Big plays from Dauphine lead Tulane past Nicholls, 42-17

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NEW ORLEANS – On a night when the Green Wave’s undefeated 1998 team celebrated its 20th anniversary, the current version of the offense produced some big plays like Tulane fans saw on a regular basis back then.

Corey Dauphine had three long touchdown runs as the Green Wave defeated Nicholls 42-17 Saturday night at Yulman Stadium.

Dauphine touched the football just six times but rushed for 152 yards, including scoring runs of 38, 69 and 35 yards.

“He really played well tonight,” Tulane coach Willie Fritz said. “Unfortunately, he got dehydrated going into half. We were going to feed him the ball (more).”

“Once he gets past the second level,” Tulane quarterback Jonathan Banks said, “it’s a foot race.”

Added Nicholls coach Tim Rebowe, “Once (Dauphine) got to the edge and he made a couple of cuts, we’ve got to be able to get him down and we didn’t do that.”

Tulane had 458 yards of total offense. Banks passed for 190 yards and a TD, Darius Bradwell rushed for 93 yards and Darnell Mooney caught six passes for 111 yards and a score.

Nicholls gained 415 yards, but managed only 10 first-half points despite crossing into Tulane territory on five of six possessions.

“I thought we had some opportunities in the first half that we let slip away,” said Rebowe. “We missed a couple of field goals, but our guys were playing hard.”

“We’d rather not bend so much, but it’s good when they don’t score,” Fritz said.

Colonel quarterback Chase Fourcade passed for 239 yards and a touchdown but was intercepted twice. He was also Nicholls’ leading rusher with 53 yards.

After going three and out on its first possession, Tulane scored on each of its next three possessions, thanks in large part to the big play threat of Dauphine, a junior transfer from Texas Tech.

His 38-yard run capped a seven-play, 71-yard drive for the night’s first score midway through the first quarter.

After Nicholls closed to 7-3 on a 21-yard Lorran Fonseca field goal in the waning moments of the quarter, Dauphine rambled 69 yards through the Colonel defense on the first play of the second quarter, just moments after the 1998 team was honored on the field.

Tulane extended the lead to 21-3 on a 5-yard keeper by Banks and it appeared might have a chance to stretch the lead before halftime, but a Banks fumble after a big loss was recovered by Nicholls’ Evan Veron at the Tulane 26 with 1:22 left in the half.

Four plays later, Fourcade found Gabe Fuselier on a 7-yard touchdown pass with 23 seconds left in the half.

On the Colonels’ first possession of the second half, Tulane safety Rod Teamer intercepted Fourcade at the Green Wave 5-yard line.

Banks and Co. responded with a methodical 14-play, 95-yard drive that ate up half of the third quarter. Banks capped the drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Darnell Mooney.

“Last week we started off slow,” Mooney said. “It’s good to get that first W.”

Nicholls made it a two-score game on a 32-yard run up the middle by Dontrell Taylor with 12:47 remaining.

Any Colonel hopes of a fourth-quarter comeback were deflated  on the legs of Dauphine, who popped a 35-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 35-17 with 8:47 left.

Freshman Amare Jones capped the scoring with a 1-yard run with two minutes remaining, three plays after Chase Kuerschen intercepted Fourcade.

“It did get away from us in the back end of the game,” Rebowe said.

Tulane heads to UAB next week, while Nicholls opens  Southland Conference play with a trip to McNeese Saturday night.

TULANE 42, NICHOLLS 17 – POSTGAME NOTES (21,092 – Attendance)

GREEN WAVE NOTES
-Tulane’s matchup with Nicholls marked the first meeting between the two schools.
-At the end of the first quarter, Tulane University honored the 1998 Green Wave football team, which celebrated its 20th anniversary of finishing with a perfect 12-0 record.
-The Green Wave rushed for 268 yards. Since 2016 (head coach Willie Fritz’s first year), Tulane has rushed for 250 yards or more on 10 occasions.
-Team captains for tonight’s game were Kendall Ardoin, Zachery Harris, Donnie Lewis Jr., and Brian Newman.
Geron Eatherly carried the No. 18 flag in honor of Devon Walker.
-Tulane has rushed for 100 yards or more in every game since 2016.
-With the win, Fritz improves to 203-90-1 all-time. Fritz also improved 69-26 all-time in the month of September.

