October 26, 2007

Good to be home

The Tulane Green Wave will celebrate homecoming 2007 this Saturday afternoon in the Louisiana Superdome as they play host to Conference USA foe Memphis.

"They're the best defensive football team we've played against since our last game at the Dome. They're big, they're strong and they're athletic. Coach West does a great job of coaching them, so they're going to be a good football team," Bob Toledo said of his team's next opponent.

Tulane won just for the second time this season in a 41-34 overtime win over the SMU Mustangs last week in Dallas. The Wave got another huge performance from senior running back Matt Forte.

Forte's rushed for 342-yards and four touchdowns in the Wave's win over the Tigers. The Nations leading rusher may have a much tougher time this week against the Tigers Defense that Toledo calls very sound.

"They're No. 2 in scoring defense. They're No. 1 in turnover margin, so they're not beating themselves. They're No. 1 in sacks allowed, so you can't get to their quarterback. And they're No. 1 red-zone defense. They've got a lot of good qualities."

The Tigers come to town 3-4 overall, 2-1 in league action and are coming off a 38-35 win over Rice last week in Houston. The Tulane defense will be tested this week as the Tigers are coming a huge offensive outing.

Against Rice the Tigers ran 89 offensive plays and racked up 571-yards of total offense including 247-yards rushing and another 324-yards passing. Senior quarterback Martin Hankins, who played for Hal Mumme at Southeastern in Hammond before transferring to Memphis, leads the Tigers.

Toledo says his defense will be tested early and often in the game.

"They've got an excellent quarterback in Martin Hankins. He had 306 yards passing and threw three touchdown passes last week. So they quarterback is a good player."

Tulane will also have to deal with the Tigers stout running game that features [b]Joseph Doss[/db]. Doss had 175 yards rushing and a touchdown for the Tigers last week and he averaged 7.3-yards per carry as well.

"Offensively, they're really a balanced football team of run and pass. They've got a huge offensive line, one of the biggest offensive lines we'll have seen. They're big and strong. They don't have really one guy. This team has got a bunch of guys. They have a bunch of good players, Toledo said.

Tulane will go with sophomore QB Anthony Scelfo as their starter but Kevin Moore will play every other series according to Toledo. Scelfo will start his fifth consecutive game under center Saturday against the Tigers. Scelfo has thrown for 712 yards and three touchdowns on 63-of-119 passing.

Toledo praised his team for a spirited week of practice and he says his club is ready to play.

"We're looking forward to it. The weeks go fast now. We haven't had a bye and we're not going to have a bye. The weeks go by fast and the games come up quickly. We had a good week of practice and we're relatively healthy. There's nothing to do now but play the game."

The Green Wave not only want to go and win the game but they want to show their fans that they are starting to turn the corner with the program.

"I told the team there will be a Homecoming crowd. A lot of people will be there who haven't seen us play yet. There will be a lot of the old alums and some people who weren't athletes will come out to watch the game. This is a good opportunity for us to show them what we've done so far."

Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. in the Dome on Saturday.

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