Sept. 18, 2007
NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Tulane University football team was back at it on Tuesday afternoon as the Green Wave squad went through a physical two-hour, 24-session practice at the Westfeldt Practice Facility.
Despite an 0-2 start, including an 0-1 mark in Conference USA play following Saturday's 34-10 loss to defending league champion Houston, spirits around the team remain high as the Green Wave prepared for next week's opponent, the Southeastern Louisiana Lions.
"We're trying to get better and build this thing up," new head football coach Bob Toledo said. "I'm trying to remain as positive as I can because I think, at this point, that's what we need to be. We need to be positive. We don't need to be negative. We don't need to get down on kids. We're trying to build this thing and get it going in the right direction again."
Southeastern Louisiana is a Division I-Football Championship Subdivision program (formerly I-AA) that improved to 1-2 last week after a 79-7 thrashing of Kentucky Weslyan. And while the Green Wave have never lost to a I-AA program, Toledo warned that this is not a game to look past as Championship Subdivision teams Appalachian State, Nicholls State and New Hampshire posted wins over Bowl Subdivision programs Michigan, Rice and Marshall, respectively, earlier this season.
"We've seen what I-AA teams can do to I-A teams, so I'm going to try and get our guys ready to play," Toledo said. "Their quarterback threw five touchdowns, Brian Davis. Their running back, Jay Lucas, scored four touchdowns and he scored on an 80-yard run. They've got some guys that can make plays.
"Defensively, they run a 3-5-3 - an attacking, aggressive type defense. They create a lot of havoc so, hopefully, we'll be able to block that, be able to run the ball, and sustain some drives."
One of the biggest positives Toledo said will help his team for its upcoming opponent is the ability to go through its entire practice session on Tuesday. Last week, the team had its Tuesday practice interrupted by heavy rain and lightning, which forced the team to head indoors to the Reily Student Recreation Center and cost the squad approximately an hour of practice time.
Toledo was also quick to point out the difference between this year's and last year's game with the Cougars, as well as the team's overall improvement from game one to game two. The Green Wave allowed 11 less points and scored three more than it did last year against Houston, in addition to an 89-yard swing in total offense. Tulane also held the Cougars to 45 less yards than they had at Oregon, a team that went on to defeat Michigan at "The Big House" in the second week of the 2007 NCAA college football season.
"There are some things that I think we're doing better and I'm trying to stay as positive as I can because I think we are making positive steps," Toledo said. "I see some things on the video. We just need to continue to grow and get better."
Saturday's game against Southeastern Louisiana was originally slated to kickoff at 6 p.m., but was moved back to honor the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. The game vs. the Lions is also the third of four consecutive home games for Tulane to open the 2007 season as the Green Wave will also play host to arch-rival LSU on Sept. 29.
Season and single-game tickets for the 2007 season remain on sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. Tickets can be purchased in person, over the telephone at (504) 861-WAVE or via the internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.