Aug. 31, 2007
NEW ORLEANS, La. - It was not game day but a casual spectator would not have known that based on the intensity of the Tulane Football team as the Green Wave wrapped up preseason drills Friday afternoon at the Louisiana Superdome.
The team went through 16 periods of positional, skeleton and team drills, including working against scout-team simulated Mississippi State offensive and defensive alignments. From there, the Green Wave worked on situational substitution packages that the squad will likely experience throughout the course of the 2007 seasons.
"We did some scout stuff against Mississippi State's offense and defense, and then we finished up practice with kind of a mock game," new head coach Bob Toledo said. "We tried to simulate a lot of different situations that happen throughout the course of a game where we substitute guys in and out - taking a safety, on-side kick and those kinds of things.
"I think we had a good practice today. Being in the Dome, there was a lot of intensity. Having seen the game last night between Mississippi State and LSU, our kids sense that the time has come and they're anxiously awaiting next Saturday."
The Green Wave completed preseason practice relatively injury free, with just three exceptions. Sophomore cornerback Alex Wacha suffered a knee injury which may require surgery, senior defensive tackle Frank Morton suffered a high-ankle sprain, and senior wide receiver/punt returner Fred Smith suffered a hip flexor. Morton and Smith's status are day to day, while Wacha's situation for the upcoming season is still uncertain.
In the team portion of practice, several wide receivers made spectacular catches, including one-handed grabs by Brian King and Jeremy Williams. The biggest cheer of the day, however, came on the final pass of one-on-one wide receiver/defensive back drills when senior wideout Evan Smith juked his defender, jumped to snare a slightly overthrown pass and ran untouched into the endzone.
"We're done with camp right now," Toledo said. "We're going to give them Saturday and Sunday off. We'll come back Monday, continue to prepare for Mississippi State and get ready to play."
The Green Wave open the 2007 season on Saturday, Sept. 8, when Tulane takes on Mississippi State at 6 p.m. in the Louisiana Superdome. Season tickets remain on sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. For ticket information, visit the ticket office on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center, call the office 504-861-WAVE or go on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.