Junior running back Danté Butler heads to daylight during Monday's preseason practice in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Aug 19, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - With the 2013 season opener less than two weeks away, the Tulane University football team was back on the gridiron on Monday morning as the Green Wave opened the final week of preseason practice with a single session at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The team enjoyed a day off on Sunday after a solid Saturday scrimmage, which saw the Tulane ground game churn out six rushing touchdowns, and the team showed good energy as the Green Wave went at it in helmets, shoulder pads, jerseys and shorts. The team went through its usual array of positional and full-team drills, but there was a heavy emphasis on situational plays as the team squared off in first-and-10, second-and-long, and third-and-short scenarios throughout the session.
"I thought it was good," second-year Tulane head football coach Curtis Johnson said. "The team got some rest and they ran around well today. We just have to learn to practice. We have to stay up. We can't push in the back. Sometimes, it looks like Pop Warner, but I thought they practiced well. Now, it's time for us to work on all of those situations. Tomorrow, it may be a little more red zone. Each time, I want a different down and distance. I want it on a different hash. I just want to play the game a little bit."
The Wave opened the morning practice with an extended punt protection period and following stretching exercises, the running backs, tight ends and receivers worked on-on-one with their defensive counterparts in bump-and-run scenarios. While the defense made its share of plays, the offense completed several passes despite a lot of contact.
In one-on-one passing drills, quarterbacks Nick Montana, Devin Powell and Tanner Lee connected on a handful of deep balls while senior cornerback Jordan Sullen came away with an interception. After another extended punt/punt return drill, the team went 11-on-11 facing third-and-three. The offense converted on four-of-seven opportunities, including a diving catch of a tipped pass by senior wide receiver Ryan Grant.
From there, the team went into 7-on-7 passing drills while the offensive and defensive line duked it out in blocking drills, and the team ended the day with a 20-minute period focusing on the game plan for the upcoming contest against Jackson State.
"We did one period today on Jackson State, the last period," Johnson said. "We've got to get our fits on the running game. That's what we worked on today. I think we need to improve on all of the stuff we've been doing. We're re-doing the installs again. We're going back through it, and we just need to separate the guys as far as who's playing and who's not, and make those decisions."
The Green Wave return to practice on Tuesday, Aug. 20, when they will hold a single session starting at 8:30 a.m. in the Superdome. That practice will be the first of five consecutive at the Dome as Tulane will wrap up preseason camp on Saturday.
Tulane will kick off the 2013 on Thursday, Aug. 29, when the Green Wave play host to Jackson State at 7 p.m. in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. For ticket information, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE (9283). Season ticket packages start as low as $100 for adults and $70 for youth.
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.