Running game dominates Tulane scrimmage
NEW ORLEANS – Tulane football’s running backs stole the show during a 60-play scrimmage to conclude the second week of fall camp at the New Orleans Saints Indoor Facility on Saturday morning as the group combined for 230 yards total on the ground while also scoring six rushing touchdowns.
Redshirt freshman running back Lazedrick Thompson covered 73 yards on 15 carries, including two touchdowns of 19 and 17 yards, respectively. Junior running back Rob Kelley also posted solid numbers, as he rushed for 81 yards on nine carries and a score from five yards out. Junior running back Dante Butler and freshman walk-on Marshall Wadleigh both scored while gaining 45 and 22 yards, respectively.
Junior quarterback Jordy Joseph also scored on a quarterback keeper from 16 yards out for the team’s sixth rushing touchdown on the morning.
The air attack also proved fruitful for the Green Wave, as junior quarterback Nick Montana connected on 6-of-7 attempts for 100 yards and one touchdown. While working in the red zone, Montana was able to find senior wide receiver JoJo Dobbs on a 15-yard strike in the back of the end zone for the score.
In addition to Montana, freshman signal caller Tanner Lee had an outstanding day, as he threw for 85 yards on six completions, including a 6-yard toss to junior wide receiver Devin Boutte for a touchdown.
Defensively, the Greenies were led by senior cornerback L.J. Parker’s five total tackles, but the freshmen cornerbacks also played solid football. Parry Nickerson notched an interception in the end zone off a throw from Joseph, while Richard Allen posted the team’s lone pass breakup of the scrimmage. Junior safety Anthony Bronzo also intercepted a pass in the end zone off a throw from redshirt-freshman signal caller Devin Powell.
Junior linebacker Matthew Bailey was second on the team with four total tackles, and junior safety Brandon LeBeau and Allen both notched three tackles a piece.
While the offensive line was able to hold their own for the most part of the scrimmage, the defense was able to employ an array of pass rushing techniques, as Luke Jackson, Jordan Sullen, Nico Marley, Max Herman and Tanzel Smart all posted tackles for losses.
A few of the team’s upperclassmen, including graduate student defensive tackle Chris Davenport, senior defensive tackle Julius Warmsley and senior running back Orleans Darkwa, were held out of the scrimmage in order for the coaching staff to see some of the younger players perform in certain situations. Nine true freshmen recorded tackles on the defensive side of the ball.
“It was pretty good,” said Tulane head football coach Curtis Johnson. “The offensive line played outstanding. They did a good job blocking. There were not that many penalties. There were not that many mess ups and I didn’t see that many mentals. The runners ran hard. Robert Kelley had another good day. Lazedrick Thompson had a fantastic day. The quarterbacks were sharp. They were good. Defensively, we held a couple guys out. The defensive line played hard, the linebackers ran around and the secondary played pretty good. We had a couple picks.”
The team will not hold practice on Sunday before beginning their final week of practice at 8:30 a.m. on Monday at the Superdome. Monday’s practice is open to the media.
Tulane will kick off the 2013 on Thursday, Aug. 29, when the Green Wave play host to Jackson State at 7 p.m. in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. For ticket information, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE (9283). Season ticket packages start as low as $100 for adults and $70 for youth.
The Tulane Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center and is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information, log onto the official website at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.
QUOTES FOLLOWING SATURDAY’S SCRIMMAGE
Head Coach Curtis Johnson
On Saturday’s scrimmage…
“It was pretty good. The offensive line played outstanding. They did a good job blocking. There were not that many penalties. There were not that many mess ups and I didn’t see that many mentals. The runners ran hard. Robert Kelley had another good day. Lazedrick Thompson had a fantastic day. The quarterbacks were sharp. They were good. Defensively, we held a couple guys out. The defensive line played hard, the linebackers ran around and the secondary played pretty good. We had a couple picks.”
On the running game…
“I wanted to see us run the ball today. That was our biggest mission of the day. We know we can run it, we just need to figure out who and how we do it.”
Junior safety Brandon LeBeau
On the scrimmage…
“Today kind of felt tough for us. But deep down inside, we know that we are getting better because we know that we can’t have days like this. We are just going to keep coming out to keep raising the bar. We have to get out all of the mistakes, and get rid of that and shoot for the highest point. Now we know that the standard is set and just continue on from here.”
On the depth of the running backs…
“All of our running backs are great. You can’t just single out one because they are all good at something, and they all compete hard which is a great thing for our team because we will always be able to do different things at a different pace.”
On the depth of the secondary…
“It’s always a good thing to have multiple people who want to compete against each other and that want to get better. We all push each other to get better, which is a good thing, so we can all perform at the same level or better than one another.”
Freshman running back Lazedrick Thompson
On his performance on Saturday…
“It’s the last week of camp, so we are all working hard and trying hard. It was a good day out here. The O-linemen did great. We had a great fullback in Marshall Wadleigh to make some great blocks for me to find some holes.”
On fall camp for him…
“It’s going real good. I’ve been catching the ball a lot better since camp. I’m reading better and finding better holes and getting into the end zone.”
On the final week of camp next week…
“We have to go in full force and not back off. We have to come out here every day and play harder and get smarter.”