Last Week: Both teams were defeated at home. Tulane lost 49-7 to Memphis, while Houston lost 19-3 to East Carolina.
Coaches: Chris Scelfo (NLU, 1981) is 4-5 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. Houston's Kim Helton (Florida, '70) is 21-53-1 in his seventh season as the Cougars' head coach.
Series: Tulane and Houston meet for the sixth time with the Cougars holding a 3-2 series advantage. After dropping the first three games in the series, Tulane has won the last two, including last season's 48-20 win in New Orleans. The victor has tallied at least 40 points in four of the five previous meetings.
Radio: The Tulane Radio Network provides radio coverage to 20-plus stations. Ken Berthelot (play-by-play), Steve Barrios (color) provide gameday analysis.
Opening Kicks: Tulane heads into the final three games of the regular season needing wins in its final three games to clinch its third consecutive winning season. The Houston is the first of two consecutive road games in the month of November. Since 1997, Tulane is 7-1 in regular season games played in November.
Success vs. Conference USA: Tulane is 13-8 since Conference USA play began in 1996. However, the Green Wave has posted a 12-4 mark in league action since 1997, with two losses coming at Southern Miss and one against East Carolina and Memphis.
Injury Bug Continues to Bite: While the results of the last two games aren't aesthetically pleasing, it is almost amazing that Tulane has remained competitive despite a rash of injuries. Five Green Wave starters sat out last week's game with Memphis, and to make matters worse, seven Tulane players suffered injuries against the Tigers, including key playmakers on both sides of the ball. WR JaJuan Dawson (right knee sprain) and LB Jerry Phillips (left hamstring) were both lost in the first quarter, while OT Charles Caldwell (left knee), DT Domonick Crockett (right ankle), LB Delando Davis (right shin), SS Kevin Dukes (left knee) and LB Noel Ellis (right heel) each suffered injuries as well. Prior to the Memphis game, Tulane was already dealing with the loss of starters FS Quentin Brown (left ankle), RB Toney Converse (ribs), DT Roxie Shelvin (knee), TE Mike Turner (neck) and CB Ky Joseph (left hamstring), who had missed a combined 11 games this season due to injury.
National Leaders: The pass-and-catch tandem of QB Patrick Ramsey and WR JaJuan Dawson continues to be one of the most productive in the nation. Dawson, who became the first receiver in school history to catch 80 passes in a single season during the Memphis game, ranks third in receptions per game (10.00), third in receiving yards per game with 111.5, and 16th in all-purpose yardage with a 152.9 per game average. Ramsey currently ranks 12th in the nation in total offense at 298.00 yards per game. He also ranks 40th nationally with a 127.11 efficiency rating. Fellow WR Adrian Burnette also ranks in the top 20 in receptions per game (17th/6.63) and receiving yards per game (19th/92.8).
Roussel Enters Record Book: P Casey Roussel, who put his foot into the Tulane record book at East Carolina, continues to do a great job of winning the field position battle. Roussel posted a 44.6 yards per punt average against Memphis. It was his fifth consecutive game with a punting average greater than 44.0 yards. The streak has boosted his season average to 44.1 yards per punt, which ranks eighth nationally. The sophomore from Paulina, La., unleashed an 83-yard punt, which was the second-longest punt in school history, against East Carolina. Incidentally, Roussel has 10 punts of more than 50 yards this season, and placed 10 punts inside the 20 yard line.
Ramsey Rewrites Record Book: Sophomore QB Patrick Ramsey continues to rewrite the Tulane record book. In th win over ULL, Ramsey equaled the school record for passing touchdowns with five and broke his own school mark with 37 completions. In four home games, Ramsey has completed 122-of-189 passes (.646) for 1450 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions. His exploits have already placed him on nine Tulane single-season or career passing lists. Ramsey is the first player in the 106-year history of Tulane football to pass for more than 400 yards in a single game. He broke the previous record of 388 set by Terrence Jones against TCU in 1986. He is also the first player to throw for more than 300 yards in five consecutive games.
Carrying the Load: RB Brant Hocke posted his best collegiate effort, when he rushed for 82 yards on 17 carries against Memphis (both career highs). Included in the effort was a career-long run of 30 yards. It's the first time in Hocke's career that the former walk-on has led the team in rushing.
Sharing the Wealth: With numerous players getting the opportunity to see action on the defensive side of the ball, it's not surprising that a number of Tulane players have collected interceptions this season. DE Floyd Dorsey collected his first career interception in last Saturday's game, making him the ninth different Green Wave defender to collect a pick. On the year, Tulane has 12 interceptions. The team also has at least one interception in its last nine games.
