Tulane falls at No. 24 Memphis, 56-26

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Tulane at Memphis 2017
(Photo: Parker Waters)

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Junior quarterback Jonathan Banks accounted for four touchdowns, but Tulane football could not overcome an early 35-point deficit in a 56-26 defeat at No. 24 Memphis Friday evening in front of a crowd of 17,989 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.

Banks passed for 203 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed for 19 yards and a score. It was the second straight game he passed for more than 200 yards, and the second time this season he accounted for four touchdowns. Junior tight end Charles Jones II caught two of those touchdown passes, and sophomore wide receiver Darnell Mooney had a 41-yard touchdown reception.

The Green Wave (3-5, 1-3 American Athletic Conference | West) totaled 325 yards of offense, while the Tigers (7-1, 4-1 American Athletic Conference | West) finished with 557 total yards, including 298 passing yards.

“They did a great job early in the ballgame. They really did a nice job of manufacturing offense with formations, sets and a few different things,” head coach Willie Fritz said. “A couple of them are disappointing as we worked on them and just had some busts. We’re just not to the point where we can miss assignments. I think we continued to compete for the most part. I was excited about that. We didn’t tackle very good, and that was disappointing.”

After falling behind 35-0 and being outgained 418-20 in yardage by the 11:20 mark of the second quarter, the Tulane offense mounted a pair of scoring drives just before halftime.

Banks scored on a four-yard run to cap a 12-play, 62-yard drive that took 7:28. The drive tripled Tulane’s yardage to that point, and was fueled by a 16-yard completion to junior wide receiver Terren Encalade, a 22-yard, third-down run by Banks and a 12-yard run on third-and-10 by sophomore running back Darius Bradwell. On fourth-and-3 at the Memphis 15-yard line, Banks hit Encalade for a 13-yard gain, and ran into the end zone two plays later.

Redshirt senior nickelback Jarrod Franklin intercepted a Riley Ferguson pass on the ensuing drive, and the Green Wave took advantage, driving 77 yards in nine plays to score as time expired in the half. After an 18-yard scamper on third down, Banks found Jones on a seven-yard fade route. The Wave was unable to convert a two-point attempt, and trailed at the half, 35-12. In the final 11:20 of the half, Tulane held a 154-25 advantage in total yards.

After allowing touchdowns on five of Memphis’ first seven possessions, the Green Wave stymied the Tigers on the next four drives, beginning with the interception. The Wave forced three straight punts to begin the third quarter, including two three-and-outs. Meanwhile, the offense cut the deficit to 35-19 with a 12-play, 62-yard drive that ended in Jones’ second touchdown of the game.

Banks hit redshirt junior tight end Kendall Ardoin for a 28-yard completion on third-and-9 to keep the drive going, then found Jones wide open from six yards out to make the score 35-19 with 4:08 left in the third quarter.

After Memphis recovered a punt in the end zone off a bad snap to make it 42-19, the Green Wave responded with a quick five-play, 69-yard scoring drive that took just 1:09 off the clock. Banks hit Mooney for a 41-yard strike to cut the deficit to 42-26 with 11:16 remaining in the game.

The Tigers took a 35-0 lead early in the second quarter, scoring on five of their first seven possessions. The Tulane defense held on downs to open the game, but Memphis struck with long scoring plays to take the lead. A 58-yard run by Tony Pollard and a 16-yard pass from Ferguson to Anthony Miller made the score 14-0 at the end of the first period.

Memphis then scored on three quick-strike touchdowns in the first four minutes of the second quarter. Sean Dykes caught a 38-yard touchdown pass, Darrell Henderson scored on an 82-yard run, and Kedarian Jones caught a 37-yard touchdown pass. Ferguson finished with 298 passing yards and three passing touchdowns, while Henderson ran for 112 yards and a score.

After Tulane cut it to 42-26, the Tigers reached the 56-26 final score on a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown runs of one and 11 yards by Ferguson.

The Green Wave host Cincinnati for Homecoming on Nov. 4 at Yulman Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. on ESPN3.

Follow Tulane football on Twitter, Facebook and @GreenWaveFB on Snapchat. Follow Tulane Athletics on Twitter, Facebook­, Instagram and @TulaneAthletics on Snapchat.


Oct. 27, 2017


  • Game captains were redshirt senior nickelback Jarrod Franklin, senior running back Dontrell Hilliard, senior defensive tackle Sean Wilson and redshirt junior wide receiver Terren Encalade.
  • Memphis won the coin toss and elected to receive. Tulane defended the South goal in the first quarter.
  • Attendance was 17,989.


