Nov. 27, 2009
NEW ORLEANS- The Tulane football team closes out the 2009 season this Saturday when the Green Wave invades the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to take on the SMU Mustangs at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas. Kick-off is slated for 2 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live in the New Orleans area on WNOL/NOLA 38.
Tulane (3-8, 1-6 C-USA) is playing its third straight road contest to conclude the 2009 campaign. The Wave stumbled out of the gates two weeks ago with a 28-20 loss at Rice and followed that up with a 49-0 defeat last week at UCF.
With its loss at UCF, Tulane is 1-4 on the road this season and is 0-3 away from home during league play. The Wave will look to snap a seven-game road skid in C-USA play on Saturday. TU's last road win in conference play was at Rice in 2007 (45-31).
Saturday's game will also feature two of the top receivers in C-USA going toe-to-toe. TU's Jeremy Williams ranks third among C-USA players in receptions per game and receiving yards, while SMU's Emmanuel Sanders ranks second in receptions and first in receiving yards per contest. The duo has combined for 164 receptions (Williams-79/Sanders-85) and 2,110 receiving yards (Williams-1,039/Sanders-1,071).
Last week at UCF, Williams topped the 1,000-yard receiving plateau with his seven receptions for 47 yards and now has 1,039 receiving yards this season. When the Green Wave takes the field this Saturday against SMU, senior Andre Anderson will look to join Williams in the 1,000 yard club if he can gain 89 yards on the ground and eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark this season.
If Anderson reaches his goal, it will mark the first time in the 116-year history of the TU football program the Green Wave has produced a 1,000 yard rusher and 1,000 yard receiver in a single season.
SMU (6-5, 5-2 C-USA West Division) has enjoyed a resurgence with its six wins this season. Since receiving the Death Penalty in 1987, the Mustangs had managed just six wins on two other occasions, including 1997 and 2006, but are threatening for the C-USA West Division title and should make their first bowl berth since the 1984 Aloha Bowl. SMU is 2-4 on the road this season.
Freshman quarterback Kyle Padron has subbed for injured starter Bo Levi Mitchell in the last five games and completed 83-of-126 pass attempts (65.9) for 1,198 yards and eight touchdowns.
Junior running back Shawnbrey McNeal, a junior transfer, leads the Ponies in rushing with 978 yards and seven scores, while senior Emmanuel Sanders is the team's top receiver with 1,071 yards on 85 receptions and he has six touchdowns through the air as well.
Senior linebacker Chase Kennemer leads SMU in tackles with 117 stops (73 solo), including 10.5 tackles for lost yardage and one sack.
Saturday's game marks the 18th all-time meeting between Tulane and SMU and the Green Wave leads the series, 12-5. Tulane has an all-time record of 5-2 against the Mustangs in Dallas, including a perfect mark of 2-0 since SMU joined Conference USA in 2005, and TU has won its last five outings against SMU in Dallas dating back to 1992. The last time the Green Wave left Dallas with a defeat was in 1982 to then No. 8 SMU, 51-7.
Tulane is 3-1 against the Mustangs since SMU became a member of Conference USA in 2005. Despite a loss at home to the Mustangs in 2006, Tulane has won seven out of the last eight games dating back to 1992.
Tulane is 2-0 all-time against June Jones. The Green Wave downed his Hawaii team in 2002 at the ConAgra Foods Hawaii Bowl, 36-28, and handed Jones a 34-27 setback in his first season at SMU a year ago.