Sophomore running back Danté Butler and the Green Wave football team turned their attention to Rutgers during Friday's preseason practice at the Westfeldt Facility.
Aug. 24, 2012
NEW ORLEANS - While there was technically one more day on the schedule for the Tulane University football team's 2012 fall camp, first-year head coach Curtis Johnson shifted gears on Friday morning at the Westfeldt Facility by announcing that preseason practice was over and the attention would now turn to the season-opening opponent Rutgers Scarlett Knights.
With the official countdown to the start of the regular season at eight days, the Tulane team went through its usual gamut of drills early on before splitting into offensive and defensive units going against scout squads in preparation for what the coaching staff expects to see from the State University of New Jersey next Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
"We're now done with camp, and today we started some scout-team work," Johnson said. "I just wanted to see the transition. I wanted to see how well we transition to this next phase and they did a great job today. I was very impressed."
The Green Wave offense was efficient, if not spectacular, throughout the team portion of practice, as the unit moved the ball up and down the field with solid running plays sprinkled in among short and intermediate passing routes.
Senior quarterback Ryan Griffin completed several solid passes to the likes of junior wide receiver Ryan Grant, sophomore wideout Xavier Rush and freshman receiver Sydie London, among others. Running backs Rob Kelley, Danté Butler and Josh Rounds, meanwhile, never broke free for long gainers but chipped away for enough yards per carry to make the coaches come away smiling.
"The offense is starting to move right along," Johnson said. "We're starting to give the game plan to them and what they're doing is knuckling down into it. They're starting to do pretty good."
It was the defense, however, that turned in the highlight-reel plays on Friday. Senior linebacker Darryl Farley turned in the first big play with a forced fumble which he wound up recovering. From there, senior safety Shakiel Smith and freshman cornerback Lorenzo Doss both tallied interceptions, and rookie corner Jordan Batiste nearly came up with another pick on a deep ball down the right sideline.
The Green Wave return to action on Saturday, Aug. 25, for their final official practice of preseason camp and will enjoy a day of on Sunday before starting game-week on Monday. All practices are slated to begin at 8:30 a.m. and will be held on campus at the Westfeldt Facility.
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.