The Tulane football team (3-3, 0-2 AAC) struggled to find its offensive rhythm on Friday night, as the visiting Memphis Tigers (5-1, 2-0 AAC) emerged with the 24-14 victory inside Yulman Stadium. The Green Wave boasted a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter thanks to a Kendall Ardoin touchdown reception, but the Tigers responded with 21 unanswered points, ultimately sealing the road victory.
“This was a disappointing loss,” Tulane head coach Willie Fritz stated. “The coaches, managers and everybody affiliated with the program feel like that was a game we could have won. I've been preaching all year long, we've got to be on point at all three phases in order to win. There's going to come a point in time when we don’t play real well and still win games like that.”
The Green Wave defense recorded a strong first half, holding the Tigers to just three points in the opening quarter. It marked the fourth time in six games this season the Wave held its opposition to a field goal or less in the first 15 minutes.
The Wave got on the board at the 13:13 mark in the second quarter, when the Olive and Blue recorded a 10-play, 66-yard drive, capped by a 20-yard pass from Glen Cuiellette to Ardoin, as the tight end achieved his first touchdown reception of the season.
Later in the second quarter, Memphis took over on Tulane’s seven yard line after a muffed punt, but the Wave defense responded my limiting the damage to a field goal to preserve the 7-6 lead.
However, Tulane’s defense had one small leak in the first two quarters and it came with just 1:01 until the half, when Memphis’ Riley Ferguson threw a screen pass to Darrell Henderson for 46 yards and the touchdown, resulting in a 13-7 lead at the midway point for the Tigers.
Memphis then extended its lead to 16-7 at 1:07 in the third quarter when Jake Elliott connected on a 50-yard field goal. Later, at 11:52 in the fourth quarter, Memphis’ Henderson struck again, recording a 45-yard touchdown rush, and after a two-point conversion, pushed the lead to 24-7.
Tulane reached the end zone one more time, as Cuiellette earned his first career rushing touchdown with a two-yard carry, but with just 47 seconds remaining and a failed onside kick attempt one play later, the Green Wave comeback fell short.
Up next, Tulane hits the road once more, traveling to Oklahoma to clash with Tulsa on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 2:45 p.m. CT. The game will air live on ESPNU.