MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Steven Black ran for three touchdowns and Memphis capped a wild season with a 45-6 rout of Tulane in the Conference USA finale for both teams on Saturday.
The Tigers' (6-6, 4-4) win made them eligible for a fifth bowl trip in six seasons. Tulane (2-10, 1-7) finished with eight straight losses.
Memphis started 0-3 this year, and then had to win while weathering midseason injuries to three of its top four quarterbacks to clinch postseason play.
Black, a receiver, took six direct snaps out of the "wild" formation for 38 yards and scores of 36, 2 and 1 yards. Tailback Curtis Steele ran for 135 yards and a score, giving him 1,175 yards for the season -- the fourth best one-year effort in school history. The top three were turned in between 2003-05 by current Carolina Panthers running back D'Angelo Williams.
Wideout Maurice Jones opened the scoring with a 13-yard touchdown run off a direct snap for Memphis, who stretched its lead to a 31-0 lead midway through the third, and freshman Brandon Ross scored on a 1-yard run in the final period to cap the scoring. The Tigers rolled up 379 of their 488 total yards on the ground. Arkelon Hall, who returned last week after being out with a broken thumb suffered at East Carolina on Oct. 18, hit 10 of 12 passes for 109 yards.
Memphis' defense limited Tulane to 222 yards and forced three turnovers, a fumble recovery by Brandon Patterson and interceptions from Greg Jackson and Michael Grandberry. The Tigers also blocked a field goal try.
Tulane's only score came on an 8-yard run by Casey Robottom late in the third quarter. Ross Thevenot missed the extra point, his first miss since early in the 2006 season.