November 4, 1998
The biggest surprise in college football this season has been the Tulane Green Wave.
After not being in the top 25 for nearly 20 years, Tulane has all but steamrolled its opposition en route to being ranked 16th in the nation. And they will probably climb up the ladder when they travel to Memphis on Saturday.
Tulane (7-0, 3-0 C-USA) set a school-record for passing yards (455) and total offense (704) in blasting hapless Southwestern Louisiana, 72-20, last week. The Green Wave, which is one of seven unbeaten teams in Division I-A, is off to its best start since the 1931 team went 11-0 and played in the Rose Bowl.
A victory would also guarantee Tulane its first eight-win season since 1979, when they played Penn State in the Liberty Bowl.
Against the Tigers, the Green Wave should be in store for another mismatch. Tulane is second in the conference at 482 yards of offense per game while Memphis is last with 321 yards.
Tulane, which has scored 124 points in its last two contests, is outscoring its opposition, by a 2-to-1 margin. The offense is powered by senior quarterback Shaun King.
King needs 47 passing yards to become the second quarterback in the conference to eclipse the 2,000-yard mark this season. His 21 touchdown passes also places him second in the conference.
The Green Wave's rushing defense, ranked third in Conference USA, should get a workout trying to corral Memphis running backs Teofilo Riley and Gerard Arnold.
Riley rushed for 190 yards and Arnold added 119 more for Memphis (2-6, 1-2), which picked up its second win in three games by beating Arkansas State, 35-19, last Saturday.
Riley's effort was the fourth-best rushing performance in school history and it marked the first time a pair of Tiger running backs broke the 100-yard mark in a game since 1983.