Oct. 16, 2007
NEW ORLEANS, La. - As the Tulane University football team took the field Tuesday afternoon in preparation for this weekend's Conference USA showdown at SMU, there was a new feel around the program. Not one of desperation or despair, but one of determination.
At the halfway mark of the 2007 season, the Green Wave find themselves at 1-5, including back-to-back, heart-breaking losses over the last two Saturdays at Army and at UAB. Head coach Bob Toledo vowed to have his team continue to work hard every day in anticipation of turning the corner and start putting some check marks in the win column.
"As a coach, you try a lot of different things," Toledo said. "At first, I tried to be positive and be encouraging and see the light through the tunnel. Now, they know I'm mad and I'm angry. I'm getting after them pretty good. I'm demoting some guys. We're moving guys around. We're making them compete. We're putting some guys who actually have started on the scout team this week. We're moving guys around.
"We're going to play the guys who are going to perform. There's competition at practice right now. We want them competing. There's a lot of ways to motivate, and one of them is fear factor. Right now, it's the fear factor that I'm going to motivate with. They know I'm really upset because we let two slip away that we should have had."
The last time the Green Wave won a Conference USA game on the road, ironically enough, came against SMU in 2005 when Tulane walked out of Gerald Ford Stadium with a 31-10 victory. In an attempt to make it two in a row in Dallas, Toledo said he is not against making changes. In fact, the first-year Green Wave head coach announced several changes on the horizon, especially on special teams.
"We're struggling in that area (special teams), but we're going to add some people there," Toledo said. "We're actually going to add a couple of defensive ends in that group to run down on kickoffs. We did it yesterday. Sean Carney did it and Adam Kwentua did it, and they looked pretty good.
One other major change Toledo announced at his weekly press conference was that redshirt-freshman Kevin Moore will see time on Saturday against the Mustangs. Toledo reaffirmed that sophomore Anthony Scelfo will remain the team's starting quarterback, but vowed to get Moore on the field in some capacity.
"Moore is going to play," Toledo said. "We haven't decided exactly what's going to happen. Anthony (Scelfo) is our starter. Anthony is our quarterback. Moore is going to get an opportunity to play in this game. He will play in this football game."
In addition, Toledo announced that true freshman Phillip Davis will start at cornerback opposite of junior Josh Lumar, who has started all six games so far this season. Davis has played in five of the six games in 2007, posting seven tackles with a pass break-up. He had a season-best four tackles in the C-USA opener vs. Houston on Sept. 15 and added a pair of tackles with a deflected pass last week at UAB.
Saturday's game at SMU caps a three-game road swing for Tulane and will be aired regionally on Fox Sports Net-Southwest. Tulane's next home game will be on Saturday, Oct. 27, when it celebrates Homecoming 2007 with a 2 p.m. showdown against Memphis.
Single-game tickets for the 2007 Green Wave 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.