No. 12 Tulane Looks To Claim C-USA Title Outright



November 18, 1998

The HOUSTON Game Nov. 21 2:00 p.m. (CST) SUPERDOME (69,767)

LAST WEEK Tulane remained undefeated with a 49-35 road win over Army, while Houston lost, 44-43, at Cincinnati.

COACHES Tommy Bowden (West Virginia, 77) is 16-4 in his second season at Tulane. He has led the Wave to consecutive winning seasons for the first time in 17 years. Houstons Kim Helton (Florida, 70) is 17-48-5 in his sixth season as the Cougars head coach.

SERIES Houston leads the all-time series, 3-1, although Tulane won last years meeting, 44-10, in Houston.

TV Fox Sports will televise the game. Paul Kennedy (play-by-play), Trevor Matich (color) and Lisa Malosky (sideline) will handle the on-air duties.

RADIO The Tulane Network provides radio coverage over 20-plus stations that cover Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. Ken Berthelot (play-by-play), Steve Barrios (color), Gene Newton (pregame/halftime host) and Randy Savoie (pregame/halftime host) provide gameday analysis. Gary Baylor serves as the engineer.

THE SKINNY Having locked up a share of its first conference title since 1949, Tulane looks to claim the 1998 Conference USA title outright and complete a perfect league record when it hosts Houston.

THE FINAL FOUR The Green Wave is one of just four Division I-A teams still undefeated. Tulane (9-0) is joined by Kansas State (10-0), Tennessee (9-0) and UCLA (10-0).

10TH-STRAIGHT WIN Tulane has now won 10-straight games dating back to the final game of the 1997 season. It is the Green Waves longest winning streak since winning 11-straight between the 1948-49 seasons.

SEVENTH-STRAIGHT ROAD WIN Tulanes 49-35 win at Army was its school-record, seventh-straight road win. Tulane won its final two road game of 1997 and is 5-0 away from New Orleans this season.

BEST START IN 67 YEARS Tulanes 9-0 start is its best since 1931, when the Green Wave went 11-0 in the regular season before losing to Southern Cal, 21-12, in the Rose Bowl.

FIRST LEAGUE TITLE SINCE 1949 With at least a share of the 1998 Conference USA title, Tulane has won its first conference championship since winning the SEC in 1949. The Green Wave won three SEC titles (1934 and 1939) as a charter member of that league (1933-65).

MAKING WAVES IN THE POLLS Tulane enjoys its seventh-consecutive week ranked in the national polls. The Green Wave is currently 12th in the Associated Press poll and 13th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. That is Tulanes highest ranking since being 10th in November 1949. Prior to this season, the Green Waves last national ranking had come in December 1979 (15th, AP).

KING FOR A DAY With his 332-yard passing, 133-yard rushing performance against Army, QB Shaun King became just the fourth player in NCAA Division I history to pass for 300 yards and rush for 100 in the same game. King accounted for six TDs (three rush, three ass) against the Cadets. He joins Houstons Donald Douglas (vs. SMU, 1991), Wyoming Randy Welniak (vs. Air Force, 1988) and New Mexicos Ned James (vs. Wyoming, 1986) as players having accomplished the feat.

WAVE OFFENSE AMONG NATION'S BEST Tulane is currently second in scoring offense (43.1), sixth nationally in total offense (495.4) and 12th in passing offense (300.3). The Green Wave is also 29th in rushing offense (195.1).

40 POINTS BECOMING ROUTINE Tulanes 49-35 win at Army marked the sixth time this season, and the fourth-straight game, the Green Wave has scored at least 40 points in game. Both accomplishments are school records.

