Nov. 6, 2000
Nov. 11, 2000 ? 5 p.m. (CST)
New Orleans, La.
Louisiana Superdome (69,767)
Bringing It Home
Navy comes to town for Tulane's second-to-last game overall, and final non-conference contest, of the regular season Saturday. It will be the ninth straight weekend of play for the Green Wave, which looks to even its 2000 record for the first time since October 14.
The Last Time
Navy handed Tulane a 45-21 loss at Annapolis a year ago this weekend, breaking a 21-21 halftime tie with three third-quarter touchdowns. Two of those TDs came after Green Wave turnovers. Navy also scored on a blocked punt return prior to halftime as the Midshipmen rolled up 417 yards on the ground. Two of Tulane's first half TDs came on scoring strikes from Patrick Ramsey to Adrian Burnette.
Tulane broke a three-game losing streak with a 41-23 victory over Houston as Patrick Ramsey hit four different receivers with touchdown passes and threw for 309 yards on the day. The Green Wave defense sacked UH quarterback Jason McKinley five times while Tulane's offensive line did not allow Houston a sack.
Dome Sweet Home
Tulane plays the "homestretch" of this 2000 season in the Superdome, where the Green Wave is 66-82 (.446 winning percentage) all-time. Tulane is 2-1 at home so far this season with victories over Houston and Cincinnati. A year ago, the Wave won three of its five home games as all of its victories came at the Superdome.
Marler Makes the Cut
Sophomore kicker Seth Marler has been named one of 20 candidates for the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, which will be presented by the FedEx Orange Bowl on Dec. 5, 2000. Marler, who has made 13-of-17 field goals, including 8-of-8 from inside 40 yards, and 27-of-29 extra points, already ranks as one of the top five kickers in Tulane history. He joins two other C-USA kickers, Rhett Gallego of UAB, and Jonathon Ruffin of Cincinnati, on the 20-man list.
The Total Package
After posting his second straight 300-yard passing game, Tulane quarterback Patrick Ramsey currently ranks 12th in the nation in total offense with 268.2 yards per game. Ramsey has gained 53 yards on the ground this season (on 31 carries) in addition to his 2,000-plus passing yards. With a strong finish to the season, Ramsey will end his junior year as the No. 3 quarterback on the Tulane charts in pass completions, attempts, and yardage.
Freshmen of Note
By making his first start of the season at Louisville, receiver Roydell Williams became the fifth true freshman to start a game for Tulane this year. Williams joins Mewelde Moore (6 starts), fullback Kris Coleman (1 start), defensive tackle Lonnie Crayton (4 starts) and cornerback Lynaris Elpheage (5 starts) on Tulane's list of freshmen starters in 2000. In addition to the true freshmen, redshirt freshman J.P. Losman started the first game of his collegiate career at East Carolina and Daniel Nevil may get the same opportunity at linebacker this Saturday depending on the status of senior Jerry Phillips.
Is it coincidence, or has the Green Wave played better in 2000 when kickoff has come later in the day? It is a fact that Tulane has won its four latest starting games -- at SMU (6 pm CT), vs. Cincinnati and Houston (both at 5 pm CT) and at Louisiana-Lafayette (4 pm CT) -- while falling in three games that had local starting times between 11 a.m. and Noon (Southern Miss, Ole Miss and Army) and in 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. (local time) kicks at Louisville and East Carolina.
Phillips Cracks Tulane Top 10
Senior linebacker Jerry Phillips moved onto the Tulane career tackle charts for total tackles and assisted tackles in recent weeks. The New Orleans native needs a pair of solo stops this week to move into 10th place on that list as well. Entering the final regular season games of his career, Phillips has made 334 total tackles, with 195 solo stops and 139 assists. He ranks 10th in total tackles and ninth in assists.
It's Never Too Late
It's never too late in the season to make an impact, as cornerback Jamal Jones, linebacker Daniel Nevil and defensive lineman Percy Branon proved in the win over Houston. Jones had not seen action on defense for the Wave all year before coming up with a team-leading 11 tackles, including nine solo and two pass break ups, versus the Cougars. Nevil, a redshirt freshmen who had played well on special teams, stepped in when senior Jerry Phillips went down with injury, and in his first significant playing time, made five tackles, three solo. And Branon, who had not played a down this season, was in on three tackles at defensive tackle.
A late, large, lead over Houston also provided the chance for Tulane coaches to reward a couple of hardworking walk-ons with their first game action of the year. Runningback Marcus Williams, a sophomore from Ft. Worth, Texas, carried on the Wave's last possession while 190-pound defensive end Stephen Segari of Metairie and Archbishop Rummel High, saw his first action. Three second team players also made it in on the offensive line, Derick Bugg, Joe Mitchell and Brendon Drysdale were in for Tulane's last offensive series.
Make Ours A Trio
While Adrian Burnette contines to pace the Wave receivers with five 100-yard games this year, and Patrick Ramsey proved the depth of the receiver corps by hitting four receivers for TDs versus Houston, three players are atop the Tulane receiving charts. The three -- Burnette, Terrell Harris and Kerwin Cook -- have combined to catch 146 of the team's 233 completions this year (63 percent) for 13 of the team's 20 passing TDs and 1,809 yards (out of 2,829 - 64 percent).
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.
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.
The Green Wave closes out the regular season with a Superdome finale versus C-USA foe Memphis next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. in the Superdome as 18 Tulane seniors play their final regular season contest in a Green Wave uniform. Memphis (4-5) is at home versus Cincinnati this weekend before closing out its 2000 season in the Superdome.