Nov. 13, 2000
A Lot to Play For
Tulane looks to wrap up its third winning campaign in the last four seasons, entertaining Conference USA foe Memphis in the Superdome in the regular season finale for both teams. For the 20 Tulane seniors playing their final home game, it is a chance to become the first TU senior class since 1982 to finish their careers with three winning seasons in their four years.
The Last Time
Memphis pounded Tulane in New Orleans by the score of 49-7 last October, scoring the first 28 points of the game while holding the Green Wave to one touchdown and 260 yards of total offense, including just 71 yards in the first half. The Tigers' Gerald Arnold rushed for 142 yards and three TDs and Memphis took advantage of four Wave turnovers.
Tulane outscored Navy 50-38 in an offensive shootout in the Superdome to even its record at 5-5 on the year. QB Patrick Ramsey tied the school record with five touchdown passes, including four in the first half, and the Tulane defense forced a season-high six turnovers and notched its first score of the year on a 23-yard fumble recovery and return by Lynaris Elpheage.
Dome Sweet Home
Tulane plays the "homestretch" of this 2000 season in the Superdome, where the Green Wave is 67-82 (.450 winning percentage) all-time. Tulane is 3-1 at home so far this season with victories over Houston, Cincinnati and Navy. Since the beginning of the 1997 season, Tulane is 16-5 in games played in the Superdome.
In four seasons, the Green Wave is 15-14 all-time in Conference USA play, including a 6-0 record and league championship in 1998. 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.
Vs. C-USA Teams
All-time, Tulane is 37-46-2 versus teams that currently comprise Conference USA.
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 five games that started at 4 p.m. local time or later - at SMU (6 pm CT), vs. Cincinnati, Houston and Navy (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. kicks at Louisville and East Carolina.
Twenty players are playing their final home game in a Green Wave uniform versus Memphis, including 14 players who have started at least one game for Tulane this season. The offensive senior starters include WRs Adrian Burnette and Kerwin Cook, O-linemen Bryson Westbrook and Bernard Robertson and TE Mike Truax. Defensive senior starters are the linebacking trio of Jerry Phillips, Corey Jones and Noel Ellis, defensive backs Ky Joseph, Sam Knight, Tim Carter and John Wilson, and linemen Domonick Crockett and Mitch Mouton. In addition, reserves Allen Phillips, Matthew Glapion, Matt Groff, Brad McFarland, Ryan Brewer and Mark Tyler will suit out in Wave green for the final time.
Irresistible Force Meets Immovable Object
Statistically speaking, if you could put Tulane's offense together with Memphis' defense, it might create a juggernaut. Tulane's offense is ranked 11th in the nation overall and is fifth in passing offense, with an average of 450.6 total yards and 320.9 passing yards per game, respectively. Memphis' defense, meanwhile, is first in the nation in rushing defense, allowing just 67.7 yards per contest and is second in total defense as Tiger opponents are gaining just 254.5 yards per game.
Moore Among Elite
True freshman running back Mewelde Moore narrowly missed the fifth 100-yard game of his career versus Navy, losing a yard on his 18th and final carry to drop to 99 yards rushing for the game. Moore did achieve a milestone, though, setting the Tulane single season record for rushing yards by a freshman. The Baton Rouge native passed Toney Converse' 1997 mark of 777 yards rushing as he now has 786 yards on 151 carries on the season. His 786 yards is also the ninth-best single season total in Tulane history and he is one of just nine players in Green Wave history to record four or more 100-yard rushing games in their CAREER. Moore could also become one of just four players in Tulane history who have averaged more than 80 yards rushing per game in a season.
Senior John Wilson has tied the Tulane single season and career record for punt returns with 31 and 75, respectively, and will break the marks with his next return. With 31 punt returns and an equal number of kickoff returns this season, Wilson now owns the school record for most combined kick returns in a season. The previous record was set in 1992 by Terrance Strickland, who totalled 56 total returns, 23 punts and 33 kickoffs.
After posting his third straight 300-yard passing game and tying the Tulane school record with five touchdown passes versus Navy, Patrick Ramsey was named Conference USA Player of the Week by USATODAY.com. Ramsey, whose five TD passes put him at 47 for his career, now ranks second all-time at Tulane in TD passes and has thrown at least one in each of his 20 starts, which ties Shaun King for the career record for consecutive games throwing a touchdown pass. Ramsey has moved up to ninth in the nation in total offense with his average of 281.9 yards per game.
True to His School (Work)
Tight end Mike Truax this week earned second team mention on the Verizon District VI All-Academic Team. Truax, a senior from Metairie, carries a 3.35 grade point average in finance at Tulane.
Since leaving the Louisville game for good with a bruised sternum three weeks ago, Patrick Ramsey has hardly been touched by opposing defenses as the Wave offfensive line has not allowed a sack in the last two games. In 300-yard passing performances versus Houston and Navy in which he totalled nine touchdown passes and 689 yards passing while throwing the ball 73 times, Ramsey had plenty of time to throw and was rarely pressured. In all, the Green Wave offensive line -- featuring tackles Bernard Robertson and Corey Sewell, guards Bryson Westbrook and Chrys Bullock and center Torie Taulli -- has held opponents sack-less three times this season.
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 33-of-35 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.
Welcome to the Zone
A Tulane defender found the end zone for the first time this season when freshman Lynaris Elpheage scooped up a Navy fumble and ran it in 23 yards for a touchdown. It was the first defensive TD for the Green Wave this year, and the first touchdown for the Tulane defense since the 1999 Army game.
Mitchell Makes Plays
With 19 total tackles in the Navy game, free safety Adrian Mitchell established a new season high for the Green Wave defense. His 16 solo stops were also the most by a Tulane defender this year.