NINE WINS FOR EIGHTH TIME For the eighth time in school history, and the first since 1979, Tulane has recorded nine wins in a season. Below is a list of the Tulane teams that won nine games in a season: NINE-WIN GREEN WAVE TEAMS Year Coach Record 1925 Clark Shaughnessy 9-0-1 1929 Bernie Bierman 9-0 1931 Bernie Bierman 11-1 1934 Ted Cox 10-1 1948 Henry Frnka 9-1 1973 Bennie Ellender 9-3 1979 Larry Smith 9-3 1998 Tommy Bowden 9-0

KING TAKES OVER NCAA LEAD Despite having played six games with a broken left (non-throwing) wrist, Shaun King has regained the NCAA pass efficiency lead. King, still playing with the injury he sustained Sept. 26 against Navy, has a passing rating of 176.7. Currently sixth nationally in total offense (333.0 ypg), King has completed 66.2 percent of his passes (178-of-269) while throwing for 2,583 yards, 28 touchdowns and six interceptions. He has also rushed for 414 yards and nine touchdowns. Kings current season rating would rank third all-time in NCAA history: NCAA SEASON PASS EFFICIENCY Rk Player, School (Year) Rating 1. Danny Wuerffel, Florida (1995) 178.4 2. Jim McMahon, BYU (1980) 176.9 3. SHAUN KING, TULANE (1998) 176.7 4. Ty Detmer, BYU (1989) 175.6 5. Steve Sarkisian, BYU (1996) 173.6

WAVE OFFENSE SHOWS BALANCE In the 945 football games Tulane had played prior to Tommy Bowdens arrival in 1997, the Green Wave had gained 200 yards both passing and rushing 13 times. In 20 games under Bowden, Tulane has reached the 200-yard mark both rushing and passing eight times.

KING NAMED OBRIEN FINALIST Senior QB Shaun King is one of 10 finalists for the Davey OBrien National Quarterback Award. King is joined by Michael Bishop (Kansas State), Tim Couch (Kentucky), Daunte Culpepper (Central Florida), Joe Germaine (Ohio State), Corby Jones (Missouri), Donovan McNabb (Syracuse), Cade McNown (UCLA), Chad Pennington (Marshall) and Akili Smith (Oregon). King is also one of 15 semifinalists for the Football News Offensive Player of the Year Award. Five finalists for that honor will be named this Friday, Nov. 20.

KING BREAKS JONES TU MARK QB Shaun King became the Tulanes career passing yardage leader against Army, moving past Terrence Jones (7,684, 1985-88) with 7,770 career yards. King is now the Green Waves career leader in yardage, pass attempts (1,104), completions (601) and touchdown passes (62). The St. Petersburg, Fla., native is currently second in career total offense (8,701), 744 yards behind Jones (9,445).

ITS ALL ABOUT attiTUde Each year, Tommy Bowden seizes upon a word or phrase to motivate Tulane. For this years word - "attiTUde" - Bowden reached back into the family archives. His younger brother, Terry, used "AttitUde" during his first season at Auburn while leading the 1993 Tigers to an 11-0 record. Thus, "ATTITUDE" has accounted for 20-straight wins in the Bowden clan.

WINNING SEASON CLINCHED Tulanes 52-24 win at Rutgers on Oct. 24 clinched back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1980-81. Last year, in Tommy Bowdens first season in New Orleans, the Green Wave went 7-4.

BOWDEN NAMED FINALIST Tulanes Tommy Bowden is one of 10 finalists for the Eddie Robinson/FWAA National Coach of the Year Award. Bowden is joined by Barry Alvarez (Wisconsin), Mike Bellotti (Oregon), Phillip Fulmer (Tennessee), Houston Nutt (Arkansas), Georgia OLeary (Georgia Tech), Larry Smith (Missouri), Bill Snyder (Kansas State), Bob Toledo (UCLA) and Dick Tomey (Arizona).

