Oct. 28, 2000 © 1 p.m. (CDT)
Papa John's Cardinal Stadium (42,000)
Road Finale, Finally
A road weary Tulane team travels to Louisville to play its final away game of the 2000 season. The young Green Wave opened the year with three straight games on the road and by the time they return to New Orleans, will have played six of their first eight games of the 2000 season on the road.
The Last Time
Tulane and Louisville did not meet in 1999. Two years ago in the Superdome, the Green Wave prevailed 28-22 when Tim Carter knocked down Cardinal QB Chris Redman's pass from the three on the game's final play to preserve the narrow victory. Louisville held Tulane's powerful scoring offense in check as the Wave earned 378 yards to UL's 560 and Louisville totalled 33 first downs to Tulane's 20. Shaun King threw three touchdown passes and JaJauan Dawson caught nine passes for 141 yards to lead Tulane.
Army's Clint Dodson scored on an 18-yard pass from Joe Gerena with 40 seconds left in the game to lift the Black Knights to a 21-17 win over Tulane in Michie Stadium. In a game of big plays -- Army's Michael Wallace scored on a 95-yard run and Tulane QB Patrick Ramsey hit Mewelde Moore for a season-long 74-yard TD for the Wave -- Wallace and Gerena combined to convert a fourth-and-11 one play before the TD pass that proved to be one of the biggest.
In four seasons, the Green Wave is 14-13 all-time in Conference USA play, including a 6-0 record and league championship in 1998 and a 1-3 mark so far this year. This season marks the first time that C-USA teams are playing a seven-game league schedule. In 1996, teams played five league games and the number stood at six from 1997-99 until moving to seven this year. With the addition of TCU to Conference USA in 2001, C-USA will consist of 10 teams, with South Florida slated to be the 11th football-playing school beginning in 2003. Teams will play eight conference games in 2002.
Vs. C-USA Teams
All-time, Tulane is 36-45-2 versus teams that currently comprise Conference USA. The all-time lists, both as C-USA teams and overall:
Is It Better to Receive?
Freshman tailback Mewelde Moore continues to make an impact for the Green Wave despite losing his conference-leading status in rushing after earning 49 yards on 15 carries at Army. Moore did catch six passes for 101 yards and a 74-yard TD, the first of his career, in the game. In doing so, he became the first TU running back in 12 seasons to pass the 100-yard mark in receiving and is just the third Tulane running back in modern history to accomplish the feat. Michael Pierce was the last TU running back to have a 100-yard receiving game and he did it three times in 1987 and '88. Earlier this year, Moore became the first freshman, and just the fifth player in Tulane history to post back-to-back-to-back 100-yard games with three straight 100-yard rushing games versus East Carolina (131), SMU (104) and Cincinnati (114). The Baton Rouge native was a fourth-round draft choice of the San Diego Padres in the 2000 MLB draft and will play for the team during the summers.
Green Wave receiver Adrian Burnette became just the sixth player in school history to pass the 2,000-yard mark in career receiving yards after grabbing seven passes for 82 yards last week. Burnette joins Marc Zeno, JaJaun Dawson, Wil Ursin, P.J. Franklin and Jerome McIntosh in the 2,000-yard club at Tulane with 2,006 yards on 139 career catches. He ranks sixth all-time in receiving yards and TD receptions and fifth in catches.
Ramsey Looks for 5K
With 4,920 career passing yards, Patrick Ramsey needs 80 yards to top the 5,000-yard mark for his career. The junior from Ruston already ranks fourth on the Tulane charts for both passing yards and pass completions. He needs one more TD pass to move into a tie for fourth in career TD passes and he is already the only TU signal-caller to pass for 400-plus yards in a game, which he has done three times during his career. After hitting Mewelde Moore with a season-long 74-yard touchdown toss versus Army, Ramsey has thrown a touchdown pass in 18 straight games as Tulane's QB.
