Tulane plays its final "home" game of the year this Saturday, when the Green Wave
tackles Tulsa at 1 p.m. in UL-Monroe's Malone Stadium, which is located just
32 miles located just 32 miles from the Wave's temporary home in Ruston, La.
A 'somewhat close to home' game rather than an actual home game, Tulsa will
be Tulane's tenth game in as many stadiums this season.
Tulane hopes to snap a six-game winning streak following Saturday's 42-34 loss
to Rice. Tulsa, meanwhile, comes into this week's game with a 6-4 overall record.
The Golden Hurricane became bowl-eligible last week with a 45-13 victory over
Tulane will honor its 15 seniors prior to Saturday's game. This group has combined
to play in 519 games, recording 327 starts 1597 rushing yards, 85 receptions,
22 interceptions and 1548 tackles. The 15 seniors to be honored are: SS Tra Boger,
LB Anthony Cannon, QB Chris Dawson, TE Bobby Hoover, RB Jovon Jackson,
FS Sean Lucas, LB Antonio Mason, LT Chris McGee, S Darren Sapp,
LB Brandon Spincer, WR Lyneal Strain, WR Bubba Terranova, C Joe Traina,
LG Matt Traina and CB Bruce Youmans.
The top individual performer for the Green Wave against Rice was probably redshirt
freshman quarterback Scott Elliott who completed 22-of-37 passes for 298 yards
and three touchdowns in his first career start. Senior running back Jovon Jackson
tallied 81 yards on 14 carries in the first half, but an injured hamstring ended his day
at halftime. Receiver Preston Brown posted his fourth 90-yard receiving game
of the year with four catches for exactly 90 yards, including a 68-yard scoring grab
from Scooter Elliott. Defensively, senior linebacker Brandon Spincer registered
his second straight double-figure tackle game with 10, while Antonio Harris and
Tra Boger each added seven stops.
Elliott made the first start of his career on Saturday against Rice. The redshirt freshman
had seen action in four games, including extensive time against Navy, before stepping
into the starter's role. The Bay City, Texas, native, who also made his first career high
school start in Rice Stadium, completed 22-of-37 passes for 298 yards and three
touchdowns. Elliott's stats compares favorably with the first start of Tulane's last four
QBs - Shaun King (12-28, 182 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT), Patrick Ramsey (21-30, 196 yds,
2 TD, 2 INT), J.P. Losman (20-35, 299, 2 TD, 0 INT) and Lester Ricard (16-31,
135 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT).
After battling logistical issues all season long due to Hurricane Katrina, the Green
Wave football team has come up against another obstacle, albeit, a more common
football problem - injuries. The Wave played without starting linebackers Anthony
Cannon (finger) and Antonio Mason (hamstring) in the Rice game. In addition,
second-string defensive end Billy Harrison (knee) missed the game and starting
running back Jovon Jackson (hamstring), who rushed for 81 yards in the first half,
did not play in the second half.
Tulane has intercepted five passes in the last three games to lift its season total to
seven interceptions, one more than last season. After going three complete games
without forcing a turnover, the Tulane defense snagged three interceptions against
Marshall. Even more impressive was the fact that Bruce Youmans and Tra Boger
(who had two pickoffs) each returned INTs for touchdowns - Youmans with a
51-yard return to knot the game at seven in the second quarter and Boger with
a 66-yard return to give the Wave a 26-14 lead late in the third quarter. The last
time Tulane had as many as three pickoffs in one game was against Army, on
Sept. 20, 2003 when it had five against Army, including two by Boger.
Senior Anthony Cannon has led the Green Wave in tackles in two of his first three
seasons. He appears to have a third wrapped up. The linebacker has 92 tackles
this year, 44 more than his next-highest teammate. He has led the team in tackles
seven times this year, tallying 10+ takedowns in each of those games. With his
14 tackles against Marshall, the Georgia product surpassed 400 tackles for his
career at Tulane - he now has 415, fourth all-time at Tulane, with 22 double-figure
tackles games. Cannon, who has registered 100+ tackles in each of his first three
seasons, also leads the team in tackles for loss (nine) and pass break-ups (five).
He has 220 solo stops (eighth all-time); while his 195 assists rank third all-time
for the Wave.
While Barrett Pepper battled injuries this fall, walk-on freshman Jacob Hartgroves stepped into the place-kicking role and has successfully converted
25-of-27 extra point attempts. Both of his misses were blocked (against
Southeastern Louisiana and Marshall). A three-time academic all-district
honoree at Bryan (Texas) High School, Hartgroves booted a pair of field goals
in the Rice game, Tulane's first multiple-field goal game since the 2002 Hawaii
Bowl when Seth Marler connected on a pair. Hartgroves' four field goals this
year match last year's total and are one more than the 2003 total.
The Tulane football team has been announced as a candidate for the FWAA
Courage Award, which honors someone in college football on any level who
shows great courage in the face of adversity. Candidates must display a
courageous action on or off the field, overcome an injury or physical handicap,
prevent a disaster or live through a lifetime of hardship. The Green Wave is
one of 11 candidates for the award, sponsored by the Orange Bowl. The
other 10 are individuals.
Last season, Matt Forte and Jovon Jackson reach rushed for exactly 624 yards.
However, the majority of Forte's yardage came after Jackson suffered an injury.
This year, the pair are splitting time in the backfield. In the Houston game, the
duo combined for a season-high 150 yards on the ground, and in the Rice game,
they tallied 140 combined yards on the ground. Their combined season total
now stands at 875 yards (97.2 yards per game). Forte leads the way with
124 carries for 447 yards, while Jackson has 101 attempts for 428 yards,
but Jackson posted the only 100-yard game of the season for the Wave with
101 against Navy.