DAWSON-FRANKLIN DYNAMIC DUO Junior WR JaJuan Dawson joins teammate P.J. Franklin to form one of the nations top receiving duos. Franklin is currently seventh nationally and first in C-USA in receiving yards per game (109.8) and is 12th nationally and fourth in C-USA in receptions per game (6.78). Dawson is currently tied for 10th nationally and third in C-USA in receptions per game (6.89) and tied for 22nd nationally, tied for fourth in C-USA in receiving yards per game (97.6). Franklin (61 rec., 988 yards, 10 TD) and Dawson (62 rec., 878 yards, 10 TD) have combined to account for 123 of Tulanes 185 pass receptions and 20 of the Green Waves 30 TD receptions. At least one of them has reached 100 yards receiving in eight of Tulanes nine games. Dawson and Franklin make Tulane one of just three schools (along with Louisville and Nevada) to have two receivers ranked among the NCAAs top 25 in both receptions and receiving yards per game.

DAWSON, FRANKLIN TOP 100 TOGETHER Against Army, for just the fourth time in Tulane history, and the third time in the Tommy Bowden Era, the Green Wave had a pair of receivers top the century mark in yardage. WRs P.J. Franklin (9 rec., 154 yards) and JaJuan Dawson (8 rec., 122 yards) both had over 100 yards receiving against the Cadets. Dawson and Franklin both had 100 yards in catches earlier this season at SMU and last year against Army. The only other time Tulane has had a pair of 100-yard receivers came against Chattanooga in 1988 (Jerome McIntosh, 124, and Michael Pierce, 100).

CONVERSE GETTING IN GEAR Sophomore TB Toney Converse earned his second start of the season at Army and responded by supplementing Shaun Kings 133-yard rushing day with a 19-carry, 80-yard effort of his own. Converse has rushed for over 100 yards in two of Tulanes last four games and is currently 10th in C-USA in rushing (61.6 ypg). Senior TB Jamaican Dartez is fifth in the league (80.3 ypg).

THE "FISH" THAT SAVED TULANE Sophomore SLB Jerry "Fish" Phillips had a career day against Army, recording 22 total tackles, including 15 solo stops. Phillips, currently second on the squad with 85 tackles, also caused a Cadet fumble. His 22 tackles are the most by a Green Wave player this season.

TIMMONS PACES WAVE "D" Senior WLB Brett Timmons, one of 68 players named to the preseason Butkus Award watch list, has a team-high 90 combined stops in Tulanes first nine wins. Most impressively, Timmons has collected 10 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, caused four fumbles and recovered another one. One of his caused fumbles was recovered in the endzone for a Green Wave touchdown. Timmons, a native of Bradenton, Fla., finished third on the team last year with 84 total tackles, including 40 solo stops and a team-high 15 tackles for loss.

PUSH EM BACK The Green Wave defense has accumulated 69 tackles behind the line of scrimmage in eight games, an average of 7.7 per game. Those tackles have accounted for 253 yards in losses.

INTERCEPTION SHORTAGE After intercepting 12 passes in Tulanes first six games, the Green Wave has now gone three games and 14 quarters without an interception. Last year, Tulane led the nation with 26 interceptions.

PALAZZO SETS WAVE FG RECORD Senior placekicker Brad Palazzo became Tulanes career leader in field goals made against Memphis, hitting a pair to move past Eddie Murray (1976-79) on the Green Waves all-time list. Palazzo, who is also Tulanes career leader in field goal accuracy (46-for-63, .730) and points scored kicking (269), broke Murrays old field goal mark of 45.

TU STILL MINIMIZING TURNOVERS Tulanes turnover margin (+12, 1.33 per game) is currently fifth nationally. The Green Wave, tied for fourth nationally with only 11 giveaways, has gone nearly three games (11 quarters) without committing a turnover.

MORE KING NOTES QB Shaun King has now had 107-consecutive pass attempts without an interception ... With his 78-yard scoring strike to P.J. Franklin against Navy, QB Shaun King now has four of Tulanes seven longest passes of all-time. Earlier this year against SMU, King hooked up with JaJuan Dawson on a 94-yard TD, the longest pass play in Green Wave history.

O-LINE PLAYS GREAT AT ARMY The Green Wave offensive line graded well against Army, led by 85 percent grades from LG Jerry Godfrey and RT Bernard Robertson. All five offensive line starters played 80 snaps apiece.