CoogFans' Tulane update

Tulane has a lot of work to do before they become a threat of any sort in Conference USA, but the first two games of the season have been relatively promising.

Tulane Green Wave
Conference USA

2010 Record: (1-1, 0-0)
2009 Record: (3-9, 1-7)
2009 Bowl: none
Coach: Bob Toledo (9-27 at Tulane, 87-95 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Dan Dodd
Defensive Coordinator: Steve Stanard

Current Leaders:
Rushing: Orleans Darkwa, RB, 128 yards
Passing: Ryan Griffin, QB, 332 yards
Receiving: D.J. Banks, WR, 150 yards
Tackles: Trent Mackey, LB, 27
Sacks: Justin Adams, DT, 1.0; Chris Asumnu, DT, 1.0; Darryl Farley, LB, 1.0
Interceptions: Phillip Davis, CB, 1; Shakiel Smith, S, 1

Other Key Players: OT Pete Hendrickson, G Harris Howard, LB Dominique Robertson, WR Casey Robottom, CB Ryan Travis, S Alex Wacha, S Devon Walker, RB Albert Williams

In week one Tulane tried to blow their lead to Southeastern Louisiana, but hung on just enough to eek out a 27-21 victory. The roles were reversed in week two as the Green Wave were just a few bad plays away from making it a really interesting game against Mississippi. Those few plays did not go Tulane's way, but this is a very, very young team that will start making their own luck sooner or later.

Strengths:
Running back Orleans Darkwa is the most notable freshman making an impact this season. Through two games, Darkwa has rushed for 128 yards and four touchdowns. Junior Albert Williams is not a bad ball carrier either and has tallied 97 yards on 21 carries. Those two still need to get better, but they both have talent. Sophomore quarterback Ryan Griffin is not putting up great numbers and has yet to throw a touchdown, but he is certainly controlling the game better during his sophomore campaign and has completed nearly 68 percent of his pass attempts. Another sophomore, D.J. Banks, has emerged as the Green Wave's best receiving option and has turned into the big play receiver. Meanwhile senior Casey Robottom is the consistent pass catcher on the team. The defense is full of promising youngsters too. Linebackers Darryl Farley and Trent Mackey are quickly turning into the leaders of the defense and they are just sophomores. Even the other linebacker, freshman Dominique Robertson seems to be getting better with every play.

Weaknesses:
Obviously inexperience is an issue and this is a team that does not know how to put away a victory or make the big play to get themselves back into a game. Yet, the bigger concern is on the lines. Griffin has been sacked nine times in just two games and rarely does he even have time to find his playmakers down the field. The situation on the other side of the ball is not any better. The defensive line has done a decent job stopping the run thus far this season, but the ends have had a lot of trouble getting to the quarterback. With a game against Southeastern Louisiana already in the books, this is a team that should be averaging more than 1.50 sacks per game. The good news is that a couple linemen are returning this week after serving a two game suspension. The offensive line actually starts four upperclassmen, but getting guard Emmanuel Aluko back gives this team some much, much needed depth in the trenches. The defensive line has been forced to start freshman Julius Warmsley and sophomore Austen Jacks. Jacks tallied a couple of sacks during his freshman campaign, but Warmsley is not ready to be a starter. Dezman Moses may not make the front four great, but his return at least gives the line some depth and an experienced upperclassman.

The Bottom Line:
Tulane has a lot of work to do before they become a threat of any sort in Conference USA, but the first two games of the season have been relatively promising. Beating Southeastern Louisiana and hanging in there against Mississippi, who lost to Jacksonville State in week one, is nothing to hang your hat on, but Coach Bob Toledo has some dangerous weapons on both sides of the ball. If either of the lines can drastically improve throughout the 2010 campaign, this is a Green Wave team that could win more than one conference game this time around, but those wins would likely come in November.

2010 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 108.50 (100th in nation, 10th in conference)
Passing Offense: 173.50 (90, 12)
Total Offense: 282.00 (111, 12)
Scoring Offense: 20.00 (95, 10)
Rushing Defense: 78.00 (13, 1)
Pass Defense: 242.00 (87, 4)
Total Defense: 320.00 (45, 3)
Scoring Defense: 24.00 (72, 4)
Turnover Margin: .50 (45, 3)
Sacks: 1.50 (83, 10)
Sacks Allowed: 4.50 (119, 12)

2010 Results:
September 2nd vs. Southeastern Louisiana: 27-21
September 11th vs. Mississippi: 13-27


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