Nov. 10, 2006
NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Tulane University football team returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 10, when the Green Wave "Battle For The Bell" against Conference USA foe Southern Miss at 1 p.m. in the Louisiana Superdome.
The Green Wave (3-6, 1-4 C-USA) and Golden Eagles (5-4, 3-2 C-USA) will be meeting for the 28th time on Saturday, and Tulane will be looking to reverse a recent trend as Southern Miss has won the last three meetings. The Eagles lead the all-time series 20-7, and Tulane's last win came in 2002 when the Green Wave downed Southern Miss, 31-10, en route to earning a bid in the ConAgra Foods Hawaii Bowl.
Saturday's game will be broadcast on the Tulane Network (local WIST AM 690) and both the video and audio streaming are available on TulaneGreenWave.com to registered members of the All Access Pass. Live stats will also be provided free of charge on the internet via GameTracker.
Bowl hopes are still alive for Tulane, but it will take a strong finish as the Wave needs to win its final three contests to finish the regular season with the required six Division I victories. Following Saturday's game vs. Southern Miss, Tulane will take on UCF next Saturday in the 'Dome before closing out the 2006 season at Tulsa on Friday, Nov. 24.
As a team, the Green Wave enter Saturday's contest averaging 392.4 yards of total offense per game (106.8 rushing, 285.7 passing) and have been led by the duo of senior quarterback Lester Ricard and junior running back Matt Forté. Ricard, a two-time C-USA Offensive Player of the Week honoree, has completed 192-of-328 passes for 2,438 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Forté, meanwhile, has galloped for 859 yards and eight scores in his first season as the featured back. His status for Saturday's game is still undecided, however, as the native of Slidell, La., injured his knee in last week's contest at Marshall. If Forté can not play against Southern Miss, the running back duties will fall into the willing and able laps of juniors Ray Boudreaux and Ade Tuyo, and rookie André Anderson.
Twelve receivers have caught at least two passes for the Green Wave in 2006, headlined by the senior tandem of Preston Brown and Damarcus Davis. Both have 38 receptions to their credit, and Davis paces the club with 497 yards and three scores.
The defense is led by junior strong safety David Skehan, who paces the Green Wave with 63 tackles and four interceptions. Junior linebacker/defensive back Joe Goosby leads Tulane with five and a half tackles behind the line of scrimmage totaling 19 yards lost, while he and junior defensive end Antonio Harris are tied for the team lead with two and half sacks each.
Southern Miss, meanwhile, comes into this weekend's showdown averaging 323.1 yards of total offense per game (158.6 rushing, 164.4 passing), and the Golden Eagles are led by freshman running back Damion Fletcher. Fletcher paces all USM backs with 790 yards and six TDs while ranking seventh on the receiving corps with 11 catches for 116 yards.
Quarterback Jeremy Young has completed 103-of-187 passes for 1,211 yards and nine touchdowns, and Shawn Nelso paces the Golden Eagles' pass-catching squad with 22 catches for 303 yards and a trio of scores.
Defensivley, Southern Miss has allowed just 338.3 yards per game. Brandon Surmall leads the Golden Eagles with 57 tackles and is tied with Caleb Hendrix for the interceptions lead with two apiece. Martavious Price paces USM with 10 tackles for losses totaling 28 yards, and Rob Henderson leads the sack parade with two and a half.
Following the game against the Golden Eagles, Tulane will close out the home portion of the 2006 schedule on Saturday, Nov. 18 against UCF at 1 p.m. in the Louisiana Superdome. Tickets for that game, and future Green Wave contests, remain for sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office.
The Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center, and tickets can be purchased in person, via the telephone at (504) 861-WAVE or via the internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com. In addition, single-game tickets are also available via Ticket Master at www.TicketMaster.com and at all Ticket Master outlets.