Tulane football ends season on whimper, falls to Memphis

Jake Blancher, Associate Sports Editor

This past Saturday the Tulane Green Wave Football team lost their final game of the 2021 season to the Memphis Tigers by a score of 33-28.

The game started off as a shootout, with the Tigers and the Green Wave exchanging touchdowns for the first four drives, a 14-14 tie by the beginning of the second quarter. The rest of the half was scoreless, with a punt and a turnover apiece.

After halftime, Memphis quickly put up a pair of field goals giving them a 20-14 lead after top receiver Tyrick James fumbled at the opposing 32-yard line, stunting the Green Wave’s drive to the Memphis end zone.

On the following drive, redshirt freshman running back Tyjae Spears put the Tulane offense on his back, rushing for 66 of the 75 yards on the drive including a 57-yard run and a 2-yard touchdown, just one part of his dominant performance on the day. Spears’ explosiveness quieted the Memphis crowd, giving Tulane their last lead of the day with a score of 21-20. Spears sparkled in the loss, scoring another touchdown and a total 264 rushing yards in the contest.

Memphis running back Asa Martin took matters into his own hands on a similarly electric drive. He accrued 67 of 70 Memphis yards and a touchdown to top off the drive, putting Memphis back in front 26-21. Memphis failed to convert for two points after a pass breakup by Jaylon Monroe.

On the very next play, receiver Jha’Quan Jackson fumbled on the kickoff, giving the Tigers a short field. Taking advantage of this great field position, Memphis scored a touchdown in just three plays, extending their lead to 33-21. 

The next four drives were scoreless, again with a turnover and a punt apiece. Tulane finally found the endzone, on an incredible 21-yard touchdown catch where receiver Duece Watts “mossed” the Memphis cornerback, reaching around the defender to secure the football behind his back before falling to the ground in the endzone for the score. The Green Wave was back in the game, behind just five points with 1:57 left on the clock.

Much to the dismay of the Tulane fandom, Green Wave could not recover the onside kick attempt. Memphis took knees to run out the clock and secured the victory.

With the win, the Tigers landed their eighth consecutive year of bowl eligibility, while Tulane finished the year with a disappointing 2-10 record despite the fact they were spirited and competitive during the season, only falling in the games’ final moments.

Tulane recruited the fifth-best class in their conference next season and hope to have a bounce back season when they kickoff the season, hosting University of Massachusetts in Yulman next fall.

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