Aug. 11, 2008
NEW ORLEANS - A steady rain and severe lightning in the New Orleans area caused the Tulane University football team to cut short its practice as the Green Wave took the field for just 90 minutes in day four of preseason camp Monday afternoon at the Westfeldt Practice Facility.
Taking the field at 2:50 p.m., the team was forced inside for a half hour at 3:22 p.m. as lightning struck close by. The squad reconvened for a quick stretch and practice resumed at 3:52 p.m. only to have the day called early when a second lightning strike forced the coaches to call it a day at 4:50 p.m.
"It's hard to get a lot done," Tulane head coach Bob Toledo said. "We go out there and we have a few periods - five or six. We're out there for about half an hour and we get lightning. We have to come in for half an hour. We go back out and get lightning again and we have to come back in. We didn't get much accomplished.
"Our freshmen had to take their final tests today, but we knew that was going to happen and we had a plan for that. But you don't have a plan for when it continues to rain and lightning. What can you do?"
But while practice was shortened a bit due to the inclement weather conditions, Toledo and his team were able to get some valuable work in during their time on the field. With the team taking the field for the first time donning helmets, shoulder pads and shorts, the coaching staff introduced the kickoff return game plan and also implemented a game-time scenario where the offense had the ball first-and-10 from inside its own five-yard line.
The offense took six snaps with the ball from the one-to-four yard lines and both sides of the ball took turns making plays. Offensively, sophomore quarterback Kevin Moore connected with junior wideout Jeremy Williams for a 10-yard gain on the first play, junior running back André Anderson made a nifty four-yard scamper on a busted play, true freshman running back Nathan Austin showed good power on a six-yard gain, and junior receiver Chris Dunn made a diving grab of a Joe Kemp offering for a 20-plus yard gain. On defense, sophomore defensive end Tony Bryant caused a fumble on a big hit in the backfield on a running play and forced an incompletion with tight coverage.
"It's not full gear and we're not bringing guys to the ground, but you can obviously get a lot more work done in helmets and shoulder pads than you can with just helmets," Toledo said. "I think, for the most part, they did alright. You can run around a little more full speed and bang into each other with shoulder pads. So I was pleased with that. We just didn't get enough of it."
The Green Wave return to practice on Tuesday, Aug. 12, at 3:35 p.m. for another day in shells at the Westfeldt Practice Facility. The team will practice in full pads on Wednesday, Aug. 13, with a session slated to begin at 3:35 p.m. Tulane opens the 2008 season on Saturday, Sept. 6, when they travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to take on the University of Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Season tickets for the 2008 Tulane football season are now on sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. For more information on 2008 Tulane football tickets or tickets to any future Green Wave home athletic event, contact the Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE.