Junior safety Darion Monroe had four tackles, one interception and a pass break-up during Saturday's scrimmage at the New Orleans Saints Indoor Practice Facility.
The Green Wave went through their usual array of drills before lining up for scrimmage plays, which featured the two-minute drill, third-down-and-distances scenarios and red-zone opportunities. When the dust settled the defense combined to tally three sacks among four tackles for loss, six pass break-ups and a turnover.
"I thought we played well this week," Tulane head coach Curtis Johnson said. "Yesterday, the offense did a phenomenal job and I thought they were ahead. Today, the defense came back. They stopped us on some third-down scrimmage work and did a great job in the red zone. It was a good day for us."
Junior safety Darion Monroe led the defensive effort with four tackles (2 solo, 2 assists) with a pass break-up and an interception. Senior safeties Brandon LeBeau and Sam Scofield were next with three tackles each while junior defensive tackle Corey Redwine, along with redshirt-freshman defensive ends Ade Aruna and Quinlan Carroll, were all credited with a sack.
The offense, meanwhile, was not without its highlights as redshirt-freshman quarterback Tanner Lee completed 14-of-23 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns and true freshman signal caller Glen Cuiellette finished 6-of-11 for 71 yards and a score. Senior wideout Xavier Rush and freshman receiver Terren Encalade shared team-high receiving honors with four grabs apiece for 47 and 53 yards, respectively, while senior tight end Matt Marfisi and rookie wide receivers Teddy Veal and Leondre James all pull down touchdown grabs.
"We're getting there," Johnson said of his team's progress to date. "We've still got some stuff that we have to do, but I think we're in good physical shape, we're in good condition, we're running around well and we're doing some things exceptionally well. It's a good situation to be in right now."
The Green Wave will enjoy a day off on Sunday before opening the final week of preseason drills on Monday, Aug. 18, at 3:30 p.m. in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Tulane team will hold single practices each day next week, going at 8:30 a.m. at Tad Gormley Stadium on Tuesday and Thursday while holding morning practices at the Saints Facility on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Tulane will kick off the 2014 season on Thursday, Aug. 28, when the Green Wave travel to Oklahoma to take on fellow American Athletic Conference newcomer Tulsa at 7 p.m. on the CBS Sports Network before opening the home portion of the schedule on Saturday, Sept. 6, against Georgia Tech at 3 p.m. in the new, on-campus Yulman Stadium in front of a national audience on ESPNews.
For season ticket information, which features packages starting as low as $200, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE (9283). The Tulane Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center and is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information, log onto the official website at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.
NOTES FOLLOWING SATURDAY'S SCRIMMAGE
Getting Defensive: While the majority of Tulane's scrimmage restricted the defense from bringing their offensive mates all the way to the ground and stops called via a referee's whistle, the Green Wave's non-scoring unit dominated the day with three sacks among four tackles for loss, six pass break-ups and a turnover. Several additional big plays could have been recorded, especially in the backfield were quarterbacks have donned blue, no-contact jerseys throughout the preseason. Junior defensive tackle Corey Redwine, along with redshirt-freshman defensive ends Ade Aruna and Quinlan Carroll were all credited with a sack while senior safeties Brandon LeBeau and Sam Scofield, junior cornerback Lorenzo Doss, junior safety Darion Monroe, sophomore linebacker Eric Thomas and freshman linebacker Zachery Harris chipped in with one pass break-up apiece.
Player Of The Day: Junior safety Darion Monroe led a solid defensive effort by the Green Wave, pacing the unit with four tackles (2 solo, 2 assists) to go with a pass break-up and an interception. His interception came on an anticipation play where he sat back, saw the ball out of quarterback Devin Powell's hand and stepped in front of the intended receiver for the turnover.
Play Of The Day: While several freshmen have turned the coaching staff's head over the first two weeks of preseason practice, rookie wideout Leondre James had the play of the day on Saturday when he hauled in 12-yard touchdown pass from fellow freshman Glen Cuiellette. At the snap, James raced up the left sideline turned around his defender, who was playing tight coverage, and went to the ground to haul in the scoring, back-shoulder strike.
Third-Down Scenarios: Following an extended scrimmage session, the Green Wave held 17 third-down scenarios of varying yardage. Along the way, the defense held their offensive counterparts to just six conversions while forcing a turnover, posting a sack and adding another tackle for loss. Three of the offensive conversions came on passing plays while two came on the ground and one via penalty.
Seeing Red: The Green Wave ran four red-zone possessions during Saturday's scrimmage and came away with a pair of scores in that drill. Redshirt-freshman quarterback Tanner Lee, who was named the team's starter earlier in the week, directed a touchdown drive on the first possession as he found freshman wide receiver Teddy Veal for a three-yard scoring strike. From there, the defense held the offense to a pair of three and outs and a 34-yard field goal. When trying the 3-pointer, Green Wave coaches gave both junior Steven Broccoli and freshman Andrew DiRocco a chance to connect from the distance and both came away happy with successful kicks.
Quote of the Day: "Hey, quit crying. You can complain about that call, but the same guy just called that last play incomplete when we all know he actually caught the ball. Go ahead, write that one down." - Green Wave head coach Curtis Johnson, jokingly, to one of his defensive assistants who argued a pass interference call during down-and-distance drills.