OFFENSIVE NOTES
-The Green Wave offensive starters were QB Jonathan Banks, RB Stephon Huderson, WR Darnell Mooney, WR Terren Encalade, WR Jaetavian Toles, TE Kendall Ardoin, OL Noah Fisher, OL Dominique Briggs, OL Corey Dublin, OL John Leglue and OL Keyshawn McLeod.
-Encalade and Leglue each made their 26th consecutive start.
-Running back Corey Dauphine finished with career highs in rushing yards (152) and touchdowns (three).
-Mooney finished with 111 yards receiving. Mooney has now surpassed 100 yards receiving three times in his career.
-Running back Darius Bradwell posted a career-high 93 yards rushing.
-The last time Tulane had a 100+ rusher and a 100+ receiver in the same game was back on Sept. 19, 2015.
-Banks has not thrown an interception in his last 90 attempts. He finished the game by going 12 of 16 for 190 yards passing and one touchdown.

DEFENSIVE NOTES
-The Green Wave defensive starters were CB Donnie Lewis, S Roderic Teamer Jr., S P.J. Hall, CB Will Harper, CB Thakarius Keyes, LB Marvin Moody, DL Patrick Johnson, LB Zachery Harris, DL De’Andre Williams, DL Cameron Sample and DL Jeffery Johnson.
-Lewis made his 33rd career start. His 33 career starts are the most of any current player on the defense.
-Teamer’s third-quarter interception was the third of his career and his first since Nov. 26, 2016, against UConn.
Safety Chase Kuerschen collected his second career interception in the fourth quarter.
Harris finished the game with a team-best 8.0 tackles. He also registered a sack.

SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
-Senior punter Zachary Block had three punts for 115 yards. He also dropped two punts inside the 20-yard line.

TULANE FOOTBALL POSTGAME QUOTES

Head Coach Willie Fritz
On Jonathan Banks’ performance…
“[Quarterback] play is really scrutinized, you know. You would have liked to have got back, especially the play before halftime. You know, if we give him a good clean pocket, he’s an accurate thrower, he’s got a strong arm, you know he knows where to go. You know he’s just going to do better I think the more real game reps he gets, the better he’ll get.”

On the defense…
“Yeah, we bent and we didn’t break much. They had 415 yards of offense. I think they had 260 at halftime. So again, a lot of yards but we did a good job, especially in the first half of making them kick field goals and I think they missed at least one, maybe two field goals. So, we’d rather it had not been so much, but it’s good when they don’t score. You know the No. 1 stat is how many points you give up.”

On Corey Dauphine’s performance…
“Well he really played well. Six carries, 152 yards and I guess it was just within a whisker of being a yard per carry record here at Tulane. Unfortunately, he got dehydrated before half, we were going to try to feed him the ball quite a bit more. It’s one of the things he’s got to work on. I thought the offensive line, for the most part, did a good job of not allowing minus plays, and we did a good job, most of the time, with the option. There were a few times we should have pulled it and negated it or pitched it and kept it, or whatever the case may be. In a real ball game it’s a lot different.”

Redshirt Junior RB Corey Dauphine
On the difference between last week and tonight…
“It was the first game, so everybody was kind of trying to get in the groove. This week, I feel like we were more prepared. We watched film a lot. We watched the film of when they played Kansas. That was pretty big.”

On the offense’s potential…
“I feel like we can be a lot more dynamic. We’ve just got to fix the minor problems, and when we fix them, I feel like we can be good – great actually. “

Senior S Roderic Teamer Jr.
On his interception of fellow Brother Martin Alum Chase Fourcade…
“I thought it would be sweeter. Me and Chase (Fourcade), we’ll exchange words throughout the game. He’s a friend of mine so, it was fun to get it against him.”

On the defense…
“I mean there’s always room for improvement, but I’m proud of our guys. Its tough to come out after a loss and play with the intensity that I felt like my teammates had tonight. So I’m proud of them for that. We just want to clean things up and get better and progress each week.”

