Tulane Drops Opener To Bulldogs, 38-17

Tulane Drops Opener To Bulldogs, 38-17

On the other side of the ball the State d'line reciprocated. Tulane's main offensive weapon, running back Matt Forte, gained 44 yards on five carries in the first quarter but finished the game with only 47 yards on 14 carries

Tulane hung tough in the first half at the Louisiana Superdome in the Green Wave's season opener against the Mississippi State Bulldogs but the Green Wave faded in the second half and fell by the final score of 38-17.

The first quarter saw the two teams combine for 263 yards of total offense and four scores.

Tulane, 0-1, was led by Scott Elliott who completed 15-of-26 passes. Elliott threw for 197 yards and a touchdown.

USM, now 1-1, was led by runnng back Anthony Dixon, who rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries.

Much-maligned quarterback Mike Henig also performed well for the Bulldogs, completing 20-of-31 passes for 223 yards and one touchdown. Henig did throw an interception, his seventh of the season.

On the third play of the game Elliott's second pass was intercepted by State's Gabe O'Neal who rambled 47 yards for a touchdown. O'Neal's return put the Bulldogs ahead 7-0.

Tulane tied it up on the following possession when Matt Forte rambled 39 yards for a score.

After an exchange of punts, State scored again when State quarterback Michael Henig scrambled 18 yards for the touchdown.

Elliott hit receiver Jeremy Williams on a 67-yard completion down the visiting sidelines to set Tulane up at the Bulldog 9-yard line. Two plays later Elliott hit fullback Jeremy McKinney from the eight-yard line for the score.

In the second quarter the Bulldogs scored on a 23-yard field goal by Adam Carlson after an apparent touchdown pass from Henig to Co-Eric Riley was ruled incomplete after review.

On the following possession, Elliott completed another long pass, this one was for forty-two yards to Brian King to set the Green Wave up at the 'Dog 11. The Wave could not push it in and kicker Ross Thevenot was called on for a 26-yard field goal to tie the score again at 17.

The Bulldog's Carlson missed on a field goal attempt from 50-yards out as time expired in the first half.

State took the second half kickoff and rolled downfield for a score, gaining 67 yards on 9 plays. Henig capped the drive with a eight-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Jones.

As the game wore on, State running back Dixon became more effective. The 240-pounder had been held to 9 yards on seven carries in the first half but scored two second-half touchdowns as State's offensive line established control.

On the other side of the ball the State d'line reciprocated. Tulane's main offensive weapon, running back Matt Forte, gained 44 yards on five carries in the first quarter but finished the game with only 47 yards on 14 carries.

In addition the Bulldogs converted three Tulane turnovers into touchdowns. Two fumbles by Forte and the interception thrown by Elliott led to thw 'Dogs 21 point margin of victory.

In the second half the Green Wave managed zero first downs, 1 yard rushing on 6 attempts, and five net yards passing.

Elliott injured his ankle early in the game and was eventually relieved by backup Anthony Sclfo.

On the defensive side linebacker James Dillard led the Green Wave with 16 tackles.

The Green Wave will kick off against Conference USA foe Houston at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15.

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