Onto the Charts
Senior Jerry Phillips posted his fourth straight double-figure tackle game with 15 tackles at Army Saturday and now leads Conference USA with 84 stops on the year. He entered the season with 240 career tackles and is now poised to break into the top 10 all-time at Tulane in that category with 324 total stops. He needs five tackles to pass Rusty Chambers (1972-74) for 10th place on the list. With 11 more solo tackles this season, he will move into Tulane's Top 10 in that career category.
Tulane's starting line-up, especially on offense, has taken on a distinct Louisiana flavor this season with 17 in-state players among the starters. Ten of 11 starters on the Green Wave offense hail from Louisiana with left guard Bryson Westbrook of Cumming, GA, the lone out-of-state offensive starter. Defensively Tulane has seven LA starters and four out-of-staters, three of whom are from Florida.
In A Rush
With 971 rushing yards on 262 carries so far this season, the Green Wave needs just 55 more rushing yards this year to surpass its 1999 season total of 1,026 rushing yards. A year ago Tulane rushed 356 times and averaged 93.3 yards per game rushing. Tulane is averaging 3.7 yards per rush and 138.7 yards per game this year, an increase of more than 45 yards per contest. The Green Wave has already scored more rushing TDs than it compiled in all of 1999.
Tulane continues to lead Conference USA in third down conversions as the Green Wave have converted on 52-of-116 third down attempts this year for a 44.8 percentage. Louisville ranks second in the league at 41.6 percent. Tulane opponents, unfortunately, have nearly matched the Green Wave's average with a 42 percent conversion rate (47-of-112). TU also leads C-USA in first downs with 164 on the year, 14 more than Cincinnati.
Freshmen of Note
Fullback Kris Coleman joined a list of eight Tulane true freshmen who have made their mark in this 2000 season with his first start, first career catch, first career rush, and first career touchdown, in the Southern Miss game. In addition to Mewelde Moore, Lynaris Elpheage is starting at cornerback as a true freshman and leads Tulane with three interceptions on the year. Rookie defensive lineman Lonnie Crayton has started the last two contests for the Green Wave. Receiver Roydell Williams and tight end Eddie Robinson are both seeing significant playing time and are listed second on the depth chart at their positions, as are offensive guard Joe Mitchell and strong safety Wesley Heath.
Mewelde Moore was named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week for his performance versus Cincinnati, while Patrick Ramsey picked up the award a week earlier after the SMU contest. Punter Casey Roussel shared C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week honors following the SMU game and Roxie Shelvin got the nod after his blocked PAT preserved the Tulane win at ULL. A pair of Tulane defenders and receiver Adrian Burnette have earned recognition from the Louisiana Sports Writer's Association. Noel Ellis was named LSWA Defensive Player of the Week following the SMU contest while freshman Lynaris Elpheage earned the same honor a week later after picking off two passes versus Cincinnati. Burnette was chosen the LSWA's Offensive Player of the Week for his 11-catch, 191-yard performance versus the Ragin' Cajuns.
While much has been made of the freshman contributors, in 2000, the fact is that the Green Wave starts 10 seniors on offense (5) and defense (5). Overall, 10 of the Green Wave's 11 starters on offense are either juniors or seniors with tailback Mewelde Moore the lone underclassmen. The defense is more evenly aligned with two freshmen, four sophomores and five seniors, but no juniors.
Running back Jeff Sanchez (rt. ankle sprain) and tight end Tim Pinter (rt. knee sprain) have missed the last two games with injuries sustained in the UL-Lafayette game. Receiver Derrick Joseph hyperextended his left elbow at Army while linebacker Corey Jones sprained his left foot. Various other players suffered bumps and bruises but none should affect their status for the Louisville game.
Home SWEET Home
The Green Wave returns to the Superdome to close out the 2000 regular season, hosting Houston, Navy and Memphis over the first three weeks in November, respectively. All three games are scheduled to kickoff at 5 p.m.
Preseason Award Notes
In addition to Jerry Phillips' mention on the Butkus Award Watch List, junior punter Casey Roussel made the Watch List for the new Ray Guy Award, which will go the nation's top punter in 2000. Senior offensive tackle Bernard Robertson was selected to the preseason All-Conference USA team in a vote by league coaches.