April 12, 2008
New Orleans - The Tulane football team completed its third week of spring drills with a 56-play scrimmage that was highlighted by two touchdown runs and three takeaways by the Green Wave defense today at the Westfeldt Practice Facility.
Amid cloudy and breezy conditions today, Tulane practiced through 12 periods before dividing up into its offensive, defensive and special teams groups and scrimmaging for an hour.
Redshirt freshman Joe Kemp opened the scrimmage up at quarterback and handed the ball to sophomore Andre Anderson on the first two plays and Anderson responded with 16 yards. Following a fumbled exchange between Kemp and Anderson in which Kemp recovered, the Green Wave defense notched two of its four sacks when junior Julian Shives-Sams brought Kemp down on second down and junior Josh Lumar came free untouched on a corner blitz and tagged Kemp on third down.
In the second series, Kemp and Anderson hooked up for the longest play of the day when Kemp hit Anderson coming out of the backfield on a swing pass and Anderson rambled for 40 yards before being brought down. However, the defense once again held by stuffing the run game and Logan Kelly sacked Kemp on third down.
Kevin Moore got things going quickly when he took over, directing the offense to a seven-play, 77-yard touchdown drive. The two big plays on the drive came when Moore threw a 26-yard strike to junior Michael Batiste, and Anderson culminated the drive when he took a handoff and ran around the left side for a 34-yard touchdown.
Perhaps the best defensive play of the day came when freshman Justin Adams forced a fumble when he sacked Elliott and sophomore defensive end Logan Kelley scooped up the loose ball and headed for the end zone, but was brought down just a few yards short of the goal line.
"I am very pleased with today's effort," Tulane head coach Bob Toledo said. "We ran close to 70 total plays when you include live kicking plays with kickoff, kickoff return, field goals, extra points, so we got a chance to see a lot of players on video and now we'll have a chance to go back, evaluate and see how we are doing. Spring practice is a learning process.
"I thought our defense did a really nice job and the running backs ran really well. I was pleased with all our running backs. Last spring, Andre Anderson was the best back because (Matt) Forte was unable to go, and I think if he can stay healthy and we solidify our offensive line then he has a chance to be an outstanding back in our conference. He has really done a nice job of getting better at catching the ball. We throw the ball to our backs a lot. His second effort is great and he is in really good shape."
Toledo also praised the performances of junior Justin Kessler, McDonald along with fullbacks Jordan Stephany and Cody Blackwelder and Moore on offense and Kelley, junior Reggie Scott and junior Evan Lee on defense.
The scrimmage came to an end in a goal line situation. The defensive unit won the first series when they stopped Anderson on consecutive carries and then shut down the offense on third down at the one-yard line. On fourth down, junior Corey Sonnier and Lee negated the scoring attempt and captured the first stanza.
Anderson took over in the second series and needed just two plays to reach pay dirt. He gained two yards on the first play and then found the end zone on a three-yard burst on second down.
In the rubber match, Kemp faked to Anderson up the middle and then rolled out to his right on a bootleg and found Blackwelder for an easy touchdown on first down to win the drill.
Other highlights included a 34-yard pass from Moore to junior Brian King, a 10-yard completion from Kemp to freshman Antoine Duplessiss and a 10-yard completion from Moore to Kessler.
Defensively, freshman Dominique Dade picked off a deep throw by Moore, sophomore Troy Wilson and Sonnier each came up with a pair of pass breakups, while sophomore David Kirksey tackled Anderson behind the line of scrimmage for a six-yard loss and sophomore Cody Sparks registered a sack.