March 2, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane football team concluded its third week of spring practice this morning with a 70-play scrimmage that was highlighted by a 309-yard, 4-touchdown effort by the Green Wave offense, while the TU defense came up with a goal line stand and eight pass break-ups in cool, windy conditions at City Park's Tad Gormley Stadium.
In its 11th spring practice, the Green Wave moved from the indoor confines of the Saints Indoor Practice facility, where the previous 10 practices have been held, to the outdoors at Tad Gormley Stadium, where Tulane last played a regular season game in 2008.
The TU quarterback trio of junior Nick Montana, redshirt freshman Devin Powell and junior Jordy Joseph combined to complete 21-of-40 pass attempts for 193 yards and no interceptions, while Montana threw for one score and ran for another.
Sophomore running back Josh Rounds was the favorite target in the passing game today, hauling in four receptions for 26 yards, while senior receiver Ryan Grant, a 2012 All-Conference USA first team selection, hauled in three receptions for 39 yards and junior receiver Xavier Rush totaled two receptions for 40 yards.
The Green Wave running game produced 116 yards on 30 carries and three scores. Redshirt freshman Lazedrick Thompson led the way with 59 carries and one touchdown on eight carries (7.4 ypc), while senior Orleans Darkwa finished with 36 yards and a score on eight attempts (4.5 ypc).
Defensively, senior linebacker Kyle Davis came up with a team-best eight (7 solo) stops, while junior linebacker Andre Robinson produced a sack and a pair of tackles for lost yardage. Senior cornerback Jordan Sullen came up with a touchdown saving pass break-up early on to set the tone for the Wave secondary. TU's defense forced one fumble and combined for six stops behind the line of scrimmage.
"I thought today's scrimmage went well," Tulane head coach Curtis Johnson said. "They came to play. Early on, the defense was very, very tough. We couldn't run the ball on them. Then all of a sudden, the offense picked it up. I thought this was a great day for us.
"The quarterbacks played well. What they did was they moved the ball and executed very, very well. I thought the execution was fantastic. We didn't have any fumbled snaps and we didn't have a turnover out there. These guys are going to be good once we put the finishing touches on the offense."
"The secondary is the strength of our team and I thought they played well. The defensive line kept pressure the whole time on the quarterbacks. I thought it was a good day for us. I thought we turned a corner today," Johnson added.
Powell earned the starting nod on the first offensive possession but the Green Wave defense came up with a pair of stops on the first two drives. Powell drove the offense down to the goal line on the third possession but the TU defenders stopped senior running back Orleans Darkwa on three straight runs and then forced Powell into an incompletion on a fourth down try from the 1-yard line.
Montana followed Powell and started out slow with a 0-3 start, but then heated up and completed seven of his next nine completions, including a four-yard strike to junior receiver Justyn Shackleford for the first score of the day.
Thompson and Darkwa each reeled off a pair of 20-yard touchdown scampers late in the scrimmage, while Powell finished the day 7-of-16 for 85 yards and Montana was 8-of-14 for 78 yards and one score. Joseph came on and completed his first three and finished the day 6-of-10 for 30 yards.
Tulane will conclude its final week of spring practice at the Saints Facility next week. All practices at the Saints Facility are closed to both the public and the media.