  • Tulane wore green helmets, green jerseys and gray pants, marking the first time the Green Wave wore dark colors for a road game this season.
  • Junior wide receiver Jabril Clewis carried the No. 18 flag, honoring former Tulane football student-athlete Devon Walker, who was injured and paralyzed during a game in 2012. Freshman safety Chase Kuerschen carried the American Athletic Conference P6 (#AmericanPow6r) flag leading the Green Wave out of the tunnel.
  • Junior wide receiver Jabril Clewis carried the No. 18 flag, honoring former Tulane football student-athlete Devon Walker, who was injured and paralyzed during a game in 2012. Freshman safety Chase Kuerschen carried the American Athletic Conference P6 (#AmericanPow6r) flag leading the Green Wave out of the tunnel.
  • Tulane has now forced a turnover in nine consecutive games, dating back to the final game of last season at UConn on Nov. 26, 2016.
  • In 20 games under head coach Willie Fritz, the Green Wave have recorded an interception in 15 games (eight last season and Grambling State, Navy, Army West Point, Tulsa, FIU, USF and Memphis this season), including in 11 of the team’s last 13 games and 14 of the team’s last 17 games.
  • Tulane has rushed for 100 or more yards in 23 straight games, dating back to the final three games of the 2015 season.
  • For the first time this season, the Green Wave did not rush for at least 190 yards.
  • Tulane passed for more than 100 yards for the fifth time this season. The other four games were Grambling State (185 yards) on Sept. 2, Army West Point (103 yards) on Sept. 23, Tulsa (165 yards) on Oct. 7 and USF (221 yards) on Oct. 21.
  • The Green Wave moved to 1-of-2 on two-point conversions this season.
  • The 82-yard rushing touchdown by Memphis’ Darrell Henderson was the longest rush Tulane surrendered since a 91-yard touchdown run by Rutgers’ Mohamed Sano on Oct. 2, 2010.
  • Tulane allowed a fumble recovery for a touchdown for the first time since Houston’s Jeremy Winchester returned a fumble 11 yards for a touchdown on Nov. 12, 2016.


  • Redshirt senior cornerback Parry Nickerson made his 41st career start, redshirt senior Jarrod Franklin made his 32nd consecutive start (34th in his career), senior running back Dontrell Hilliard made his 21st straight start (29th in his career) and redshirt junior offensive lineman John Leglue (21st in his career) and junior receiver Terren Encalade (27th in his career) made their 20th consecutive starts.
  •  Graduate transfer offensive lineman Hunter Knighton got the first start of his Tulane career.
  • Sophomore safety P.J. Hall got his first start of the season and the third of his career.
  • Redshirt junior defensive end Robert Kennedy saw his first game action of the season, playing in the 23rd game of his career.
  • Junior quarterback Jonathan Banks’ four-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was his fourth rushing touchdown this season.
  • Banks posted the third multi-passing touchdown game of his Tulane career with three touchdown passes. His first two were three touchdown passes vs. Grambling State and two touchdown passes vs. USF.
  • Banks was responsible for four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) for the second time this season. He also was responsible for four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) vs. Grambling State.
  • Banks passed for more than 200 yards for the second straight game and the second time in his Tulane career.
  • Redshirt junior tight end Charles Jones II caught his first two touchdown passes of the season and the seventh and eighth of his career. It was his first, multi-touchdown game of his career and his first touchdown catches since catching a touchdown Nov. 11, 2015 at SMU.
  • Sophomore wide receiver Darnell Mooney caught his second touchdown of the season and fourth of his career at the 11:16 mark in the fourth quarter.
  • Mooney set a personal single-game high with 70 receiving yards, topping his 63 receiving yards at Houston on Nov. 12, 2016.
  • Junior wide receiver Jabril Clewis caught a pass for his sixth consecutive game, dating back to the Oklahoma game on Sept. 16.
  • Freshman wide receiver Jaetavian Toles hauled in the first catch of his collegiate career with a five-yard reception in the second quarter.
  • With 67 rushing yards, senior running back Dontrell Hilliard moved to 2,671 career rushing yards, which ranks fifth in school history.
  • Hilliard had his streak of six straight games with a rushing touchdown snapped.
  • Redshirt senior nickelback Jarrod Franklin grabbed his first interception of the season and third of his career at the 1:46 mark in the second quarter.
  • Senior nose tackle Sean Wilson recorded 2.0 tackles for loss, marking the third time in his career he has recorded two tackles for loss in a game.
  • With 159 kickoff return yards, senior running back Sherman Badie compiled 100 or more kickoff return yards for the second time this season. The first time was vs. Grambling State with 100 kickoff return yards on three returns.
  • Badie became the ninth player in school history to amass 1,000 career kick return yards. He ranks ninth in school history with 1,121 career kick return yards.
  • The game pitted brothers on opposite sidelines – Tulane’s Wilson and Memphis sophomore defensive lineman Jonathan Wilson. The Wilson brothers are natives of Port Sulphur, La.
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