Opinion: As season ends, young Wave faces bright future


Junior safety Darion Monroe stares down East Carolina quarterback Shane Carden in the Wave’s 34-6 loss against ECU Nov. 22 in Greenville, N.C. Monroe has been a leader of Tulane’s defense this year. 

Mackenna Barker, Associate Sports Editor

As Tulane football (3-8, 2-5 American Athletic Conference) approaches its last game of the season against Temple (5-6, 3-4 AAC) 6:30 p.m. Saturday, its goal should be to end the season on a winning note and evaluate its present and future. 

The 2014 season was a year of new experiences for the Wave. With the arrival of Yulman Stadium, Tulane brought football back to campus for the first time in 40 years and commenced a new era of football. 

It was, however, a season of many adjustments and obstacles. Moving from Conference USA to the AAC brought a multitude of new challenges. An indisputably tougher conference demanded a higher level of play from the team and its young players.

With redshirt freshman quarterback Tanner Lee at the helm of the offense, along with 33 other underclassmen including redshirt freshmen running backs Sherman Badie and freshman wide receiver Teddy Veal, the Wave was inconsistent and struggled to pocket wins. 

Tulane’s defense, led by sophomore linebacker Nico Marley and junior cornerback Lorenzo Doss, continued to force turnovers at a high rate, giving moments of glory. Overall, however, the defense struggled. 

Despite the many setbacks, there is good news for Tulane. Much of the Wave’s woes this season were a product of inexperience, and as head coach Curtis Johnson once said, “the best thing about freshmen is they become sophomores.” 

Despite the team being hindered by its youth and inexperience, there were times when its freshmen and sophomores shined throughout the season. In the win against Houston, all 31 of Tulane’s points were scored by freshmen.

Improving the offensive line is important for the offseason. The offensive line has some very promising prospects. Ultimately, the key to Lee and the offense’s success will be a strong line.

Also essential is the work put in during the offseason. Tulane will still be a young team next season and the players need to continue their development. The only solution to solving the Wave’s inexperience is simply continuing to learn from the mistakes.

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