Sept. 19, 2007
NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Tulane University football team will have a bit of a new look in Saturday's showdown with the Southeastern Louisiana Lions as redshirt-freshman Casey Robottom and fifth-year senior Scott Holt are slated to make their first career starts against the Lions at wide receiver and right tackle, respectively, Green Wave head coach Bob Toledo said.
Robottom and Holt were moved up on the depth chart due to a pair of injuries as sophomore wideout Jeremy Williams suffered a slight ankle injury and redshirt-freshman offensive lineman Pete Hendrickson got hit hard on the shoulder during last weekend's Conference USA matchup against Houston. Neither injury is considered serious, and Toledo added that both are expected to play Saturday vs. SLU.
"(Hendrickson and Williams are) limited according to what the trainers told me (Tuesday) morning," Toledo said. "They're limited in what they can do with the ankle and the shoulder but, hopefully, they'll be able to play."
A native of New Orleans and 2002 graduate of Holy Cross High School, Holt did not enroll at Tulane immediately and redshirted the 2003 season. Since then, he has appeared in 10 games - including both games so far in 2007. Holt has seen time at every offensive line slot except center, and has been a mainstay on the Green Wave's special teams unit this season.
Robottom, meanwhile, is a native of LaPlace, La., and a 2005 graduate of St. Charles Catholic. He made his collegiate debut as a punt returner in the 2007 opener vs. Mississippi State and came off the bench last week to snare four passes for a team-leading 115 yards against the Cougars. Robottom was considered one of the top receivers coming out of spring practice, but missed time early in the fall with a hamstring pull.
While junior Scott Elliott is slated to start his third consecutive game under center, Toledo added that backup quarterbacks Anthony Scelfo and Kevin Moore may see action as well. The trio of QBs has combined to complete 34-of-72 passes for 427 yards and two touchdowns in the Green Wave's first two games.
Elliott is 24-of-49 for 313 yards and a score while Scelfo - who played in the first two games this year - is 6-of-11 for 48 yards. Moore, meanwhile, saw his first collegiate experience in last week's Houston contest, coming off the bench to complete 4-of-11 passes for 66 yards, including a six-yard scoring strike to sophomore wide receiver Chris Dunn.
"I'd like to get all three quarterbacks an opportunity to play if we can," Toledo said. "The next couple of weeks, I'd like to let them play and see how they do. Kevin did a nice job. He came in, he said he was a little nervous and a little excited, but he calmed down and threw a nice deep ball, threw a nice slant to Dunn for a touchdown.
"I think the (Scelfo and Moore) deserve an opportunity to play and they've all gotten better as I've said in the past. We would like to give them all an opportunity this weekend and next weekend to see what they can do. And then we have another non-league game after that. We want to win all of the games, but we want to find out who can help us down the stretch to win conference games."
No matter who plays and who starts, however, Toledo stressed that his No. 1 focus right now is instilling a winning attitude around the Tulane football program. He and his coaching staff have remained positive despite an 0-2 start and have been quick to highlight the positives rather than focus on the negatives.
"It's an attitude...a mentality," Toledo said on the shift his team needs to make. "We have to make these guys believe that they can win, and it's my job to make them believe that. Of course, winning breeds winning. Once you get on a roll and you start winning some games, it gives you confidence to win more games.
"Nobody likes to lose. Hopefully, we can change that around here soon. But my big thing right now, this week, is we're going to worry about ourselves. I'm not worried as much about the opponent as I'm worried about Tulane and getting 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.