Back in Action: Not only is RB Toney Converse battling defenders, but also injury. A rib injury forced the junior to miss the Memphis game, his third DNP of the year after 27 straight appearances. The junior hopes to continue his move up the rushing charts in the Green Wave record book. With a season-high 22 carries vs. ECU, Converse moved into ninth place on Tulane's all-time rushing attempts list with 367. Converse stands eighth on the Wave's career rushing chart with 1942 yards, just 20 yards shy of Jerald Sowell in seventh place. His next touchdown will move him into sole possession of 10th place on the all-time rushing TDs list at 13. He also ranks fourth in yards per game (69.36) and third in yards per carry (5.292).
Tulane Hot at Home: Dating back to the 1997 campaign, Tulane is 13-3 (.813) in its last 16 games in the Superdome. The nine-game streak was the longest for the program since a 10-game streak that ended in 1974.
Black Pants Make 1999 Debut: Tulane wore black pants for the first time this season in the East Carolina game. Last year, the Green Wave was a perfect 4-0 when wearing the black pants, including a 41-27 win in the Liberty Bowl.
Dawson Breaks Tulane TD Mark: WR JaJuan Dawson, a member of the Biletnikoff Award preseason watch list, set a new school record with his 26th career TD catch at Ole Miss. He surpassed the old record of 25 set by Marc Zeno from 1984-87. He now has 29 for his career. Dawson, the fifth Tulane player in history to surpass 2,000 career receiving yards, is now ranked in the top five on Tulane's career lists for pass receptions (2nd, 216) and receiving yardage (2nd, 2,882). He needs 20 receptions and 843 yards to become Tulane's career leader in those categories.
Leading the Way: WR Adrian Burnette led all Tulane receivers with eight catches for 80 yards and a touchdown. It was the second time this season that Burnette has been the Wave's yardage leader. The TD was his fourth of the season, a new career high.
Dawson Grabs 16 vs. Mustangs: WR JaJuan Dawson set a school, Conference USA and Louisiana Superdome record with his 16 receptions against SMU. Dawson's effort, which included a 60-yard reception on the Green Wave's first play from scrimmage, broke the TU record of 15 set by Wil Ursin against East Carolina in 1991. He has collected at least 10 receptions in five of seven games this year, and grabbed at least 15 twice.
On the Scoreboard: Despite the fact that Tulane has totaled just 14 points in its last two games, the squad is averaging 36.2 points in its last 31 games. Incidentally, the 14 points scored in the last two games are the fewest for Tulane in consecutive contests since 1994, when the Wave tallied a combined 10 points in loses to Alabama and Memphis.
Joseph Productive in Relief Role: Freshman QB Derrick Joseph posted his most productive day of the season against East Carolina, as he accounted for 79 yards of total offense. Joseph connected on 3-of-5 passes for 43 yards and rushed three times for 36 yards. Included in that effort were career long plays of 32 yards passing and 27 yards rushing.
More Dawson: o Dawson reached a significant milestone with his 218-yard performance vs. SMU. He is just the third receiver in school history to register three 150-yard receiving games in his career. He joins P.J. Franklin and Marc Zeno as the only players to accomplish the feat. o With his 13-yard TD catch against Southern Miss. Dawson has now scored a touchdown against every C-USA opponent, except for UAB, whom he faces for the first time in Tulane's regular-season finale on Nov. 20.
Sure-Footed: Two times this season, true freshman PK Seth Marler has connected on four field goal attempts in a single game, leaving him one made field goal shy of the school record. Marler, who also handles kickoffs for the Green Wave, has been good on 11 of his last 13 FG attempts, including a career-long 48-yarder at Ole Miss. He currently ranks 17th nationally with 1.5 field goals per game.
Seeking Another Winning Season: After consecutive seasons of 7-4 and 12-0, TU seeks its third-straight winning year. The Wave hasn't had three-straight winning years since 1979-81.
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, has 63 tackles in seven games. He missed the SMU contest with a pulled hamstring, but returned to the lineup against Syracuse and has tallied 42 stops in his last five games.
Newcomers Make Impact: Freshmen have made quite an impact on the Wave this season. Since the season opener at Southern Miss featured eight first-time starters, plenty of new faces have debuted. 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.
Tulane Games on the Internet:
The radio call from all of Tulane's games can be heard live on the internet at www.broadcast.com.
Fans without internet access can tune in via telephone by calling Teamline at (800) 846-4700 and using the Tulane code (0647). A credit card number is required.