December 16, 1998
The BYU Game Dec. 31 12:30 p.m. (CST) LIBERTY BOWL (62,380)
THE SEASON Tulane won Conference USA and finished 11-0. BYU won the WAC Mountain Division en route to a 9-4 record.
COACHES Chris Scelfo (Northeast Louisiana, 85) became Tulanes head coach on Dec. 7. Tulane is his first head coaching job. BYUs LaVell Edwards (Utah State, 52) is 252-93-3 in his 27th season as the Cougars head coach.
SERIES Tulane and BYU have never met.
TV ESPN will televise the Liberty Bowl live.
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 Tulane and BYU get together for their first meeting as they represent Conference USA and the Western Athletic Conference, respectively, in the AXA/Equitable Liberty Bowl in Memphis.
SCELFO TAKES OVER WAVE Louisiana native Chris Scelfo became Tulanes 36th head football coach Dec. 7 and will lead the Green Wave against BYU in the Liberty Bowl. Scelfo, who recently completed hist third season as Georgias assistant head coach, is the son of legendary Louisiana high school coach Sam Scelfo.
C-USA AND THE LIBERTY BOWL Tulane is one of five Conference USA members to have played in the Liberty Bowl. Army, Cincinnati and Memphis are the only three C-USA members who havent been to Memphis for postseason action. The Liberty Bowl, which selects the Conference USA champion, has now had a C-USA team for six-straight years. Current C-USA teams have gone 4-3 in Liberty Bowl action.
WAVE RETURNS TO BOWL SCENE The 1998 AXA/Equitable Liberty Bowl marks the ninth bowl trip ever for Tulane, and its first since the 1987 Independence Bowl. This marks the Green Waves third appearance in the Liberty Bowl.
TULANE IN BOWL GAMES (2-6)
Year Bowl Opp. Score W-L
1932 Rose Southern Cal 12-21 L
1935 Sugar Temple 20-14 W
1940 Sugar Texas A&M 13-14 L
1970 Liberty Colorado 17-3 W
1973 Bluebonnet Houston 7-47 L
1979 Liberty Penn State 6-9 L
1987 Hall of Fame Arkansas 15-34 L
1987 Independence Washington 12-24 L
TULANE vs. THE WAC Tulane is 25-29-1 all-time against the 16 schools that currently make up the WAC. The Green Wave played one WAC school this season, defeating SMU, 31-21, in Dallas in the second game of the season.
ALL-CONFERENCE USA WAVE Senior senior CB Michael Jordan, QB Shaun King and sophomore OL Bernard Robertson were first-team All-Conference USA selections this season. WR JaJuan Dawson, WR P.J. Franklin, OL Jerry Godfrey, DL Dennis OSullivan, LB Brett Timmson were all named to the All-C-USA second-team.
ALL-FRESHMAN WAVE Tulane placed six newcomers on the Conference USA All-Freshman squad: DB Meldon Barnes, DL Ryan Brewer, WR Terrell Harris, WR Zander Robinson, OL Corey Sewell and OL Torie Taulli. Sewell was also named to the Football News Freshman All-American team after starting all 11 regular-season games at left tackle.
THE TERRIFIC TWO The Green Wave is one of just two Division I-A teams still undefeated. Tulane (11-0) is joined in that distinction by top-ranked Tennessee (11-0).
FIRST LEAGUE TITLE SINCE 1949 With the 1998 Conference USA title in hand, 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 spent the final final 10 weeks of the regular season ranked in the national polls. The Green Wave is currently 10th in both the Associated Press poll and 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).
BEST RECORD IN 67 YEARS Tulanes 11-0 regular-season 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.
TU MAKES SIXTH TV APPEARANCE The AXA/Equitable Liberty Bowl, being televised by ESPN, will be Tulanes sixth TV appearance of the season.
TULANE IN THE VOLUNTEER STATE This will be Tulanes 40th game ever played in the state of Tennessee, and its second this season. The Green Wave are 21-18 in their 39 previous games in the Volunteer State, including a 41-31 win at Memphis on Nov. 7.
TULANE IN MEMPHIS Tulane is 3-8 in Memphis since first playing there in the 1970 Liberty Bowl.
12TH-STRAIGHT WIN Tulane, winners of its last 12 games dating back to the final game of the 1997 season, is tied with Tennessee for the nations longest current winning streak. It is the Green Waves longest winning streak since winning 18-straight between the 1930-31 seasons.
10 WINS FOR THIRD TIME For just the third time in school history, and the first since 1934, Tulane has recorded 10 wins in a season. It is just the second time the Green Wave has won 11 games. No Tulane team has ever won 12 games in a season. Below is a list of the Tulane teams that won 10 games in a season:
10-WIN GREEN WAVE TEAMS
Year Coach Record
1931 Bernie Bierman 11-1
1934 Ted Cox 10-1
1998 Tommy Bowden 11-0
COOK COOKS LOUISIANA TECH Sophomore WR Kerwin Cook caught a career-high nine passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns. In Tulanes final two regular-season games, Cook caught 15 passes for 266 yards and three scores.
KING BREAKS FOR I-A MARK Despite playing eight games with a broken left (non-throwing) wrist, Shaun King set a new NCAA I-A pass efficiency record after leading the nation with a rating of 183.3. King, who played most of the season with the injury he sustained Sept. 26 against Navy, broke the old record set by Florida Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel (178.4) in 1995. Sixth nationally in total offense (342.2 ypg), King completed 68 percent of his passes (223-of-328) while throwing for 3,232 yards, 36 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also rushed for 532 yards and 10 touchdowns.
