Tulane football looks to rebound, record first win at Yulman

Tulane+football+looks+to+rebound%2C+record+first+win+at+Yulman

Mackenna Barker, Staff Reporter

Tulane football (0-2, 0-1) looks to rebound following its disappointing 38-21 loss Georgia Tech with a game against Southeastern Louisiana (2-0) 7 p.m. Saturday at Yulman Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPN3.

Southeastern Louisiana is currently ranked No. 3 in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Coaches Poll and senior quarterback Bryan Bennett, a transfer from Oregon, headlines a strong offense for its passing and ground game. Bennett was named to The Walter Payton Award Watch List, making him a serious contender for an award given to the best offensive player in the FCS.

Bennett has completed 24 of 41 passes for 535 yards and four touchdowns, and has rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries through two games.

“[Southeatern’s] offensive line is really good,” Tulane head coach Curtis Johnson said. “That’s why the quarterback runs for so many yards. [Bennett] makes them go [because] he can throw [and] he can run.”

Junior running back Kody Sutton was a key member of Southeastern’s rushing attack during the 2013-14 season, as he tallied 391 yards and 6 touchdowns on 99 carries. Sutton has accumulated 65 yards on 19 carries through two games this season.

Senior wide receiver Devante Scott leads Southeastern’s with 6 receptions for 126 yards and a touchdown this season.

Tulane will face an offense that has averaged 42.5 points per game and will have a daunting task of scoring on a defense that has allowed just 8.5 points per game through two games this season. Johnson said playing error-free football is crucial to success. 

“We got to play our best football because if we don’t play well against this team, it’ll be an ugly game for us,” Johnson said.

Mistakes have proved detrimental for Tulane through its first two games this season. Promising showings from its offense and the defense have at times been negated by bad football errors.

Georgia Tech capitalized on freshman kicker Andrew DiRocco’s missed 27-yard field goal and redshirt freshman quarterback Tanner Lee’s three interceptions. Lee showed signs of greatness at times but struggled with inconsistencies before Johnson pulled him from the game in the fourth quarter after he suffered two hard hits to his head.

Johnson said, however, that Lee is not concussed but instead suffered from heat-related issues. Johnson expressed his confidence in Lee and said he has all intentions to start him against Southeastern if healthy.

“He threw three interceptions but made some fantastic plays,” Johnson said. “He threw a couple in there that were just sensational. We just have to get Tanner a little bit more consistent and playing a little better.”

Johnson remained upbeat despite the winless start to the season and said the Wave will continue to learn from its mistakes and look to improve its performance in upcoming weeks.

“For the most part we did a really good job [against Georgia Tech], but we have some different things [to improve upon against Southeastern],” Johnson said.