NEW ORLEANS, La. — Martez Carter scored a pair of second-half touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough as Grambling State fell behind early and couldn’t recover in the Tigers’ 43-14 loss to Tulane on Saturday night at Yulman Stadium.
“At the end of the day, I thought they played better up front than we did,” Grambling State head coach Broderick Fobbs said. “We could never get anything going and we were always starting behind the chains. We didn’t execute like we needed to. They were the better team tonight. I thought they did an extremely great job running the football, but also mixing in man and zone screens. My hats off to them, they’re a good team.”
Tulane (1-0) scored on its first two drives to begin the game and quickly jumped out to a 14-0 lead.
After the Tigers were forced to punt on their first possession, the Green Wave marched 56 yards in five plays and took 2:45 off the clock as Jonathan Banks scored on a seven-yard touchdown scamper down the right side to give Tulane a 7-0 lead.
Grambling State (0-1) went three-and-out on its second possession and Tulane capitalized on good field position as the Green Wave went 51 yards in five plays, capped by Banks’ 30-yard touchdown pass to Terren Encalade, giving Tulane a 14-0 advantage with 7:06 remaining in the opening quarter.
The Green Wave added to the lead in the second quarter as the Tigers defense held Tulane to a field goal. A Coby Neenan 21-yard field goal with 5:15 left in the first half, capped 12-play, 61-yard drive, giving the Green Wave a 17-0 lead.
Tulane put the game away with 3:16 remaining in the second quarter as Banks connected with Dontrell Hillard for a 62-yard touchdown as the Green Wave extended the advantage to 24-0.
The Green Wave began the third quarter with excellent starting position as Sherman Badie returned the opening kickoff 52 yards to the GSU 46. Tulane punched in its fourth touchdown of the night six plays later as Darnell Mooney caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Banks, giving the Green Wave a 31-0 lead with 12:06 left in the quarter.
Grambling State answered on the ensuing drive to get its first points of the season.
The Tigers took advantage of a penalty and converted on fourth-and-10 as Martez Carter, who had 11 rushing touchdowns last season, scored on a five-yard run, capping a 15-play, 82-yard drive, as Grambling State cut the deficit to 31-7 with 5:25 left in the third quarter.
The Green Wave answered on its next drive as Encalade rushed 58 yards down the right sideline to extend the lead to 37-7 with 14:49 remaining. But those points were quickly erased as Carter found the end zone for the second time as he rushed 51 yards past the Tulane defense to trim the margin to 37-14 with 14:27 left.
Tulane capped the scoring with 8:13 remaining as Darius Bradwell scored on a 27-yard run, which capped a 10-play, 77-yard drive to give the Green Wave a 43-14 lead.
Tulane took advantage of Grambling State mistakes in the first quarter as the Tigers committed five penalties for 45 yards.
Despite the number of penalties, the poor starting position took its toll on Grambling State in the first quarter. The Tigers average starting position was the 19 yard-line.
Grambling State started slowly out of the gate as the Tigers went backward on the first two possessions with minus three yards. Tulane took advantage with its first two drives combining for 10 plays and 107 yards, along with two touchdowns, to jump out to the two-score lead.
Inside the Numbers
· Tulane controlled the first half with 226 yards, while Grambling State recorded 87, Devante Kincade’s 48-yard pass to Darrell Clark late in the second quarter.
· The Green Wave amassed 481 total yards, including 286 on the ground.
· Grambling State finished the night with 225 total yards, including 148 in the air.
· Devante Kincade threw for 148 yards on 15-of-26 passing. He also rushed eight times for seven yards.
· Martez Carter rushed five times for 68 yards and averaged 13.6 yards per carry.
· Lyndemian Brooks caught three passes for 32 yards, including a long of 27 yards.
· Diante Bridgewater led the way defensively with nine tackles, including seven unassisted.
· Percy Cargo and De’Arius Christmas finished with four tackles.
· Jonathan Banks threw for 185 yards on 10-of-15 passing and three touchdowns. He added 69 yards on 16 rushes.
· Dontrell Hillard caught two passes for 77 yards for Tulane.
· Parry Nickerson led the Green Wave defensively with 5.5 tackles, including five unassisted.
· Grambling State went 1-for-1 in fourth-down conversions.
News & Notes
· With the loss on Saturday night, Grambling State continues to seek its first season-opening victory since 2011.
· The Tigers have lost to Lamar (Southland), California (Pac 12), Arizona (Pac 12) and Tulane (American) in the past four season openers.
· Grambling State came into the game ranked No. 21 in the FCS Coaches Preseason Poll and the STATS FCS Preseason Top 25.
· With the loss, the Tigers fell to 4-2 in televised games and 7-2 in games played in 30,000-seat stadiums in the past two seasons. Both losses came to Arizona and Tulane.
· Devante Kincade threw one interception in the loss. He didn’t throw his first interception until Oct. 22 against Mississippi Valley State.
· Martez Carter had two multi-scoring rushing touchdowns last season (Texas Southern and Southern).
Grambling State will celebrate its home opener on Sept. 9 at Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium as Northwestern State comes to town. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Northwestern State began the 2017 season on Saturday with a 52-24 loss to Louisiana Tech.
Courtesy: GSU Athletics