Tulane To Return To Dome After 41-Day Absence

The last Tulane football game in the Superdome was on Sept. 25 against Southern Miss. Since that time, the Wave has had three road games, an off-week and one game at Tad Gormley Stadium. Tulane suffered a 24-3 loss to Houston on the road this past Saturday

NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Tulane University football team will make its return to the Louisiana Superdome this Saturday after a 41-day absence. The Green Wave hosts Navy at 6 p.m. this weekend. Tickets are available by calling 504-861-WAVE.

The last Tulane football game in the 'Dome was on Sept. 25 against Southern Miss. Since that time, the Wave has had three road games, an off-week and one game at Tad Gormley Stadium. Tulane suffered a 24-3 loss to Houston on the road this past Saturday.

Following this Saturday's Navy game, the Wave will host Army on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 6 p.m.

Head coach Chris Scelfo addressed the media in his Tuesday morning press conference at the Hall of Fame Room of Tulane's Wilson Center.

Chris Scelfo Opening Statement
"About the game on Saturday, obviously it was a hard game for us. We didn't respond offensively; I thought the inconsistencies we were trying to avoid really showed up offensively across the board, with our offensive line and everybody involved. Defensively, I was really proud of their effort to bounce back in the second half and play like they did [shutting out Houston in the second half]. I thought they kept their composure. We had to go into the game and stop the big play in the first half that we gave up. In the second half I thought we did a good job of settling down and adjusting to what they were doing. I thought our defensive line grew up some on Saturday and obviously that is a critical situation for us at this point in time; they continue to improve. The big thing for us right now is we have to take one day at a time and continue to improve and grow up and understand the sense of urgency that we need to have day-in and day-out in practice and also on Saturday. It is a very tough task this week against Navy, it is switching gears from one offence to another. Our kids are really going to need to focus this week."

Talk about Navy and how they play?
Navy is coming in with a lot of confidence, being they are 7-1. They are executing their offense to perfection and they are not turning the ball over; they are throwing the ball a little more then they have for big plays. Defensively is where they are most improved. They have some seniors over there that are really playing well for them, that are keeping everything in front of them and making you be patient. We have to be patient with our offense. Special teams have had a lot of trickery in it, they fake a lot of punts, they are very sound in every thing that they do.

Were you flat last week?
I don't know; we had a good week of practice. I don't think we were; I just think we didn't execute and we didn't get some momentum plays. We had some early but didn't get rid of them, offensively. Like I said defense settled down and played well.

Playing so well last week and not performing this week – how did you feel about that?
That was disappointing, especially the way we had played the week before on offense. The consistency, we have been talking about it since August 9th, just to be able to be consistent in what we want to do, that is the one thing that we have to understand and improve on.

Is there anything you can do with this team to increase consistency?
I think in certain areas we have become more consistent, all you can to is work at it and learn from your mistakes and understand the concept of the game, and have a sense of urgency that every play is a big play. The timing of it affects the whole game.

Do enough players realize the importance of each play?
I don't think so at this juncture, we haven't gotten the full concept, and we didn't handle success very well from the week before and to play one way one week and to come out and play the way we did is very disappointing.

Does Navy throwing the ball more make them much tougher?
You really have to play great assignment football against them on defense and you have to win the line of scrimmage. You have to be able to give your backers and solid players a chance to make the plays and then, throw in the pass game. When you are trying to fill the alleys with your perimeter players you have to fill the alleys really fast.

Did quarterback Lester Ricard take a step back against Houston?
He didn't play as well as we were hoping on Saturday, but that is the growing pain we have to go through with him. I wouldn't call it a step back, I would call it a disappointing day for him and for us.

At this time, with a 2-5 record, do you still talk one game at a time or running the table to become bowl eligible?

We take it one DAY at time with this football team. What we are trying to do at this point is try to get better each day. At this point we are not going to concern ourselves with anything but going out to practice today and be a little bit better when we leave the field than when we got on it.

Can you name some individuals that have made some improvement?
I think [freshman defensive lineman] Antonio Harris, every week he has played better and better; but he is not near where he could be. [Freshman defensive lineman] Avery Williams has gotten a little bit better. I think [sophomore punter] Chris Beckman is the most consistent player on this team and I don't think he has had one punt downed in the end zone so far; he put two inside the 10 last week and four inside the 20. I see [senior receiver] Roydell Williams continuing to work. I see a lot of things out there that we are better at today then when we started. The biggest thing is the inconsistency that we have to do a better job of.

What has Navy coach Paul Johnson done to turn the program around?
I think the big thing is that they have 35 seniors on the roster this year and last year they got on a run and they got confident. Most of those guys are back and they have some continuity there and this year they have done a nice job with the schedule and if you look at it compared to years past it has a good outlook to it.

Was last week an indication that the team needs to learn to deal with success?
Absolutely, that is part of the growing process that we are going thorough right now and again we started only four seniors Saturday. We are going to go through some bumps, and I don't know when it will happen, but this group will come together.

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