Tulane notebook: Powered by some local talent, Houston takes care of business _lowres

Advocate staff photo by A.J. SISCO -- Tulane Green Wave head coach Curtis Johnson talks with his team during the game with the Houston Cougars at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015.

While naturally most of Houston’s players are from Texas, four of the Cougars’ starters Friday were from Louisiana.

Receiver Steven Dunbar from Rummel came into the game with 14 receptions for 226 yards and two touchdowns.

Starting on defense for the visitors were tackle B.J. Singleton of Destrehan, free safety Trevon Stewart of Patterson and cornerback Brandon Wilson from Calvary Baptist of Shreveport.

Tulane has two Texans on its roster: starting guard Colton Hanson, a junior from New Baunfels, and junior walk-on kickoff specialist Trevor Simms from Hurst.

A bad start

In the game’s first 2 minutes, 34 seconds, Tulane managed to draw an illegal block call on its first snap and a defensive holding call on a punt, along with giving up a 49-yard touchdown pass on Houston’s first play. On that play, Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson fall down twice.

Tough call

Tulane appeared to have stopped Houston late in the first quarter when Greg Ward’s third-and-14 pass from the Wave 47 went incomplete.

But Nico Marley was called for roughing the passer — a high hit on the quarterback was the announced ruling from the field — although Marley appeared to only to have made a two-handed push to Ward’s shoulder pads.

Nonetheless, Houston used its new life to drive for its second touchdown on a 12-yard run by Ward that made it 14-0.

Marley must have still been upset by the earlier call: He was flagged for a late hit on the play.

Banged-up Cougars

Houston entered the game shorthanded on the offensive line after a spate of injuries.

Left guard Ben Dew was lost for the season with a foot injury after two games. Right tackle Zach Johnson and left guard Josh Thomas, who started his first game of the year last week versus SMU, went out for the year against the Mustangs, with Johnson tearing four knee ligaments.

Against Tulane, redshirt freshman Mason Denley became the fourth player to start at left guard in six games.

Redshirt freshman center Colton Freeman is the only Cougars offensive lineman who has started every game at the same spot.

Rough road ahead

The rest of October doesn’t get any easier for Tulane.

Next Saturday, the Wave plays at 4-1 Navy, and Oct. 31 is a game at 5-0 Memphis.

Tulane returns to Yulman Stadium on Nov. 7 for its homecoming game against UConn. The Huskies are the first of four opponents to close the season that presently have non-winning records.

The streak continues

Tulane has lost 38 consecutive games against ranked opponents — 39 if you count the 1984 game against No. 9 Florida State that the Wave won 34-28 but later had to vacate because of NCAA violations.

Tulane’s last on-the-field victory against a ranked foe was the 31-28 upset of No. 12 LSU in the 1983 finale.