It wasn't the Conference USA debut Tulane's first-year head coach Curtis Johnson hoped for. His Green Wave were heading into halftime down 35-3 at Tulsa. Their only points of the half came on the game's opening possession.
But it wasn't the score that made Johnson consider for a brief moment not coming back for another half.
It was the thirty minute half time while EMS crews resuscitated senior safety Devon Walker. He lay there on the field with what was later diagnosed as a cervical fracture near the top of his spine. Walker also had a punctured lung.
"No, it wasn't an option," said Johnson. "I considered it for a second. The guys sat in the locker room for so long, we really didn't have anything to tell them. Just like we don't have anything to tell them now."
The Tulane players shared their head coach's sentiment. There was a short time for quiet prayer and reflection. But thirty minutes later, the Green Wave did what they believed their injured teammate would do: Finish the game.
The players received a standing ovation from the 17,000 fans in attendance. But the kind gesture didn't fuel a second half rally for the Green Wave. Tulsa would go on to win 45-10.
After the game, Tulane's team physician, Dr. Buddy Savoie, informed the gathered media that Walker was in stable condition at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa.
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