Sep 6, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - One week after posting the largest margin of victory in a season-opening win in 60 years, the Tulane University football team will look to continue a hot start to the 2013 season when the Green Wave play host to South Alabama on Saturday, Sept. 7, in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m.
The ballgame will be the second in as many contests this season against first-time foes and Tulane will look for a similar outcome after earning a 34-7 win over Jackson State last Thursday. A win on Saturday against South Alabama would give the Green Wave their first 2-0 start since opening the 2002 campaign which saw Tulane finish 8-5 and win the inaugural ConAgra Foods Hawai'i Bowl.
"The game we play (each) week, with our team and how we are, has to be the biggest game in the world to us," second-year Tulane head football coach Curtis Johnson said. "That's one of the things we've talked about. If you want to turn this into something special, you've got to win the next one. Then, next week, we've got to win the next one. Then we've got to win the next one.
"Here's the deal: we've got to go out there and this team (South Alabama) is going to be fired up. As (New Orleans Saints head coach) Sean Payton would tell me all the time, the most desperate team usually wins. Well this team is going to be desperate. They're 0-1. What we've got to do is we have to match their intensity, come out and play our game and I think we'll be fine."
Saturday's game will be broadcast on the flagship station of Tulane Football, WMTI 106.1 FM "The Ticket", and live audio and video streaming will be available on the web at www.TulaneGreenWave.com to paid members of the All-Access Pass. Live stats are also available on the Internet courtesy of GameTracker, and the game will be televised via taped delay on WHNO TV 20 on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
In the season opener against Jackson State, the Tulane offense rolled up 308 yards of total offense with 158 coming on the ground - the highest rushing total since 2011. Senior running back Orleans Darkwa led the way with 50 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries while junior fullback Rob Kelley had 41 yards on six carries.
As a unit, the Tulane defense had a sack among eight tackles for loss and forced six turnovers on the stretch of four interceptions and a pair of fumble recoveries. Sophomore safety Darion Monroe led the team with nine tackles (6 solo, 3 assists) while freshman cornerback Parry Nickerson was next with seven stops (5 solo, 2 assists).
Senior defensive lineman Julius Warmsley headlines the defense with two tackles for loss, including a sack, and joins Nickerson, sophomore defensive tackle Corey Redwine and senior linebacker Dominique Robertson atop the team listing with one forced fumble each. Seniors Kyle Davis and Jordan Sullen, sophomore Lorenzo Doss and freshman Jarrod Franklin share the team lead with one interception apiece.
South Alabama, meanwhile, comes to town 0-1 on the season after dropping a 22-21 decision to Southern Utah on Aug. 29 in Mobile, Ala. As a team, the Jaguars posted 335 yards of total offense (187 rushing, 148 passing). Jay Jones led the ground game with 92 yards on nine carries while both Shavarez Smith and Jereme Jones hauled in five passes for 52 and 26 yards, respectively.
Ross Metheny led the team's aerial attack, completing 12-of-17 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns, but Brandon Bridge also saw action with 36 yards on 6-of-11 passing while running for 56 yards on seven carries.
"I know they've got the two guys who have been playing," Johnson said. "I think we kind of have to split the plays up of what they like to run. The kid who wears jersey No. 2 (Metheny), he's more of a drop-back. He's a thrower. He moves the team. But this No. 7 (Bridge) can spoil our day because he's a runner. He loves to run with the ball. When they're in the game, we just have to plan differently for each of those guys."
Linebacker Enrique Williams paces the South Alabama defense with 12 tackles (3 solo, 9 assists), including a sack to go with a forced fumble. Maleki Harris has 2.5 of the Jaguars' seven tackles for loss and Clifton Crews has two of the squad's five pass break-ups.
For tickets to Saturday's game, as well as future Green Wave events, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. The Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the Wilson Center on Ben Weiner Drive, and tickets can be purchased in person weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., over the phone at 504-861-WAVE (9283) or via the Internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.
Single-game tickets for the Tulane/South Alabama game will be available through the Superdome Box Office, located at Gate A Ground on Poydras Street, on game day. The Dome's box office will open at 12:30 p.m. and gates will open at 1:30 p.m.
WALKER TO BE FEATURED ON ESPN: Former Tulane football standout Devon Walker, who suffered a cervical spine injury last Sept. 8, will be featured on ESPN during the network's College GameDay show on Saturday. The inspiring story, featuring ESPN analyst Tom Rinaldi, will air at approximately 9:30 a.m. (CDT).