Aug 21, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - With their first game just over a week away, Tulane's football squad held their final Wednesday practice of fall camp indoors at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this morning.
In addition to preparing for the season-opening tilt against Jackson State at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Aug. 29, the Green Wave worked on special teams drills and routes, as well position specific drills throughout the three-hour session. Tulane donned only helmets, shoulder pads and shorts on the day.
"I thought practice was real good," said Tulane head football coach Curtis Johnson. "We did a run-drill on third downs. We have to run the ball better, and we definitely have to run the ball on third downs. I loved the enthusiasm. The defense played well, but the offense did win some of the battles in some of those runs. The odds were against the offense today, but that's how it is sometimes. I loved the intensity, and I liked those guys running around. It was a good practice today."
The Greenies worked more on their punt team and punt return team formations, with sophomore punter Peter Picerelli receiving the bulk of the time in the backfield. The squad also worked on PATs, with senior kicker Cairo Santos drilling each and every one of his kicks down the middle of the uprights.
The Green Wave defense had a spectacular practice on the defensive line and in the secondary, preying on Tulane quarterbacks and their passes. In 7-on-7 drills, junior safety Sam Scofield recorded a pass breakup on a throw by redshirt freshman quarterback Devin Powell across the middle of the field. Despite getting separated from his wide receiver along the sideline, freshman cornerback Parry Nickerson also notched a pass breakup when he tipped a ball out of bounds after junior quarterback Nick Montana tried to fit one in to his target.
When the team broke into a full 11-on-11, the offense posted a few nice plays. Montana found junior wide receiver Xavier Rush on a 30-yard touchdown pass up the middle. Later in the drill, junior tight end Matt Marfisi made a fingertip grab of a ball thrown across the middle, eluding tacklers in the process on his way to the end zone for another score.
However, the defense stood out in the 11-on-11s as well. Freshman linebacker Eric Thomas made a tackle five yards behind the line of scrimmage on a pitch to senior running back Orleans Darkwa. Just a few plays later, redshirt junior defensive end Andre Robinson blew past his offensive counterpart on his way to a sack of freshman quarterback Tanner Lee.
During the final periods of practice, the team focused solely on Jackson State. With the scout team running the Tigers offensive and defensive schemes, the Tulane starters had a good look at what they would face next Thursday on the same field.
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.
QUOTES FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY'S PRACTICE
Head Coach Curtis Johnson
On Wednesday's practice...
"I thought practice was real good. We did a run-drill on third downs. We have to run the ball, but we definitely have to run the ball on third downs. I loved the enthusiasm. The defense played well, but the offense did win some of the battles in some of those runs. The odds were against the offense today, but that's how it is sometimes. I loved the intensity, and I liked those guys running around. It was a good practice today."
On preparing for Jackson State...
"We did a couple of carded periods today for Jackson State, just to see how we match up with them. What happened was just what we wanted. When the defense was up, they won, and when the offense was up, they won. We are starting to focus in on what we want to do against that team."
On the remainder of camp, and what he has liked so far...
"I like what Chris Davenport is doing. He has been a mainstay. (CB Darion) Monroe is playing well. (CB Jordan) Batiste and (S Lorenzo) Doss are playing real well. (CB Jordan) Sullen and (CB Derrick) Strozier are playing good. So we have some defensive guys who are running around and playing well. Offensively, the offensive line is starting to show up. I think (OL Sean) Donnelly had a good practice. (C Zach) Morgan is playing well. We are getting some guys who are healthy and playing well."
Sophomore tight end Sydie London
On fall camp...
"Camp is going pretty well. I had an injury at the beginning, but I'm coming off it, and I'm doing pretty well right now."
On practicing indoors for a majority of camp as opposed to last year...
"It feels good. As far as practicing inside, there is a lot more atmosphere. We just have to practice hard."
On the receiving corps...
"Our receiving corps is good. We are looking forward to big plays from Kedrick Banks and our primary receiver, Ryan Grant. We are thinking about big things this year."
On playing a game in a just a little more than a week away...
"I'm excited. I can't wait."