Shutout overshadows senior day as Tulane falls to Temple 31-0
November 20, 2016
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Football’s senior day ended in disappointment as the Tulane Green Wave (3-8, 0-7 American Athletic Conference) was shut out in its final home game of the season by the Temple Owls (8-3, 6-1 AAC) 31-0 on Saturday’s matchup at Yulman Stadium.
“Congratulations to Temple, they whipped us,” head coach Willie Fritz said. “That’s a top program that we need to aspire to be. Very disciplined, tough. They just don’t make very many mistakes.”
Temple entered the game tied for the most wins in the AAC with the Navy Midshipmen (8-3, 6-1 AAC), and sat atop the conference. On the other hand, Tulane was on a five-game losing streak and found itself without a single conference win as it fell to the bottom of the AAC.
Going into the game, Temple was a 15-point favorite, but by halftime, Tulane was only facing a 10-0 deficit. The score remained close due to a missed field goal and a goal-line stand that left an overall 10 points on the field for the Owls. Temple would come out strong in the second half, however, and scored 21 points to close out the game. It culminated in a disappointing fourth quarter where Tulane only earned 57 yards on three drives and fumbled the ball away.
The offense struggled to find momentum against Temple’s strong defense, only getting eight first downs all day. The defense struggled as well, giving up 533 yards of total offense and failing to record a single sack or turnover. Two quarterbacks—redshirt sophomore Glen Cuiellette and freshman Johnathan Brantley—saw time on the field for the Wave. Cuiellette was 3-of-12 for only 17 yards of passing, and Brantley rushed for 47 yards.
“We didn’t coach real well this week and we didn’t play very well this week,” Fritz said. “It’s a team loss.”
This is the first time that the Wave has been shut out since Sept. 22, 2012 against Ole Miss in a 39-0 loss in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. With this loss, Tulane continues its six game skid and also falls at risk of having a 3-win season for the third year in a row.
On senior day, Tulane football said goodbye to 12 seniors, among them linebacker Nico Marley, wide receiver Terren Encalade and defensive tackle Tanzel Smart. Smart was one of a few Tulane players to have a strong showing against Temple by making 6 tackles, 3.5 for loss.
Up next for the Wave is its final game of the season, a trip to Storrs, Connecticut to play the University of Connecticut Huskies. The Huskies has its own woes on offense, as the team has been shut out twice in the last two weeks, including a 30-0 loss at Boston College on Saturday.
“I just don’t want to take a step backwards,” Fritz said. “It would be great to finish this season out with a win.”