2:00 PM ET, October 16, 2004
Liberty Bowl, MEMPHIS, TN
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Tulane learned Saturday there is more to the Memphis offense than DeAngelo Williams and Danny Wimprine, although the Tiger stalwarts did their part.
While Williams had 132 yards and two touchdowns, Darron White and Tavares Gideon each added a pair of scoring receptions as Memphis rode a 21-point third quarter to a 49-24 win over Tulane.
"A lot of guys got the ball, and a lot of guys contributed," said Wimprine, who completed passes to nine receivers. "It was a pretty productive day."
Williams, who has rushed for at least 100 yards in 15 of the last 16 games, scored on runs of 10 and 5 yards. White opened the scoring with a 60-yard punt return and added an 8-yard scoring reception from Wimprine. Gideon's touchdowns came on passes of 38 and 16 yards, the final one thrown by reserve quarterback Bobby Robison. Gideon dragged a defender the last few yards into the end zone.
"He's a big guy with a big frame," Wimprine said. "He was moving some bodies down there. ... Once he got it and started dragging people, I knew he was going to get in."
The combination of Lester Ricard to Roydell Williams accounted for all three Green Wave touchdowns on scoring passes of 37, 13, and 19 yards. Williams had six catches for 114 yards for Tulane (1-4, 0-3).
The Memphis offense racked up 483 yards with a balanced attack of 257 yards rushing and 226 through the air. Wimprine was 19-of-24 for 166 yards.
"I thought we were able to contain their run pretty good," said Tulane coach Chris Scelfo. "We let them gash us in the second half. We didn't respond to adversity from that standpoint."
Meanwhile, the Tiger defense held Tulane to 90 yards on the ground.
The Tigers led 21-10 at the half, but it was far from dominant. Tulane receivers consistently got behind the Memphis defense, but Ricard, who completed 10 of 22 passes in the half, could not connect.
"I thought our receivers did a good job of getting down the field, in the first half especially," Scelfo said. " We just missed them. Sometimes you roll sevens, and we didn't a few times."
Ricard did find Williams from 37 yards early in the second period for the Green Wave's only touchdown of the half. Nick Beucher added a 46-yard field goal for Tulane's other score, the Wave's first field goal of the season.
Tulane also got its first interception of the year, by linebacker Anthony Cannon in the first quarter.
The Tigers had a 7-0 lead before the offense ever took the field on White's punt return for the opening score.
"I told them when I got to the sideline that it was a long time coming," White said of the first scoring punt return for Memphis since 1994. "Since I started (returning punts), that's all I was trying to do was break one."
Memphis relied on its normal offensive strengths, the running of Williams and passing of Wimprine, but the roles were somewhat reversed for two Tiger touchdowns. Williams lined up at quarterback as Wimprine went in motion, and the ball was centered directly to Williams, who scored on both plays.
Memphis' 5-1 record is its best start since 1967, and an improvement over last year when the Tigers were 3-3 after six games but still made their first bowl trip in more than 30 years.
"I feel good about where we are as a football team," Memphis coach Tommy West said. "...We are kind of a quiet, sneaky 5-1, and that is pretty darn good. We have come a long way."
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-15||7-12|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||0-0|
|TD||12:36||DARRON WHITE 60 YD PUNT RETURN (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)||0||7|
|TD||11:29||ROYDELL WILLIAMS 37 YD PASS FROM LESTER RICARD (NICK BEUCHER KICK)|
Drive info: 13 plays, 85 yards.
|TD||9:10||DEANGELO WILLIAMS 10 YD RUN (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 85 yards.
|FG||1:47||NICK BEUCHER 46 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 45 yards.
|TD||0:12||TAVARES GIDEON 38 YD PASS FROM DANNY WIMPRINE (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 79 yards.
|TD||11:42||DEANGELO WILLIAMS 5 YD RUN (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 69 yards.
|TD||8:00||DARRON WHITE 8 YD PASS FROM DANNY WIMPRINE (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 44 yards.
|TD||6:10||ROBERT DOUGLAS 1 YD RUN (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 14 yards.
|TD||0:39||ROYDELL WILLIAMS 13 YD PASS FROM LESTER RICARD (NICK BEUCHER KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 44 yards.
|TD||9:15||TAVARES GIDEON 16 YD PASS FROM BOBBY ROBISON (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 62 yards.
|TD||3:48||ROYDELL WILLIAMS 19 YD PASS FROM LESTER RICARD (NICK BEUCHER KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 31 yards.