THE OPPOSITION: Tulane Green Wave

After struggling through the 2005 season in the wake of hurricane Katrina, which forced them to play home games at six different locations, the Tulane Green Wave will look to revive their program this fall after returning home for the first time since 2004.

Last year, Tulane spent the season on road after evacuating New Orleans; practicing at Louisiana Tech and playing "home" games in Shreveport, Baton Rouge, Ruston, Lafayette and Mobile to finish with a 2-9 record.


This season, the Green Wave will bring back 13 starters from a year ago, headlined by quarterback Lester Ricard (6-5, 222, Sr.), who made a name for himself during the 2004 season when he threw for 1,881 yards and 21 touchdowns in just eight games after transferring from LSU.


Ricard threw for 1,932 yards and 16 touchdowns as an eight-game starter in 2005, appearing in a total of 10 contests.


Aiding Ricard in the passing game in 2006 will be returning starters Preston Brown (6-4, 232, Sr.) and Kenneth Guidroz (6-3, 209, Jr.) as well as Brian King (6-1, 180, So.) as the three starting wide receivers. Brown was the Green Wave's leading wideout last season, hauling in 47 catches for 720 yards and six touchdowns. King also contributed 189 yards and one touchdown to the effort, while Guidroz finished the season with 150 receiving yards.


The tight end position remains open this season, with Jerome Landry (6-4, 260, Sr.), Gabe Ratcliff (6-2, 231, Jr.) and Justin Kessler (6-4, 234, So.) all fighting for time. Last year, Ratcliff played in 11 games and had four receptions, while Landry saw action in 10 games but had just one catch, taking it for nine yards.


Last season's rushing leader, Matt Forte, returns at running back to lead the Tulane ground game in 2006. Forte ran for 655 yards and four touchdowns. Ade Tuyo (5-11, 203, Jr.) is slated as the leading full back, though it is unsure how much the Green Wave will use that position, opting to play with a lone back through much of last season.


The offensive line will bring back Michael Parenton (6-3, 292, So.), who makes the switch from guard to center, and tackle Derek Rogers (6-5, 309, Sr.) from last year's front five, as well as Donald Matlock (6-4, 295, Sr.), who started at guard in 2004, but missed last season because of a shoulder injury. Parenton was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team last season after starting in all 11 games.


New to the line will be Troy Kropog (6-4, 287, So.), who started twice last season at tackle, and Aryan Barto (6-4, 262, Jr.) at guard. Redshirt freshman Tyler Rice (6-5, 285) will also challenge Rogers for his starting job at right tackle.


On the opposite side of the ball, Tulane will be without six starters from last season, returning the entire 2005 line but just one player to the secondary.


Tackles Taurean Brown (6-6, 280, Sr.) and Alvin Johnson (6-3, 300, Jr.), along with ends Antonio Harris (6-2, 271, Jr.) and Michael Purcell (6-1, 275, Sr.) were all starters in the front four a year ago, but may not all return to their positions in the fall.


Potential changes to the defensive front include Avery Williams (6-0, 282, Jr.) starting over Brown at tackle, and Sean Carney (6-3, 240, So.) starting at end as opposed to Purcell.


Johnson led the defense in with three sacks last season, and was the only lineman to start at the same position every game in 2005.


Cornerback Israel Route (5-9, 185, Sr.) is the only other defensive starter returning from last season, where he finished with 40 tackles, the most of any 2006 returnee.


Joining Route in the secondary will be Jeremy Foreman (6-2, 172, Sr.) at the other cornerback, Joe Goosby (6-0, 203, Jr.) at strong safety and Carlis Jackson (6-0, 178, Jr.) at free safety.


Foreman started three times last season, recording 25 tackles and one interception, while Goosby recorded as many tackles in one start and 11 appearances. Jackson saw time in eight games as a backup, recording just four tackles on the year.


At linebacker, Tulane will look to replace three of their top four defensive producers, including defensive anchor and All-Conference selection Anthony Cannon, who led the team with 114 tackles in 2005.


Looking to fill the void at linebacker will be the trio of Terrence Peterson (5-11, 215, Sr.), Jordan Ellis (6-1, 235, So.) and James Dillard (6-1, 220, So.). Ellis has the only start among the three, getting the nod at middle linebacker against Rice, but has also played in the fewest games, appearing seven times to Peterson's eight and Dillard's 10.


The Green Wave special teams will feature the return of All-Louisiana honorable mention punter Chris Beckman (6-2, 202, Sr.), while Barrett Pepper (5-10, 193, Jr.) will take over at place kicker. Pepper was the starter on kickoffs last season, but did not attempt any field goals or extra points.


Israel Route will be the leading kick returner again in 2006, after compiling 512 yards and one touchdown on kick returns last season.


QUICK FACTS: Tulane Green Wave


All-Time Series: 65-22-7


Stadium: Louisiana Superdome (64,900)


First Meeting: 1893, Tulane 34, LSU 0


Last Meeting: 2001, LSU 48, Tulane 17


Head Coach: Chris Scelfo, 26-34 at TU and overall, 5 years


2005 in Review: 2-9, 1-7 C-USA


Final '05 Ranking: Not ranked


Off. / Def. Systems: Multiple Pro / 4-3


Returning Starters: 11; 6 offense, 4 defense, punter


Last Bowl Appearance: 2002 Hawaii Bowl


Last Conference Championship: 1998






Rushing: Matt Forte – 169 rushes, 655 yards, 4 TD


Passing: Lester Ricard – 323-166-12, 1,932 yards, 16 TD


Receiving: Preston Brown – 47 catches, 720 yards, 6 TD


Tackles: Israel Route – 57 TT (31S, 26A)





Date                   Opponent                     '05 Result


S-9                  at Houston                  L, 35-14


S-16                Mississippi State           L, 21-14


S-23                at LSU                        ---


S-30                SMU                           W, 31-10


O-7                  Rice                           L, 42-34


O-14                at UTEP                       L, 45-21


O-21                at Auburn                    ---


O-28                Army                          ---


N-4                  at Marshall                  L, 27-26


N-11                Southern Miss              L, 26-7


N-18                Central Florida              L, 34-24                     


N-24                Tulsa                          L, 38-14

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