Freshman tight end Evan Tatford and the Green Wave head to Greenville, N.C., for a Conference USA showdown with East Carolina on Saturday at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
Oct. 28, 2011
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane University football team will look to get back on the winning track on Saturday, Oct. 29, when the Green Wave travel to North Carolina to take on Conference USA foe East Carolina at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m. (CDT).
The Green Wave head to Greenville, N.C., 2-6 on the year, 1-3 in C-USA play and in their first full week under the direction of interim head coach Mark Hutson, who took over for Bob Toledo following his resignation on Oct. 18. Hutson took the reins of the program that day and came up short 33-17 in his debut last week at Memphis, but feels his team is on the verge of turning things around.
"There are seven or eight play in a game that will make a difference," Hutson said. "You roughly run 75-80 plays of offense and defense and 30-35 plays in the kicking game. Somewhere in there, there are seven or eight plays that are going to make a difference. Some people would say there are three or four. This game (vs. Memphis) was no different. For us to move forward and for us to be successful this weekend at East Carolina, we have to flip that and we have to be the one in those three or four plays or those seven or eight plays for that to make a difference."
The game will be broadcast live on the flagship station of Green Wave football, WIST AM 690, and both live audio and video streaming is available on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com to paid members of the All-Access Pass. In addition, live stats are also available on the web courtesy of GameTracker, and the new, interactive option is available via "Tulane Live".
As a team, Tulane is averaging 372.5 yards of total offense per game (119.1 rushing, 253.4 passing) while allowing opponents to tally a mark of 370.8 (169.2 rushing, 201.5 passing).
Sophomore Orleans Darkwa leads the Tulane ground game with 517 yards and eight touchdowns on 119 carries while senior Albert Williams is next with 209 rushing yards and a score on 43 totes. Junior quarterback Ryan Griffin has completed 141-of-231 passes for 1,754 yards with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions, and has done a good job of spreading the ball around as 18 Tulane players have at least one reception.
Darkwa paces the receiving corps with 26 catches, freshman Justyn Shackleford leads the squad with 297 receiving yards and sophomore Wilson Van Hooser has a team-best three touchdown receptions. Darkwa is one of three Green Wave players with at least 20 receptions as senior Joe Kemp has 24 and Shackleford is next with 22.
Rookie Xavier Rush is second on the team with a pair of touchdown receptions while Kemp, redshirt-freshman tight end Matt Marfisi, junior tight end Brock Sanders, junior wide receiver Ryan Grant, and junior linebacker Trent Mackey - who has seen time on offense at fullback in goal-line situations - have one scoring grab each.
Mackey paces the defense with 100 tackles (67 solo, 33 assists) and eight tackles for loss. He also has one of the Green Wave's three defensive touchdowns in 2011 courtesy of a 39-yard interception return for a touchdown against UAB on Sept. 17. Junior safety Shakiel Smith and junior linebacker Darryl Farley are tied for second on the squad with 44 stops each, and senior defensive end Dezman Moses leads the team in sacks with 5.0.
Junior cornerback Ryan Travis leads the team and C-USA with four interceptions and is tied with Jordan Sullen for the Green Wave lead in pass break-ups with four each. Sophomore linebacker Dominique Robertson paces the squad with a pair of forced fumbles while Moses, freshman safety Renaldo Thomas, junior defensive end Austen Jacks, junior linebacker Darryl Farley and redshirt-freshman special teamer Taylor Bullock have one forced fumble each. Jacks headlines the defense with a pair of fumble recoveries while Moses, Warmsley and redshirt-freshman linebacker Ray Oppman have one apiece.
East Carolina, meanwhile, enters the weekend 3-4 on the season, 2-1 in C-USA play and is looking to extend a two-game winning streak after defeating Memphis 35-17 and Navy 38-35 the last two times out. As a team, the Pirates are averaging 400.1 yards of total offense per game (90.6 rushing, 309.6 passing) while allowing opponents to post 394.9 yards per contest (194.1 rushing, 200.7 passing).
Reggie Bullock leads the East Carolina ground game with 428 yards and four touchdowns on 95 carries, and Torrance Hunt is next with 189 yards on 37 attempts. Dominique Davis has taken the bulk of snaps under center for the Pirates, completing 214-of-299 passes for 2,013 yards, 14 touchdowns and 10 picks.
Fifteen Pirate receivers have caught at least one passes to date, and Lance Lewis leads the way with 54 receptions for 561 yards and seven touchdowns.
Jeremy Grove leads the ECU defense with 76 tackles (29 solo, 47 assists) while Daniel Drake has 52 and Damon Magazu has 45. Jacobi Jenkins and Derek Blacknall each have four of the team's 20 pass break-ups while Magazu has two of the Pirates' four interceptions
Cliff Perryman paces the squad with 4.0 tackles for loss and shares the team lead in sacks along with Derrel Johnson at 2.00 each. Johnson and Terry Williams both have a pair of forced fumbles and Chris Baker leads the defense with two fumble recoveries.
This weekend's ballgame marks the 21th time the two teams have met on the gridiron and East Carolina holds an 8-2 advantage in the all-time series. The Pirates have won the last three head-to-head matchups, including the last two in Greenville, and the Green Wave's last win came on Nov. 22, 2003, when Tulane defeated ECU 28-18 in the Superdome
The game against East Carolina is the first of two consecutive road games for Tulane as the Green Wave will playat at SMU on Nov. 5. Tulane's next home game is slated for Thursday, Nov. 12, when the Wave play host to Houston. That game will be the final regular-season contest of the year and the program will honor its 12-member senior class of Kemp, Moses, Williams, Emmanuel Aluko, Chris Asumnu, Taylor Echols, Harris Howard, Joey Ray, Kristofar Rhymes, Josh Smith, Kasey Stelly and Cedric Wilson.
Single-game tickets for that game, as well as future Green Wave Athletics events, are available through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. Sideline tickets are $35, adult endzone seats selling for $20 and youth endzone seats cost $10. The Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr., 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.