Oct. 19, 1999
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - East Carolina will look to rebound from a disappointing loss to Southern Mississippi when they play host to Tulane and its pass-oriented offense in a Conference USA matchup Saturday.
The 20th-ranked Pirates (5-1, 1-1) and the Green Wave (3-3, 1-1) both feature high-powered offenses. Pirates quarterback David Garrard and Tulane's Patrick Ramsey are two of the more productive players in the country.
Garrard, though, struggled in East Carolina's 39-22 loss to Southern Mississippi on Oct 9. The sophomore quarterback completed just 17-of-36 passes for 249 yards, and threw an interception in the loss - the Pirates' first of the season.
Garrard has completed 60 percent of his passes for 1,332 yards and eight touchdowns this season, making him the fourth-rated passer in the conference.
Ramsey, meanwhile, is the second-rated quarterback in the conference and leads the nation in total yardage with 358.5 per game. He tied a school record with five touchdown passes in Tulane's 48-32 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday. It was the fifth time a quarterback for Tulane has thrown five touchdown passes in a game. The feat was accomplished most recently last season by Shaun King against Houston.
Ramsey, a sophomore, also broke his own school record with his fifth consecutive game with at least 300 yards passing. He finished with 37 completions in 52 attempts for 396 yards and one interception.
Ramsey, who leads an offense averaging 32.2 points per game - second in the conference - threw two touchdown passes to wide receiver JaJuan Dawson Saturday. Dawson, an explosive senior receiver, leads the conference with 69 receptions and is third in the nation with 808 yards.
The Green Wave ground attack, which has struggled for the most part this year after being a strength last season, looks as though it may be coming to life. Tulane amassed 188 yards on the ground in its win Saturday, raising its average from 83 to 100.5 yards per game - still 101.9 fewer yards than last season when the Green Wave averaged 202.4 yards.
Even though last season's starting offensive line and running back Toney Converse have returned this season, coach Chris Scelfo said it has less to do with returning personnel and more to do with Ramsey.
"A lot of it is people are taking the run away from us with their
alignments," Scelfo said. "The simple fact is they want Patrick to beat them.
As long as they're going to do that and give us the numbers to throw the ball,
we're going to continue to throw."