Tulane falls at No. 10 Auburn, 24-6
AUBURN, Ala. – The Tulane University football team fell at No. 10 Auburn, 24-6, at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday night.
Tulane (1-1) gained 120 yards on 30 rushing attempts, while Auburn (2-0) earned 172 rushing yards in 45 attempts. Quarterback Justin McMillan led the Green Wave with 54 yards rushing and 103 yards passing. Senior Darnell Mooney added three catches for 48 yards for the Olive and Blue.
Junior Chase Kuerschen made seven solo tackles, while junior Marvin Moody added four solo and three assists for seven total tackles to lead Tulane’s defensive effort.
The 85,317 fans marked the ninth largest crowd to ever watch a Tulane football game in person.
The Green Wave jumped out to a 3-0 lead with redshirt junior Merek Glover’s career long 44-yard field goal, which capped a nine-play, 48-yard drive. The drive was highlighted by a 19-yard pass from McMillan to sophomore Amare Jones and two 11-yard runs from McMillan.
In the ensuing Auburn drive, senior Lawrence Graham forced an Auburn fumble and sophomore Chris Joyce recovered the ball on the Tulane 42-yard line.
The Tigers scored on two consecutive drives to start the second quarter and take a 14-3 lead.
Glover cut the lead to 14-6 for the Olive and Blue with a 32-yard field goal after an eight-play, 40-yard drive. The Green Wave earned two first downs on the drive, including a 17-yard pass from McMillan to Mooney.
At the half, Tulane had outgained Auburn 80-20 on the ground, while both teams had seven first downs. McMillan led the Green Wave with 35 rushing yards on five attempts. Sophomore Amare Jones logged a career-high 48 punt return yards in the first half alone.
Auburn scored with 1:54 left in the third quarter to extend the lead to 21-6. The Tigers set the final score at 24-6 with a 22-yard field goal with 12:36 left in the fourth quarter.
Kuerschen forced the Tigers’ second fumble on the night and sophomore Jeffery Johnson recovered it for the Green Wave with 9:40 remaining in the game, but Tulane was unable to capitalize on the turnover.
Up next, the Green Wave will host Missouri State on Saturday, September 14, at 7 p.m. in Yulman Stadium.
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AUBURN 24, TULANE 6 – POSTGAME NOTES (85,317 – Attendance)
The Green Wave’s loss to Auburn moved Tulane to 17-15-6 all-time against the Tigers.
Tulane fell to 6-2 in its last eight games dating back to last season.
The 85,317 fans in attendance marked ninth largest crowd to ever watch a Tulane football at any site.
Team captains for today’s game were LS Geron Eatherly, OL Keyshawn Mcleod, DB Will Harper and DB Thakarius Keyes.
Redshirt freshman DL Jamiran James carried the New Orleans flag. Sophomore RB Amare Jones carried the American Athletic Conference Power 6 flag.
Senior DB Larry Bryant carried the No. 18 flag in honor of Devon Walker.
With the loss, head coach Willie Fritz fell to 210-96-1 all-time.
The Green Wave offensive starters were QB Justin McMillan, RB Amare Jones, TE Tyrick James, WR Jaetavian Toles, WR Darnell Mooney, WR Jalen McCleskey, OL Tyler Johnson, OL Keyshawn McLeod, OL Corey Dublin, OL Christian Montano and OL Joey Claybrook.
Mooney made his 30th consecutive start, while Dublin made his 27th straight start.
McMillan finished with 157 total yards (103 passing and 54 rushing). His 54 yards rushing were a team high.
Since taking over as the team’s starter last season, McMillan has thrown for 12 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
McMillan fell to 6-2 as a starter.
Mooney finished with a team-high 48 yards receiving. He needs just 10 yards to become the 11th wide receiver in program history to surpass 2,000 career yards.
The Green Wave have now surpassed 100 yards rushing in 42 straight games. Tulane finished the game with 120 yards rushing.
Tulane’s offensive line did not allow a sack for the first time since Oct. 27, 2018 (at Tulsa).
Tulane held Auburn to just five rushing yards in the first quarter and just 20 yards in the first half.
The Green Wave defensive starters were DL Patrick Johnson, LB Marvin Moody, CB Jaylon Monroe, DL De’Andre Williams, DL Cameron Sample, S P.J. Hall, LB Lawrence Graham, FS Chase Kuerschen, S Will Harper, NT Jeffery Johnson and CB Thakarius Keyes.
Tulane was held without a sack for the first time since its Sept. 15 matchup against UAB, which ended a steak of 11 consecutive games where the Green Wave had tallied at least one sack.
The Green Wave registered 5.0 tackles for loss as a team.
Junior Marvin Moody and Chase Kuerschen both registered a game-high seven tackles.
Sophomores Chris Joyce and Jeffery Johnson both collected their first career fumble recoveries.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
Sophomore punter Ryan Wright totaled eight punts and 321 yards, averaging 40.1 yards with a long of 49.
Sophomore punt returner Amare Jones finished with a career high 48 punt return yards. Jones finished the game with 90 all-purpose yards.
Redshirt kicker Merek Glover had drilled a pair of field goals from 44 and 32 yards out. His 44-yard field goal was a career long.
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