April 16, 2010
NEW ORLEANS - The Green Wave offense churned out 141 rushing yards and the defense forced a pair of turnovers as the Tulane University football team wrapped up its third week of spring drills with a 57-play scrimmage Friday morning at the Westfeldt Practice Facility.
The Wave are now two-thirds of the way through spring practice and will close out the non-traditional season next week. After spreading out 10 practice days over a three-week period - plus a week-long layoff due to Spring Break - the Tulane team will practice on Monday (8 a.m.-Noon), Tuesday (7-11 a.m.) and Wednesday (8 a.m.-Noon), take a day off on Thursday, and hold practices again on Friday and Saturday.
"As a head coach, you want both sides to have some success and today that happened," Tulane head football coach Bob Toledo said. "The offense started out and made some nice plays, and then towards the defense came alive and they made some plays. I was pleased with the progress.
"The one thing I told the team I didn't like was we had too many penalties. We had officials out here working the scrimmage, and we had drive-stoppers on both sides of the ball. We need to take advantage of our intelligence and not make stupid mistakes."
Penalties aside, it was a positive day for the Wave in all three phases of the game. The Tulane staff scripted punt, punt return and field goal plays throughout the day. Redshirt-freshman kicker Ryan Rome continue to impress and was 2-of-3 on field goal attempts - connecting on a pair of 33-yarders before pushing a 42-yard try wide left - and was a perfect 2-for-2 in PATs.
Offensively, junior running back Albert Williams continued his stellar spring performance with 74 yards on seven carries (10.6 avg.), including a 28-yard touchdown jaunt on the third play of the day. Not to be left out, sophomore Stephen Barnett and freshman walk-on N'Gal Tillman each had 37 rushing yards on nine and four totes, respectively, as the Green Wave averaged 4.3 yards per carry on the day.
On defense, senior safety Alex Wacha was one of four players to post four tackles and picked off a Griffin pass and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown during the scrimmage's second series. Junior linebacker Kristofar Rhymes, sophomore safety Devon Walker and converted wide receiver-turned-defensive back Chandler Davis tied Wacha for team-high tackle honors.
The Green Wave `D' posted six tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including five sacks, for 32 yards in losses. Senior defensive end Josh Smith had a pair of sacks while sophomore defensive end Austen Jacks finished with 1.5 tackles for loss. Junior defensive tackle Cedric Wilson, meanwhile, forced a fumble which was recovered by fellow defensive lineman Tony Bryant.
"We've got 10 practices finished and we'll have five practices next week," Toledo said. "Next Saturday, what we'll do is we'll have practice very similar to what we did today. We're here to try and get better. I'm not concerned with a `Spring Game.'
"All week, we will continue to install things and expose them to as much as we can so that they keep learning what we want. Then we'll finish with a practice very similar to today. We're here to try and get better as a football team. I'm not concerned with winning scrimmages right now."
Season tickets for the 2010 Tulane football season remain on sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. Season ticket prices are only $199 for sideline seats, $99 for adult endzone, $65 for youth endzone and $250 for the Family 4 Pack (2 adult, 2 youth). For additional information or to order season tickets, please call the Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE, 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.