ECU 52, TU 7
First Meeting: Nov. 2, 1991 in Greenville -- ECU 38, TU 28
Last TU Win: Oct. 18, 1997 in New Orleans -- TU 33, ECU 16
Of Note: The home team has prevailed in all three games of this short series...Tulane has played East Carolina less times than any other team on its 2000 schedule...Tulane visits Greenville for the second straight season in 2000.
|0-0||2000 Conference USA Record||0-0|
|Chris Scelfo||Head Coach||Steve Logan|
|NE Louisiana '85||Alma Mater & Year||Tulsa '75|
|4-9 (2nd)||Record (Year at School)||52-41 (9th)|
|Same||Career Record (Years)||Same|
Tulane opens its fifth season of Conference USA play by visiting preseason league favorite East Carolina in Greenville. East Carolina was 9-3 a year ago and tied for second in C-USA, advancing to the Mobile Alabama Bowl. The Pirates, who were one of the highest rated "receiving votes" teams in early season polls, are coming off a 45-28 defeat at the hands of Virginia Tech in an ESPN game last Thursday.
A Year Ago
In Greenville, East Carolina handed the Green Wave their worst loss since the 1995 season by a score of 52-7. Leading just 14-7 at halftime, East Carolina dominated the second half of play, posting 24 points in the third quarter and adding 14 in the final period. Tulane QB Patrick Ramsey was sacked seven times as the Green Wave was held to 216 yards of total offense in the game. East Carolina was led by quarterback David Garrard, who accounted for 368 yards of total offense and two touchdowns for the game.
Tulane is coming off its lone open week of the 2000 season after losing its season opener to Ole Miss in Oxford on Sept. 2, 49-20. Tulane led the then-18th ranked Rebels 17-14 midway through the third quarter before an interception return and three long touchdown plays sealed the Wave's fate. Tulane out-rushed the Rebels, 120-118, in the game, receiver Adrian Burnette caught six passes for 100 yards and true freshman Mewelde Moore was impressive with 16 carries for 82 yards.
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, including three straight away games -- at Ole Miss, East Carolina and SMU -- to start the season. The Green Wave will not play a game in the Superdome until Sept. 30 this year, when Cincinnati visits New Orleans. The Green Wave's lone open date of the season was last week, which means Tulane will play 10 straight Saturdays starting with East Carolina.
In its four previous seasons in Conference USA, Tulane is 3-1 in conference openers. The Green Wave opened C-USA play, and its season, with Cincinnati in 1996, '97 and '98, claiming victory each year. Last year Tulane met eventual league champ Southern Miss in Hattiesburg in the C-USA and season opener and fell by a 48-14 score. All-time, Tulane is 12-21-4 in conference openers as they were 9-20-4 in SEC openers from 1933-65.
In four seasons, the Green Wave is 13-10 all-time in Conference USA play, including a 6-0 mark and league championship in 1998.
Tulane is seeking its second Conference USA title in five years and its fifth league crown all-time. In addition to the C-USA championship in '98, the Green Wave claimed at least a share of the SEC title in 1934, '39 and '49.
Vs. C-USA Teams
All-time, Tulane is 35-42-2 versus teams that currently comprise Conference USA.
Two of the brightest stars to come out of Tulane's preseason camp were freshmen receiver Roydell Williams from Reserve, La. and running back Mewelde Moore out of Baton Rouge. Both were also highly-sought baseball players as Moore was drafted in the fourth round of the 2000 Major League Baseball Draft by the San Diego Padres and Williams was a fifth-round choice of the Cincinnati Reds. Prior to the Ole Miss game, Moore signed a contract with the Padres that will see him attend Tulane and continue to play football for the Green Wave while playing baseball during the summer. By attending his first class on August 30th, Williams bypassed the Reds and will concentrate on football, while also remaining eligible to play baseball for the Green Wave.
Baton Rouge's Mewelde Moore will make his first collegiate start Saturday versus East Carolina in just his second career game. The true freshman began his TU football career with a bang, rushing for 82 yards on 16 carries versus Mississippi in the season opener, leading the Green Wave's improved rushing attack. Moore had a long run of 22 yards in the game and also caught a pass for three yards. He moves into the starting line-up ahead of sophomore Jeff Sanchez, although the two are expected to share time at running back in the game.
In addition to Moore, seven other true freshmen saw action in the Ole Miss game. Seven true freshmen are currently listed on the Green Wave two-deep -- Williams, OG Joe Mitchell, OT Jimmy Kosienski, DT Lonnie Crayton, LB/SS Wesley Heath, CB Lynaris Elpheage and FB Kris Coleman. Eddie Robinson saw action in the Green Wave's two tight ends sets and on special teams while Kosienski was moved from tight end to offensive tackle this week and is already backing up starter Corey Sewell at the right tackle spot. Elpheage is seeing action as a back-up return man and in the Wave's nickel package as well as behind veteran Tim Carter at cornerback.
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!
Quarterback Patrick Ramsey suffered a slight separation (trainers termed it a "one-plus" degree separation) of his right (throwing) shoulder and is questionable for the East Carolina contest. The junior spent the open weekend in New Orleans getting treatments on the shoulder in hopes of returning to action this week. Defensive end Glenn Lemoine suffered a strained pectoral muscle in the season opener and is also questionable for the ECU contest. Defensive end Matt Glapion (rt. ankle sprain) and defensive back Jamal Jones (shin splints) returned to practice during the open week and are probable for this weekend's game.
TU senior linebacker Jerry Phillips was one of 70 players named to the preseason Watch List for the Butkus Award, given annually to the nation's top linebacker. It is the second consecutive year Phillips has earned mention on the Butkus Watch List.
Junior punter Casey Roussel, meanwhile, made the Watch List for the new Ray Guy Award which will go the nation's top punter. Roussel currently leads Conference USA in punting with a 44.6-yard average.
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 34 games for the Green Wave during his career. Tulane coaches named Robertson the team's Offensive Player of the Week for the Ole Miss game as he had a dominant day against a talented Rebels' defensive unit.
Players of the Week
Tulane coaches chose Robertson, senior defensive tackle Mitch Mouton and senior returner John Wilson as the Green Wave's players of the game versus Ole Miss. Mouton helped the Green Wave defense limit the Rebels to just 118 yards on the ground, with 33 of those coming on one play. The Rebs' dynamic duo of Deuce McAllister and Joe Gunn gained just 42 yards on 19 carries. Wilson returned four kicks and five punts in the contest for a total of 138 all-purpose yards. He averaged 11.2 yards per punt return and 20.5 yards per kickoff return in the game.
"AB" is Able
Senior Adrian Burnette of Bastrop appears ready to jump into the leadership role among the Green Wave's receiving corps with six catches for 100 yards in the opener. Burnette recorded his seventh career 100-yard game to tie for fourth all-time at Tulane, behind only Marc Zeno (17), JaJuan Dawson (14) and P.J. Franklin (8). Burnette also passed the 100-catch mark for his career versus Ole Miss and ranks 10th all-time in catches (102), ninth in receiving yardage (1484) and tied for seventh in touchown catches (11).
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. There are no North Carolinians on the Tulane roster.
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.
It's Better to Receive
Despite the loss of JaJuan Dawson (now a starter for the NFL's Cleveland Browns), 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.
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.
Tulane helps SMU open its brand new on-campus stadium with a 6 p.m. (CT) game at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas. The contest will be just the second ever played in the stadium. The Green Wave has defeated SMU in each of the last two seasons.