Wave of momentum carries into Tulane spring game Saturday
NEW ORLEANS – The momentum that has built around the Tulane football program began late last season and hasn’t let up.
The Green Wave wraps up spring drills on Saturday with its spring game at 10 a.m. at Yulman Stadium. It finished its final practice prior to the spring game Thursday morning.
“This is a new season,” Tulane coach Willie Fritz is quick to remind. “This is a new group of guys.
“Obviously, finishing the year on a high note, the guys that have been in this program have seen the progress.”
Tulane was 2-5 after seven games before winning four of its last five in the regular season, including a thrilling 29-28 season finale at home over Navy, to become bowl eligible. The Wave defeated Louisiana in the Cure Bowl in Orlando for its first bowl victory since 2002 to finish 7-6.
“Coming into spring, we had a lot of momentum and excitement,” running back Darius Bradwell said.
It’s less about momentum and more about additional reps for defensive end Cameron Sample. “I’m just feeling more comfortable in the defense,” he said.
Saturday will look closer to a game than a practice – albeit a preseason game, perhaps.
“Everybody’s gonna play,” Fritz said. “When we practice, we’re not tackling to the ground, the quarterback’s not live, it’s not real football. We’re gonna be tackling on Saturday. I just want to see them pull the trigger in real, game-type situations.”
The biggest change for the Green Wave this spring has been the addition of offensive coordinator Will Hall from Memphis.
“I’m really excited about Coach Hall has melded our triple option with what he does,” Fritz said. “That’s been exciting to see. He’s done a really good job with tempo. I think he really uses the field horizontally and vertically.”
Said Bradwell: “We’re going to be a lot more versatile.”
Fritz said his offense could average 15 more plays per game this year.
“It’s gonna be a bunch of guys that are going to have an opportunity to touch the ball,” he said.
Bradwell said he played in an up-tempo offense in high school.
“Once the defense is tired and you’re not,” Bradwell said, “it’s fun.”
Gates open at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Admission is free. The spring game precedes the middle game of the Green Wave’s American Athletic Conference baseball series with USF, which begins at 2 p.m.
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Lenny has been involved in college athletics since 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;…