On his performance…
“I mean it’s really a confidence thing. We expected to win. Last week we came up short of course and we expected to win this week. So, to get our confidence back up and actually get the win is great for our team. Our guys are in there celebrating which I wanted to see them do last week so, it’s exciting.”

Redshirt Senior LB Zachery Harris
On the defense…
“Like I said, we are always focused on just building that line at the goal line and just don’t let them in. That’s what we have to do.”

On maintaining focus on the road…
“This UAB game is going to be a big test for us. It’s our first road game, and there’s a lot of guys who are traveling for the first time. It was a good momentum swing with this win right here, but UAB is going to be a big test for us.”

On coming back from last week’s loss…
“It was very important. It’s Nicholls, so it’s basically like both of our Super Bowls. This could be an up and coming big rivalry against us, so it was great to get a win for Louisiana.”

On Corey Dauphine…
“I knew he was great from seeing him at practice, but he even shocked me. That speed. Blazing speed. He’s definitely going to get more carries, so I look forward to seeing him for the rest of the season.”

Junior WR Darnell Mooney
On the excitement of getting the first win…
“It was very nice to get the W, getting the first one off our shoulders, and now we can keep on pushin’ and pushin’ and pushin.’”

“On what Corey Dauphine brought to the offense…
“He brings everything. You’ve seen him out there tonight. Every time he touched the ball, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown.”

On the success of the offense if both Terren Encalade and Corey Dauphine have big nights…
“We’re going to be very explosive. When we’re rolling together it’s crazy.”

On the tough game next week…
“We gotta have our minds right. We gotta go against the person that’s next to us, just play for ourselves and have our minds ready to go all out, no matter who the team is.”

NICHOLLS FOOTBALL POSTGAME QUOTES

Head Coach Tim Rebowe
On game getting away from them in the second half…
“Yeah I thought we had some opportunities in the first half that we let slip away. You know missed a couple of field goals. … I thought our guys were playing hard. It did get away from us in the back end. We gotta be able to stop the run. We didn’t stop the ball. They did a tremendous job in the second half. We got out of our gaps a couple of times, missing tackles. But hey, they’ve got a good ballclub. Just gotta regroup and get ready for next week.”

On the emphasis of controlling the line of scrimmage…
“I thought our D-line needed to play a little bit better. But it wasn’t just controlling the line of scrimmage. We got out of our gaps, and they popped a couple of runs on us. But here’s another thing, but after they do that we gotta have guys in the backend, you gotta get them down and gotta line up to play again and we didn’t do that.”

On Tulane’s third-down efficiency….
“Yeah, they were good on third down. They hit some plays. I thought just starting in the first half when they hit that pass down the seams, we didn’t break it up. And then we were a little soft. I don’t think we challenged them at times in the back end, but when you get the running game going like they did then it was hard for us in the back end.”

On the quarterback taking a lot of hits….
“Yeah, you always worry about him getting hit, you don’t like that. But he is so dang competitive, he wants the ball in his hands. He lines up and he goes again. It was a physical game, he took a couple shots. We gotta be careful of that. But you are not gonna get him to do otherwise.”

On Tulane RB Corey Dauphine’s game and his three touchdowns…
“Yeah it was a killer. Once he got to the edge, he made a couple of big cuts. But we gotta be able to get him down and we didn’t do that. Hey, look, we got some work to do this week. It was the same thing last week. We gotta come back, we gotta put it to bed tomorrow and we gotta move forward because we have another one next week against McNeese.”

On whether tonight’s loss is a step back for the team…
“It’s early in the year. We gotta a lot of cleaning up to do and we had some penalties that we gotta clean up. We can’t get behind the chains. We had a couple of turnovers so there’s a lot work, a lot of football left to be played. And you know the rest is gonna be tomorrow. We are 0-0 and we gotta start getting ready for next week.

On the crowd at Yulman Stadium…
“I told our guys, I thought we were ready. We came out, I thought the crowd was fantastic. They were loud, they were in it. It’s great to see all the Colonels fans come out and come by and support. And I know a lot of them will come back. They might be disappointed, but they know these guys are working hard and hopefully they’ll come back and see us.”

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Lenny Vangilder

Lenny Vangilder

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Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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