5 Tulane Players To Keep An Eye On

Pony Stampede presents five Tulane players that could give SMU trouble this weekend as the Mustangs head into their second conference game

1. QB D.J. Ponder

After senior quarterback Ryan Griffin began the season as the Green Wave starting quarterback, the team has now found themselves starting third-stringer D.J. Ponder. There is a chance that Griffin will come back this weekend against the Mustangs, but it is unknown how well Griffin is recovered from a shoulder injury and Devin Powell, the team's other backup, is in a walking boot. Ponder has completed 333 yards in two starts, but has just a 42 percent completion percentage.

2. WR Ryan Grant

The junior from Beaumont will be Tulane's top playmaker on the offensive side of the ball since there isn't a real threat in the backfield for the 0-5 Green Wave. Grant will be looking to bounce back after an outing against Louisiana-Lafayette that saw him catch one ball for seven yards. But Grant averages over 13 yards per catch and started off the season with two 100-yard games. Grant has the ability, but this offense is so inept that it may be tough to get anything going against the SMU defense.

3. C Zach Morgan

Not very often a player to watch is the center, but we are having trouble finding players from this Tulane team that really stand out. Morgan has started at least eight games every year since his freshman year in 2009. Now a senior, Morgan makes all of the calls at the line of scrimmage and has been the one consistent thing even with three different quarterbacks already having taken snaps this season for the Green Wave. If Ponder, Powell or Griffin expects to stay up-right, they will need Morgan to make all of the right calls for them.

4. DE Austen Jacks

The senior has seen significant playing time all four years at Tulane and is going into his third year as a starter at defensive end. He is the main force along the line for Tulane. Jacks leads the Green Wave defensive line in tackles (13), tackles for loss (5.5) and is second in sacks (1.5). The 6-foot-3, 255pound end will be looking to disrupt the already struggling Garrett Gilbert and force the Mustangs to go exclusively to Zach Line.

5. LB Zach Davis

A junior from Lawrenceville, Ga., Zach Davis is in his first year as a starter for the Green Wave, but leads the team in tackles (37), sacks (2), has three tackles for loss and has one interception through the first five games. Not eye-popping, but good numbers for a first-year starter. Davis will be all over the field trying to plug up running lanes for Zach Line and even put pressure on Gilbert so watch out for him to be a big part of the Tulane defense.

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