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Mike Nay

The Tulane football team finished its season at Hawaii duringThanksgiving weekend, suffering its 10th straight loss to end theseason with a 2-11 mark. The Hawaii weather wasn’t even kind to theGreen Wave, with rain throughout the game. At least the Green Wavecan be thankful that it got to travel to Hawaii, and fans andsupporters can be thankful for the end to Tulane’s worst seasonsince recording a 1-10 record in 1994.       

“This has been the single longest football season of my entirelife,” Director of Football Operations David Fox said. “Our guyshave not had a week off – no bye week.”      

A 13-game season seemed much longer considering the team’s lastwin more than two months ago. The losses were a mix of heartbreak,such as the last-second loss to Syracuse, and frustration, as theWave suffered another blowout in a homecoming game. The Green Wavefinished the season ranked 114th in the NCAA for points allowed pergame and 106th for points scored per game, reflective of the poorrecord.       

Tulane’s last two games of the season were some of the morecompetitive games it has had this season, losing by just 12 pointsto both Rice and Hawaii. Still, it is difficult to take anythingpositive from the season after such dismal performances as a56-point loss to Houston.       

The Tulane players were resilient, however, and gave a goodeffort until the end. The play of many individuals on the team, andthe prospect of starting fresh with a new head coach, sparks a hopefor a turnaround season next year.       

The resignation of head coach Bob Toledo was undoubtedly thedefining moment of the season for the Green Wave. The announcementof a new coach should be coming in the near future. This shakeup,coupled with the swirling rumors regarding an on-campus stadium,will likely bring some consolation to this season – leaving fanswith hope for years to come.       

“We obviously have to make a great hire here, that is going tobe a good fit and take us forward over a long period of time,”Tulane Associate Athletic Director Vince Granito said. “There is nosubstitute for stability, and we need to get somebody right now whois going to stabilize the program.”      

Whoever the new coach is, he will inherit a core group oftalented young players to work with and develop. Running backsRobert Kelley and Orleans Darkwa are a young tandem that showedthey carry the offense. Quarterback Ryan Griffin is a redshirtjunior this year, and his rating declined slightly this season. Hehas proven that with good support, however, that he is capable ofplayer-of-the-week caliber performances. Many of his passes foundthe hands of receiver Xavier Rush, who was second on the team inreceiving touchdowns as a freshman. Sophomore Wilson Van Hoosen ledthe team in receiving yards and touchdowns.      

On the defensive side of the ball, junior linebacker TrentMackey has gained attention as one of the nation’s premiertacklers. Also on special teams, sophomore kicker Cairo Santosconnected on all but one of his extra point attempts and was 6 for7 from inside 40 yards.       

Despite the offensive turnovers and defensive breakdowns thatplagued this season, there is reason to look forward to nextseason. Expect it to be a step in the right direction.

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