Oct. 23, 2008
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane football team will look to snap a two-game skid and get back into the win column when the Green Wave hosts Conference USA rival Rice at 2 p.m. this Saturday at the Louisiana Superdome. All Tulane football games can be heard live on WIST-AM 690, on the internet via the All-Access package at www.TulaneGreenWave.com, or on 88.7 FM in the Superdome.
Tulane (2-4, 1-2 C-USA) returns to the `Dome for the first time in exactly a month. After posting wins over Louisiana-Monroe (24-10) and SMU (34-27) in its last two outings at its home facility, the Green Wave dropped a 44-13 decision to Army in game that was played at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans, and then fell two weeks ago on the road at UTEP in the final minutes, 24-21.
The Wave is 1-1 at home this season against Conference USA opponents, and 2-2 overall. Following the Rice contest, Tulane must play four of its final regular season games on the road, including games at nationally ranked LSU (#11) and Tulsa (#19).
Junior running back Andre Anderson is quietly made his way up the list of the nation's top running backs this season. Anderson has established himself as the top rusher and all-purpose player in Conference USA this season, and ranks No. 4 in the country in rushing and No. 7 in all-purpose yards. Anderson also owns two of the nation's top 10 rushing performances this season. His 255 yards at UTEP is No. 6, while is 219 yards vs. SMU is No. 10.
Anderson needs 148 yards on the ground this week to become the fourth player in school history to eclipse the 1,000-yard plateau, joining Matt Forte (2007), Melwelde Moore (2001, 2002) and Eddie Price (1948, 1949).
Despite back-to-back losses, Tulane's defense remains the Conference USA leader in four of 10 defensive categories, including total defense, pass defense, opponent first downs, opponent third down conversions and is second in scoring defense, rushing defense and sacks, is fourth for pass defense efficiency and ranks seventh in red zone defense and eighth for opponent fourth down conversions.
Rice (4-3, 3-1 C-USA) features one of the most explosive duos in all of college football this season. The senior tandem of quarterback Chase Clement and All-American receiver Jarett Dillard has helped the Owls to a 4-3 overall record and a 3-1 mark in league play, which is good enough for a third place tie with UTEP in this week's Conference USA West Division standings.
Clement and Dillard have combined for an NCAA record 45 career touchdown connections, while Dillard has an NCAA record 54 career touchdown receptions. Clement is the team's leading rusher (49.3 ypg) and passer (313.1 ypg), while Dillard leads the team in receiving yards (815), with James Casey grabbing a team-best 61 receptions.
The Owls' defense leads the league with turnover margin (1.00) with 18 (9-ff; 9 int) on the year. Safety Andrew Sendejo leads the team in tackles with 50 (36 solo), while seven different Rice defenders have at least one interception this season. Rice opened the season with a pair of victories, but suffered consecutive losses in its next two road games to fall to 2-2. Since then, the Owls have won two of their last three outings, but are just 1-3 on the road with three straight losses.
Saturday's game marks the 31st all-time meeting between Tulane and Rice, and the Owls lead the series, 15-14-1. Tulane owns a record of 8-5-1 at home vs. Rice. The Green Wave won the last meeting at home between the two teams, 38-24, in 2006. Since Rice became a C-USA member in 2005, Tulane leads the series, 2-1.
Single game tickets remain on sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. For more information on 2008 Tulane football tickets or any Green Wave home event, please call the Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE (9283), or visit www.TulaneGreenWave.com.