Aug. 14, 2012
NEW ORLEANS - Four interceptions and a pair of forced fumbles highlighted a day dominated by the defense as the Tulane University football team went through preseason practice No. 9 on Tuesday morning at the Westfeldt Practice Facility.
The defense's dominance came one day after the Green Wave showed fatigue in a two-a-day practice on Monday. On Tuesday, the team went through drills with a much better tempo and with more zest this time around, and first-year head coach Curtis Johnson was pleased with the difference from 24 hours ago.
"They were excellent," Johnson said of his team's performance on Tuesday. "The defensive line played great today. (Corey) Redwine was unblockable. So was (Austen) Jacks. (Julius) Warmsley did a great job. The d-line started it off. Matthew Bailey and Trent Mackey played well also. They did a great job on defense."
Senior safety Shakiel Smith, junior linebacker Zach Davis and freshmen cornerbacks Darion Monroe and Jordan Batiste all posted picks on the day. Sophomore safety Sam Scofield added a pass break-up with a big hit in seven-on-seven drills and blocked a field goal try during a special teams session.
Monroe - whose one-handed tip and eventual interception proved to be the play of the day - added a forced fumble in run support while senior corner Ryan Travis forced another fumble which was recovered by sophomore safety Brandon LeBeau.
"There were a couple of interceptions today," Johnson said. "We had a blitz period today, so that's to be expected during your first blitz period. We have to get our `hots' together, get our sight adjusts together and stuff like that. We'll get that done, but I was pleased to see those defensive backs. They were stripping the ball and they got some picks."
The Green Wave return to action on Wednesday, Aug. 15, when they hold their second two-a-day practice of the preseason. The morning session is slated to start at 8:30 a.m. with the second to start at 3:45 p.m. Both will be held on campus provided the weather allows. From there, Tulane will hold single practices on Thursday and Friday before capping week two of preseason drills with a scrimmage on Saturday.
"We're looking for the same thing," Johnson said of what he expects to get out of tomorrow's two-a-day practice. "During the first practice, I want to see how we gut through it. The main thing is it's going to be a tough practice. It's supposed to be tough. We've got to get through the first one because I know the second one is going to be pretty good."
Tulane formally kicks off the 2012 season on Saturday, Sept. 1, when the Green Wave play host to Rutgers at 7 p.m. in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Season and individual-game ticket sales are currently for sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. The Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr., Center on Ben Weiner Drive, and tickets can be purchased in person, over the phone at 504-861-WAVE (9283) or via the Internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.