NCAA SINGLE-SEASON PASS EFFICIENCY
Rk Player, School (Year) Rating
1. SHAUN KING, TULANE (1998) 183.3
2. Danny Wuerffel, Florida (1995) 178.4
3. Jim McMahon, BYU (1980) 176.9
4. Ty Detmer, BYU (1989) 175.6
5. Steve Sarkisian, BYU (1996) 173.6
KING ACHIEVES NCAA FIRST QB Shaun King became the first player in I-A history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 500 yards in an 11-game season. King finished with 3,232 passing yards and 532 rushing yards for 11-0 Tulane. New Mexicos Stoney Case accomplished the feat (3,117 pass/532 rush) in 12 games in 1994.
MORE KING NOTES QB Shaun King finished the regular season throwing 166-consecutive pass attempts without an interception. His last pick came in the first quarter against USL, 19 quarters ago ... King has thrown for over 300 yards a school-record six times this season, including five of the last six games ... In his last four games, King is 95-of-128 (74 percent) for 1,266 yards (316.5 ypg), 15 TDs and no interceptions ... 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.
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). King finished with 8,419 career yards. He broke Jones total offense record against Louisiana Tech, finishing with 9,468. King is also the Green Waves career leader in yardage, pass attempts (1,163), completions (646) and touchdown passes (70).
WAVE OFFENSE AMONG BEST Tulane finished second nationally in scoring offense (45.4), fourth nationally in total offense (507.1) and 13th in passing offense (304.7). The Green Wave is also 23rd in rushing offense (202.4). Tulane, Kansas State, UCLA and Ohio State were the only four schools in the nation to compile 3,000 yards passing and 2,000 yards rushing.
TU STILL MINIMIZING TURNOVERS Tulanes turnover margin (+15, 1.36 per game) finished fifth nationally. The Green Wave, tied for third nationally with only 11 giveaways, went nearly five games (19 quarters) at the end of the regular season without committing a turnover.
40 POINTS BECOMING ROUTINE Tulanes 63-30 win over Louisiana Tech marked the eighth time in 1998, and the sixth-straight game, the Green Wave has scored at least 40 points in game. Both accomplishments are school records.
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.
DAWSON-FRANKLIN DYNAMIC DUO Junior WR JaJuan Dawson joins teammate P.J. Franklin to form one of the nations top receiving duos. Franklin finished ninth nationally in receiving yards per game (106.7) and was tied for 12th nationally in receptions per game (6.73). Dawson finished tied for 20th nationally and fourth in C-USA in receptions per game (6.18) and 30th nationally in receiving yards per game (86.1). Franklin (74 rec., 1,174 yards, 11 TD) and Dawson (68 rec., 947 yards, 12 TD) have combined to account for 142 of Tulanes 230 pass receptions and 23 of the Green Waves 38 TD receptions. At least one of them has reached 100 yards receiving in nine of Tulanes 11 games.
DAWSON, FRANKLIN TOP 100 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 rushed for a career-high 182 yards and tied a school record with five touchdowns against Louisiana Tech. Converse rushed for over 100 yards in four of Tulanes last six games. He averaged 129.0 yards per game over the last four games.
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.
THE "FISH" THAT SAVED TULANE Sophomore SLB Jerry "Fish" Phillips finished as Tulanes leading tackler with 104 total tackles. Phillips had a career day at Army, recording 22 total tackles, including 15 solo stops.
BARNES STEPS IN AND DELIVERS Redshirt freshman FS Meldon Barnes had seven tackles this year prior to the 10th game against Houston. But when starting safety Sam Knight left the game with a sprained knee, Barnes stepped in with 21 total tackles against the Cougars. Barnes (11 solos, 10 assists) also caused a Houston fumble that led to Tulanes go-ahead touchdown.
PUSH EM BACK The Green Wave defense accumulated 77 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, an average of 7.0 per game. Those tackles accounted for 293 yards in losses (26.6 ypg).
NTERCEPTION SHORTAGE After intercepting 12 passes in Tulanes first six games, the Green Wave went over four games and 19 quarters without an interception before picking off two passes against Louisiana Tech. 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 (48-for-66, .727) and points scored kicking (290), broke Murrays old field goal mark of 45. Palazzo is a perfect 68-of-68 on PATs this season and has connected on a school-record 88-straight point-afters.
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 pass) against the Cadets. He joined Houstons Donald Douglas (vs. SMU, 1991), Wyoming Randy Welniak (vs. Air Force, 1988) and New Mexicos Ned James (vs. Wyo., 1986) as players having accomplished the feat.
DARTEZ TOP BACK IN 50 YEARS TB Jamaican Dartez is currently fourth on Tulanes career list with 2,284 yards. He has more career yards than any Green Wave runner in over half a century.
MOST POINTS SINCE 1937 Tulanes 72-20 win over USL saw the Green Wave reach its highest point total in 61 years. The Wave last reached the 70-point mark in a 84-0 win over Mississippi College in 1937.
WAVE ROLLS UP 704 YARDS Tulane rolled up 704 yards worth of total offense against Southwestern Louisiana, the second-highest total in school history. The Green Wave threw for a school-record 460 yards against the Ragin Cajuns. Included in that total was a 385-yard performance by Shaun King, the second-highest single-game outing for a Tulane quarterback.
BLACK PANTS DEBUT For the first time in the 105-year history of Tulane football, the Green Wave donned black pants to go along with its green jerseys against Southern Miss. Tulane has since worn the black britches in subsequent home games against Houston and Louisiana Tech.
SEC ABSENT ON TULANE SLATE For the first time since the Southeastern Conference was formed in 1933, Tulane did not play an SEC team this season. The last time the Green Wave played a season without facing a school currently in the SEC was 1918. Of course, Tulane was a charter member of the SEC but left the league following the 1965 season. In fact, Tulane has more SEC championships (three, 1934-39-49) than five current SEC members (Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi State, South Carolina and Vanderbilt).