Junior quarterback Scott Elliott and the Green Wave began preparation for Saturday's season opener against Mississippi State with an intense practice Monday afternoon at the Westfeldt Practice Facility.
Sept. 3, 2007
NEW ORLEANS, La. - While Labor Day may be synonymous with barbecuing and relaxing, the scene Monday afternoon at the Westfeldt Facility was anything but easy-going as the Tulane Football team began preparing for Saturday's season opener vs. Mississippi State.
The Green Wave enjoyed two days away from the practice field over the weekend, but returned with a vengeance on Monday. Donning full pads, the Green Wave went through a rigorous 24-period practice with the emphasis on working against scout teams replicating the Bulldogs' offensive and defensive schemes.
"Having Saturday and Sunday off, we were able to accomplish a lot more today," new head coach Bob Toledo said. `We came out in full gear, beat on them pretty good and got their attention, so to speak. What I want to do from there is taper off more towards the end of the week. Rather than put the big burden in the middle of the week, I put it in the front of the week so they can get their legs back and be ready to go in the game."
With the offense wearing green jerseys and the defense in white, the Tulane scout teams wore yellow jerseys with select student-athletes donning the numbers of the key players the Green Wave will face in Saturday's season opener. In addition to the usual positional drills and scout team drills, Toledo has hit No. 1 offense and defense wrap up the day going head to head in an attempt to "basically to put good players on good players to keep that physical sharpness."
While the student-athletes only worked out on Saturday and enjoyed an off day on Sunday, the coaching staff was busy breaking down film of Thursday's Mississippi State/LSU game as well as game film from previous Bulldog contests - including last season's 32-29 Green Wave win on Sept. 16 in Starkville. Based on the film and what the schemes Toledo and his staff want to run throughout the 2007 season, the game plan is now set and the team will continue to work on various points of that throughout the upcoming week.
"As a coaching staff, we finished today," Toledo said on the status of this weekend's game plan. "We came in on Saturday and Sunday, and we finished it this morning. We're done putting in the game play - which is not normal - but it's the first game and we've been working a lot on it. The game plan is in. We may tweak it a little bit. We probably won't add anything, but we may eliminate some things. We gave quite a bit of it to the team today."
And while theories about concerning a team having a game under its belt as opposed to having a bye in Week 1 of the season - as the Green Wave did - Toledo was quick to point out the positives and negatives of both scenarios.
"I think there's something to be said for getting into game shape," Toledo said. "You can practice all you want, but until you get in a game and you're substituting, getting hit, getting knocked down and getting back up, all of those things are different in a game. When you play a game, you iron a lot of those things out. I think that's why a lot of people say that you make a lot of improvements from the first game to the second game. After that, you ought to have your stuff down pretty good.
"We get the same amount of practice as everyone else. We started practicing a week later because we play a week later, but we still have the same amount of practices. I think it's given us a chance to get healthy and get ready to go."
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. In addition, "SEC Package" tickets remain on sale throughout the week. For $65, Tulane fans can receive seats in prime seating areas for the Green Wave's regular-season opener against the Bulldogs as well as the LSU game on Sept. 29.
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.