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Tulane Player Seriously Injured In Tulsa's 45-10 Win

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

The Tulsa Golden Hurricane stormed out of the gate Saturday, running Tulane right out of the stadium in a 45-10 blowout win. 

But there are some things that are bigger than a football game.    

When Tulane's Devon Walker went down on the final play of the first half, the outcome of the game immediately took a back seat to the health of the Green Wave's senior safety.  While attempting to make a tackle, Walker collided with a teammate and went down in a heap. 

Walker was transported to Tulsa's St. Francis Hospital in serious condition. Upon arrival, the hospital upgraded him to critical condition. According to a Tulane team doctor, Walker incurred a cervical spine injury, has swelling, and he will undergo surgery in the coming days.

9/8/2012 Related Story: Hospital: Tulane Football Player Critical After Injury In Tulsa Game

Following the injury to Walker, the rest of the contest looked more like spring practice than a conference game.  Following a stadium-wide halftime prayer, the Tulane players returned to the field to a standing ovation from the Hurricane crowd. 

As far as the game itself, let me start by encouraging you to completely ignore the entire second half.  The energy was sucked out of the stadium and both teams spent the second half going through the motions.  (which is completely understandable) 

Besides, Tulsa put on enough of a show in the first half to give everyone an idea of just how good this team can be. 

The game began with Tulane marching right down the field and drilling a 49-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead.  Tulsa's offense followed that by going three-and-out, and TU looked just as dazed and confused as it did for much of last week's game. 

Then they woke up with a vengeance.  Alex Singleton punched it in from two yards away to give the Hurricane the 7-3 lead.  After forcing a Tulane three-and-out, Cody Green found Keyarris Garrett for a 40-yard bomb down the left sideline.  Two plays later, it was Singleton from two yards again, giving TU the 14-3 lead. 

The Hurricane crowd was energized, and so was the team.  After forcing another three-and-out, Tulsa wasted no time putting more points on the scoreboard.  Green fooled the entire Tulane defense with a play-action fake (he also fooled the cameraman) and launched one deep to Thomas Robertson for a 74-yard touchdown.  Tulsa led 21-3 and wasn't showing any signs of slowing down.   

Things got worse for Tulane on its next drive when starting quarterback Ryan Griffin injured his right shoulder and was replaced by Devin Powell.  Tulsa forced another punt and took the ensuing drive right down the field again.  TU capped this drive off with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Green to Jordan James to make it 28-3.    

The Hurricane's final score of the first half came on yet another Alex Singleton two-yard touchdown run, making it 35-3 TU.  Singleton's third score of the day was set up by a 40-yard pass play from Green to Trey Watts. 

Tulsa's offense looked exceptional in the first half.  TU ran for 116 yards as a team and Green threw 13-17 for 252 yards and two touchdowns. 

The Hurricane defense held the Green Wave to just 63 yards passing and 19 yards rushing on 18 attempts in the half.  Including yards lost on sacks, Tulane only totaled seven rushing yards for the entire game.  

As I already mentioned, the second half was hardly worth watching.  The minds of the players, coaches and fans were obviously on the status of Tulane's Devon Walker.  Tulsa simply handed the ball off most of the second half, finishing the contest with 364 yards rushing. 

Tulane fell to 0-2 on the season, but will have a much-needed bye week next Saturday to prepare for a home meeting with Ole Miss. 

Tulsa improves to 1-1 in 2012 and 7-1 in C-USA openers.  The Hurricane will host Nicholls State next Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

 

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