Green Wave Defense Has Upper Hand In Scrimmage

The Tulane defense continued its solid play with a good showing in the Green Wave's last major scrimmage of the preseason Saturday at the Westfeldt Practice Facility, while running back Jovon Jackson ran well on offense

NEW ORLEANS – The Tulane defense continued its solid play with a good showing in the Green Wave's last major scrimmage of the preseason Saturday at the Westfeldt Practice Facility, while running back Jovon Jackson ran well on offense. Tulane enjoyed cool temperatures and sporadic rain showers during most of the two-hour workout before the biggest crowd of the preseason.

While the defense, led by safety Joey Dawson, linebacker Anthony Cannon and cornerback Israel Route, impressed with three interceptions and a fumble recovery, Tulane's top three quarterbacks –Nick Cannon, Richard Irvin and Lester Ricard – continued to play inconsistently.

Irvin started well, completing seven of his first nine passes, including back-to-back 29-yard completions to freshman running back Ryan Bewley and Roydell Williams. Williams made a fingertips catch in the corner of the end zone for his lone reception of the day. Irvin completed eight-of-17 passes for 83 yards with an INT to go along with the touchdown. Nick Cannon led the quarterbacks with three touchdown passes, and no interceptions, as he completed eight-of-13 passes for 67 yards. Ricard hit 13-of-27 passes for 109 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Tulane quarterbacks were sacked only once in the scrimmage.

"The offense had no consistency, no continuity," Scelfo said. "Our offense cannot operate like that."

Offensively, the biggest play of the day was a 62-yard run by Jackson early in the workout versus the number one defense. The Florida junior led Tulane on the ground with 11 rushes for 89 yards, while freshman Adeboye Tuyo carried nine times for 35 yards and one score. Fellow freshman Matt Forté of Slidell carried 13 times for 16 yards with a touchdown.

"Jovon Jackson was a little bit more motivated than he was coming into camp," Scelfo noted. "I think #25 (Forté) had a lot to do with that."

Defensively, Route, freshman Josh Lumar and Brandon Spincer picked off passes with Route returning his 94 yards for a touchdown. Linebacker Antonio Mason had a fumble recovery while Sean Lucas caused a fumble. Tra Boger had a pair of tackles for loss on the day.

"I was pleased with the defense," Scelfo said. "They were flying around; they created and caused turnovers and they put a lot of effort into gang-tackling."

Following the workout, Scelfo gave the players Sunday off and said the team would practice just once on Monday instead of the two originally scheduled. Tulane worked out for 11 straight days until rain cancelled Friday's practice.

"We're tired and dead-legged," Scelfo said. "We don't have all of our juices, but the enthusiasm is there. I am glad we have two weeks until our first game."

Tulane takes on Mississippi State Sept. 4 in Starkville in a game that will be nationally-televised by ESPN2 beginning at 5 p.m. Central. Green Wave players begin classes on Wednesday and Tulane Fall Fan Day will be held Saturday, August 28 from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Westfeldt Facility. The Tulane football, volleyball and soccer teams will be on hand to sign autographs and participate in interactive games with kids, while a live band and giveaways will also highlight the event. Tickets for the 2004 season, including the Sept. 11 home opener with Florida A&M, are on sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office in the Wilson Center and by calling 504-861-WAVE.

SCRIMMAGE STATISTICS
Rushing
Jovon Jackson, 11 for 89 yards (including a 62-yard run)
Adeboye Tuyo, 9 for 35 yards, 1 TD
Matt Forté, 13 for 16 yards, 1 TD
Roydell Williams, 1 for 9 yards
Carl Davis, 1 for 6 yards
Ryan Bewley, 2 for -2 yards
Lester Ricard, 4 for -3 yards
Nick Cannon, 6 for 1 yard
Richard Irvin, 1 for 1 yard

Passing
Lester Ricard, 13-of-27, 109 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT, Long of 21
Richard Irvin, 8-of-17, 83 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, Long of 29
Nick Cannon, 8-of-13, 67 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT, Long of 18

Receiving
Chris Bush, 8 for 65 yards, 1 TD
Damarcus Davis, 4 for 37 yards, 1 TD
Fred Smith, 3 for 37 yards, 1 TD
Adeboye Tuyo, 3 for 26 yards
Carl Davis, 3 for 16 yards
Gabe Ratcliff, 2 for 10 yards, 1 TD
Matt Forté, 2 for 0 yards
Roydell Williams, 1 for 29 yards, 1 TD
Ryan Bewley, 1 for 29 yards
Kenneth Guidroz, 1 for 7 yards, 1 TD
Ian Miller, 1 for 3 yards

Defense – Big Plays
Tra Boger, 2 TFL,
Israel Route, 1 INT (returned 94 yards for TD), TFL
Josh Lumar, 1 INT
Brandon Spincer, 1 INT
Taylor Bertin, 1 sack
Wesley Heath, TFL,
Antonio Mason, Fumble Recovery, TFL
Sean Lucas, Forced Fumble, TFL
Antonio Harris, TFL
Kelvin Johnson, TFL, PBU
Anthony Cannon, TFL
Jeremy Foreman, PBU

Special Teams Big Plays
Fred Smith, 48-yard punt return
Israel Route, 50-yard punt return (TD)
Wesley Heath, Recovered blocked punt for TD
Tra Boger, 1 blocked punt
Preston Brown, fumble recovery

Field Goals
Barrett Pepper, 2-for-2, 30 and 21 yards
Nick Beucher, 1-for-2, Good from 30 yards, wide right from 25

-- Roll Wave --


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