NORMAN, Okla. — Tulane coach Willie Fritz said he was unsure if No. 1 quarterback Jonathan Banks and safety Roderic Teamer would be back for next Saturday’s game against Army after they missed the Green Wave’s 56-14 loss to Oklahoma with injuries.
Banks sat out with what the team termed an upper-body injury, although he participated in pre-game warmups.
“I just don’t know,” Fritz said. “It’s one of those deals where we’re going to have to look at it and see if he’s going to be able to go this week. He definitely would be able to go after that."
Teamer is out with a foot injury, and the Wave had a few breakdowns in the secondary without him.
“It’s the same kind of situation with Rod,” Fritz said. “He’s a very good player, so it obviously would have helped to have him in there. We’re not real deep at a few spots. When you lose quality players, that hurts you.”
Tulane has lost 41 consecutive games against ranked opponents dating to a 34-28 win over No. 9 Florida State at the Superdome on Sept. 17, 1983. That game was later forfeited, so officially the last victory was 31-28 against No. 12 LSU at Tiger Stadium on Nov. 27, 1982.
The Wave also fell to 0-13 all-time against No. 2-ranked teams. This was Fritz’s first game against a ranked team at Tulane.
DE depth issues
With Quinlan Carroll suspended for the first half by NCAA rule because of his ejection for targeting in the second half at Navy last Saturday and backup Larry Bryant injured, Tulane had a shortage of defensive ends at the start of the game.
The Wave opened in a three-man alignment with Eldrick Washington at end, Luke Jackson as a rush end/linebacker and Ade Aruna and Sean Wilson inside of them.
Carroll returned early on Oklahoma’s first possession of the second half.
“We were rolling a lot of guys in, so we shouldn’t be worn down,” Fritz said. “We still have a lot of guys that played on the defensive line.”
Tulane’s last chance to make the game competitive came on its opening possession of the third quarter, when wide receiver Darnell Mooney ran under a deep ball from Johnathan Brantley inside the Oklahoma 20 but could not hold on to it.
If he had caught it in stride, it would have been a touchdown to close the gap to 28-21. If he had fallen down, the Wave would have been in striking distance.
Instead, they went three-and-out after recovering a Brantley fumble on a third-down sack.
“That would have been a big play to give us some momentum,” Fritz said. “We just missed it by an inch.”
Tulane right guard Dominique Briggs, a native of Tulsa, returned to his home state for a game for the first time since Coffeyville Junior College played at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College last September.
Coffeyville won that game 41-31. This one did not end as well, but Briggs was part of an offensive line that had its way with Oklahoma’s defensive front early. Quarterback Johnathan Brantley scored an 11-yard touchdown to Briggs’ side of the field as the Wave went ahead 14-7.
Memorable first start
Tulane true freshman safety Chase Kuershen made his first start memorable.
On Oklahoma’s fifth play, he stripped tight end Mark Andrews on a fumble that teammate Jarrod Franklin recovered.
Kuerschen named Andrews as the player he was most concerned about earlier in the week, saying the Sooners did a lot of weird things with him.