March 24, 2012
NEW ORLEANS - Tulane quarterbacks Leon Blouin and Ryan Griffin combined to complete 30-of-48 passes for 315 yards and six touchdowns and the Green Wave defense snagged a pair of interceptions and recorded three sacks during an 81-play spring game on Saturday at the Westfeldt Practice Facility.
Blouin was 21-of-33 for 184 yards and four scores while Griffin had nine completions for 131 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. The 2012 TU Spring Game is the second-to-last off-season practice for the Green Wave as the squad will conclude spring practices on Monday.
The Tulane tandem completed passes to 14 different receivers, and junior tight end Stephen Suchy led the pack with five grabs for 60 yards. Junior running back Derrick Strozier led the way with 78 receiving yards on three catches, including a nifty catch-and-run of a Griffin pass for a 50-yard touchdown. Griffin's other touchdown pass came in goal-line practice when he connected with senior running back Stephen Barnett for a one-yard score.
Blouin, meanwhile, tossed a one-yard scoring strike to sophomore fullback Taylor Bullock during goal-line drills while firing a 14-yarder to sophomore Justyn Shackelford , a 20-yarder to junior Wilson Van Hooser and a seven-yarder to junior Ryan Grant in down-and-distance scrimmage action.
Sophomore running back Robert Kelley led the Green Wave ground game with 36 rushing yards and a touchdown on 11 carries while fellow second-yard standout Danté Butler had two running scores and 22 yards on seven totes.
The defense, meanwhile, was not without its shining moments as the Green Wave posted three sacks among eight tackles for loss, broke up three passes and picked off a pair.
Sophomore safety Cameron DeJean had six solo tackles and shared team-high tackle honors with senior linebacker Trent Mackey (three solo, three assists). Mackey, senior defensive end Austen Jacks and sophomore linebacker Matthew Bailey head had a pair of tackles for loss, and Jacks had two of the team's three sacks.
Freshman corner Jordan Batiste, who had five tackles on the day (two solo, three assists), turned in the play of the day when he intercepted a Griffin pass in traffic, weaved his way around would-be tacklers and hit paydirt from 66 yards out. Junior Kendrick Washington had Tulane's other pick, snaring a Blouin offering in the endzone to thwart a 47-yard drive.
"I am very pleased with the team's performance today," Tulane head coach Curtis Johnson said. "Today was very rewarding. We got in and out of the huddle and moved the ball really well up and down the field. We need to work on our productivity in the red zone but I knew that coming into today. We definitely saw our glaring errors.
"On defense, they we didn't give up very may big plays and they came up with turnovers. That reminded me of when we won the Super Bowl with the Saints. When the defense came up with turnovers, we did great. I thought our red zone defense was awesome today. When an offense gets into the red zone, defensively you have to stop them and when you come away with a turnover in the red zone it's a double bonus."
The Tulane football team will open the 2012 season on Sept. 1 when the Green Wave play host to Rutgers in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The game against the Scarlet Knights is one of seven home games as Tulane will also face Ole Miss on Sept. 22 and Louisiana-Monroe on Sept. 29 before squaring off against Conference USA foes SMU on Oct. 13, UAB on Oct. 27 and East Carolina on Nov. 17. The Green Wave's road slate features games at Tulsa on Sept. 8, Louisiana-Lafayette on Oct. 6, UTEP on Oct. 20, Memphis on Nov. 10 and Houston on Nov. 24.
Season tickets for the upcoming season are now on sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. Each season ticket packages include all seven home games in the following areas: $210 for sideline, $110 for adult endzone, $60 for youth endzone, and a Family Four Pack (2 adult, 2 youth tickets) for $280.
For additional information or to order season tickets, please call the Tulane Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE (9283), log onto the internet at TulaneGreenWave.com, or show up in person at the ticket office located inside the James W. Wilson Jr. Center on Ben Weiner Drive.