Oct. 25, 2012
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane University football team will look to get back on track this weekend when the Green Wave play host to Conference USA foe UAB on Saturday, Oct. 27, in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
After getting off to a rocky 0-5 start, the Green Wave split the last two contests with a come-from-behind 27-26 victory over SMU on Oct. 13 before falling just short last week at UTEP, 24-20. At 1-6 overall and 1-2 in league play, Tulane will have to win out in order to be eligible for a bowl game. No matter what happens over the final five games, however, first-year Green Wave head coach Curtis Johnson has been pleased with the way his team has played and developed as the season has progressed.
Football Rolls Past UAB To Even C-USA Record, 49-10
Junior quarterback Ryan Griffin tied a career high with three touchdown passes and both junior middle linebacker Trent Mackey and sophomore defensive back Derrick Strozier had interception returns for scores as the Tulane University football team rolled past Conference USA foe UAB, 49-10, Saturday afternoon at Legion Field.
"I remember in '06 and '07 (with the New Orleans Saints) we thought we were going to win the Super Bowl. In '07, we didn't play well. But '07 and '08 developed us into winning the Super Bowl the following year. I would say that we are developing a culture. You watch us and we're fighting hard. Guys are in the right place. Guys are making plays. We're playing a lot of young kids. I like where we are except for the record."
The Tulane/UAB game will be broadcast on the flagship station of Green Wave athletics, WIST AM 690, and live video streaming will be available via the web at www.TulaneGreenWave.com to paid members of the All-Access Pass. Live stats will also be on-line courtesy of GameTracker, and fans will once again have a chance to insert their opinion and ask questions interactively through "Tulane Live."
Senior quarterback Ryan Griffin, who became the first Tulane signal caller to post back-to-back 300-yard games since the 2004 season, leads the Green Wave offense with 979 yards and six touchdowns on 86-of-137 passing (.628) for the year.
Junior wide receiver Ryan Grant is one of five Tulane players with 10-plus receptions so far this season and leads the squad with 31 catches for 474 yards (15.3 avg.) and shares the team lead with sophomore running back Rob Kelley with three touchdowns through the air. Sophomore Justyn Shackleford is second on the team with 26 grabs for 407 yards (15.7 avg.) and two scores while Kelley is next with 23 receptions for 193 yards. Kelley paces the Green Wave ground game with 181 yards on 53 carries (3.4 avg.).
Defensively, the Green Wave have 10 sacks among 33 tackles for loss, 20 pass break-ups and 10 forced turnovers with five interceptions and five fumble recoveries.
Freshman safety Darion Monroe leads the way with 53 tackles (36 solo, 17 assists), followed by junior linebacker Zach Davis with 42 (28 solo, 14 assists) and senior corner Ryan Travis with 34 (23 solo, 11 assists).
Senior defensive end Austen Jacks paces Tulane with 3.5 sacks among a team-best 7.5 tackles for loss. Travis, Davis, sophomore linebacker Matthew Bailey, sophomore safety Sam Scofield and freshman corner Lorenzo Doss share the team lead with one interception each. Travis headlines the secondary with five pass break-ups while sophomore defensive tackle Kenny Welcome has two of the team's seven forced fumbles.
"I want these guys to experience success," Johnson said. "I think the coaches work extremely hard and prepare them very well. These players have not played very much, and I'm disappointed for them because I want them to feel the success. We've asked them to come early in the morning, to practice early and do some things different in their lives. They've done all of it. I want them to feel like they're on a little bit of a roll and win a couple of games so they can feel good about themselves."
UAB, meanwhile, comes to town with an identical 1-6 on the year, an 0-3 mark in C-USA action and looking to snap a two-game skid after dropping a 39-17 decision at Houston on Oct. 13 and falling to East Carolina last weekend, 42-35. As a team, the Blazers are averaging 393.4 yards of total offense per game (82.7 rushing, 310.7 passing) while giving up an average of 438.6 (190.4 rushing, 248.1 passing).
Quarterback Austin Brown leads the UAB offense with 1,449 yards and eight touchdowns on 103-of-171 passing (.602). Darrin Reaves paces the Blazers' ground game with 355 yards and six touchdowns on 95 carries (3.7 avg.).
Jackie Williams is one of eight UAB wideouts to haul in at least 10 passes and tally at least 110 yards receiving and leads the team with 29 receptions for 474 yards. Nick Adams ranks second on the squad with 27 catches, while Jamarcus Nelson paces the Blazers with four touchdown grabs and ranks second on the team with 384 receiving yards.
On defense, UAB has 11 sacks among 40 tackles for loss, broke up 22 passes and forced nine turnovers with six fumble recoveries and three interceptions.
Marvin Burdette leads the Blazers with 80 tackles (41 solo, 39 assists), followed by Greg Irvin with 48 (33 solo, 15 assists) and Jake Ganus with 45 (27 solo, 18 assists). Burdette headlines the UAB unit with 7.5 tackles for loss and shares the sack lead at 2.0 with Chris Rabb. Lamarcus Farmer leads the way with seven pass break-ups while Burdette, Ganus and Lamar Johnson have each snared one interception.
"I think they're a good football team," Johnson said of UAB. "They have some good skilled guys. They have some JC transfers in there that are making some differences. They're good, they're explosive and they're fast. They are a good football team. The record doesn't indicate that. Most of the new coaches in the league are struggling a little bit just taking over these programs, but I think they're a good football team."
Saturday's game marks the ninth time the two teams have met on the gridiron and the all-time series is tied at four wins apiece. Last season, the Green Wave rolled to a 49-10 victory over UAB on Sept. 17 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. Prior to that, the Blazers won the last two meetings, including a 41-24 decision in the last meeting on Nov. 15, 2008, in the Superdome.
Tickets this weekend's game as well as future Green Wave events are available through 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, over the phone at 504-861-WAVE (9283) or via the Internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.
The ticket office at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, located at Gate A Ground facing Poydras Street, will open on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and the gates will be opened to the public at 1:30 p.m.