Sophomore running back Matt Forte led the way for Tulane with 137 rushing yards on 27 carries. …
Green Wave Face Tulsa In Monroe Today
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.
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