Despite elimination from bowl game contention, Johnson vows Wave will not quit

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Redshirt freshman quarterback Tanner Lee throws a pass in the 38-7 loss against Memphis. Lee threw 3 interceptions in the Homecoming loss. 

Mackenna Barker, Associate Sports Editor

Tulane football (3-7, 2-4 American Athletic Conference) will travel to Greenville, North Carolina Saturday to face East Carolina (6-3, 3-2 American Athletic Conference), who is ranked No. 2 in passing yards. 

The Green Wave is ineligible for any bowl game following its 38-7 loss to Memphis in its Homecoming game last weekend. Tulane’s offense struggled with turnovers against Memphis, as redshirt freshman quarterback Tanner Lee, who battled with inconsistency, threw 3 interceptions.  

Tulane’s defense, however, delivered another strong performance. The Green Wave limited the Tigers to just 2 of 14 third-down conversions and forced 2 turnovers.

Freshman cornerback Parry Nickerson and junior safety Darion Monroe each had 7 tackles. Sophomore defensive tackle Tanzel Smart had 2 sacks for 18 yards. 

The defense’s exceptional play will be once again crucial in the upcoming game against ECU’s offense, which averages 368.3 passing yards per game.

ECU’s offensive charge is headed by senior quarterback Shane Carden, who is ranked No. 5 in the nation for total passing yards this season with 3,216 yards. He has also thrown for 20 touchdowns. Carden is paired with dangerous senior inside receiver Justin Hardy. Hardy has 80 receptions for 1,002 yards and 7 touchdowns this season. 

“They’re outstanding offensively,” Tulane head coach Curtis Johnson said. “This team is a really, really good football team. They have experience on offense … The one thing we have to do is our defense has to come to play. We’ve got to get to them and shut these guys down a little bit.”

Though the Green Wave is not bowl-eligible, the game carries meaning for Tulane’s promising defense and its young offense.

“What you want to do is you want to continue to play hard and continue to win,” Johnson said. “The one brand that we do have in this program is that we play hard and we never quit.”