Angry Green Wave looks for chance to rebound against nationally-ranked USF
NEW ORLEANS – The timing was perfect.
As the Angry Wave mascot was being moved in place atop the Yulman Stadium scoreboard Tuesday morning, a bunch of Green Wave players and coaches – who couldn’t help being a little angry after a disappointing loss at FIU last week – met with the media.
That anger has to quickly shift to preparation mode as South Florida – ranked No. 13 in the coaches poll and No. 16 in The Associated Press top 25 – visits Uptown Saturday night at 6.
“During the season, we’ve got to flip the page quickly,” Tulane coach Willie Fritz said. “Every team we play, we’ve got to be on point. We’ve got to bounce back.”
Said senior cornerback Parry Nickerson, “That was … a wake-up call. Now we’re on a path to redemption.”
Added quarterback Jonathan Banks, “We’ve got to put last week in the past. We’re ready to get back out there Saturday.”
The public debut of the Angry Wave, created and installed by Kern Studios, will be just a part of YulmanFest, which includes giveaways, pregame tailgating and postgame fireworks.
“I think it will be a great atmosphere,” Nickerson said. “We’ll be ready when the time comes.”
USF (6-0) brings challenges on both sides of the football, most notably dual-threat quarterback Quinton Flowers, who has 3,069 career rushing yards and 6,337 career passing yards.
This season, Flowers has passed for 1,118 yards, rushed for another 475 and accounted for 16 touchdowns in six games.
“We know what we have to do to contain him,” Nickerson said of Flowers. “We have to try to make him beat us with his arm.”
In addition to an offense that averages 492 yards and 42.8 points per game, the Bulls defense has allowed 77.8 yards per game on the ground – third-fewest in the country – and has helped USF post a nation’s best plus-13 turnover margin.
“They’re really playing great defense,” Fritz said. “It’s going to be a tremendous challenge for us. We need a great week of preparation and need to play lights out Saturday night.”
While Tulane hasn’t beaten a ranked team since its 31-28 victory over LSU in Baton Rouge in 1982, all it needs for an example of what might happen is to look at last week, when four AP Top 10 teams lost to unranked teams.
“On any given week,” running back Dontrell Hilliard said, “anybody can win.”
Saturday “is a good chance to put Tulane on the map,” Banks said.
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Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…