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2008 CFN Tulane Preview
Tulane LB David Skehan
Tulane LB David Skehan
Posted May 20, 2008 2008 Preview - Tulane Green Wave

Tulane Green Wave

Preview 200

By Richard Cirminiello

- 2008 CFN Tulane Preview | 2008 CFN Tulane Offense
- 2008 CFN Tulane Defense | 2008 Tulane Depth Chart
- 2007 CFN Tulane Preview | 2006 CFN Tulane Preview 

Head coach: Bob Toledo
2nd year: 4-8
15th year overall: 82-70
Returning Lettermen:
Off. 23, Def. 22, ST 3
Lettermen Lost: 15
Ten Best Tulane Players
WR Jeremy Williams, Jr.
2. LB David Skehan, Sr.
3. OG Michael Parenton, Sr.
4. LB Evan Lee, Sr.
5. DE Reggie Scott, Sr.
6. CB Josh Lumar, Sr.
7. OT Troy Kropog, Sr.
8. FS Chinonso Echebelem, Jr.
9. DE Adam Kwentua, Jr.
10. RB Andre Snderson, Jr.

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2008 Record:

Sept. 6 at Alabama
Sept. 13 East Carolina
Sept. 20 UL Monroe
Sept. 27 SMU
Oct. 4 Army
Oct. 11 at UTEP
Oct. 25 Rice
Nov. 1 at LSU
Nov. 8 at Houston
Nov. 15 UAB
Nov. 22 at Tulsa
Nov. 29 at Memphis

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2007 Record:

Sept. 8 Mississippi St L 38-17
Sept. 15 Houston L 34-10
Sept. 22
SE Louisiana W 35-27
Sept. 29 LSU L 34-9
Oct. 6
at Army L 20-17 OT
Oct. 13 at UAB L 26-21
Oct. 20 at SMU W 41-34 OT
Oct. 27 Memphis L 28-27
Nov. 3 Tulsa L 49-25
Nov. 10 UTEP W 34-19
Nov. 17 at Rice W 45-31
Nov. 24 at E Carolina L 35-12

With 2,000-yard rusher Matt Forte off to play for the Chicago Bears, second-year head coach Bob Toledo needs to concoct ways to keep his players and fans thinking positive this spring.  It’s not going to be easy in the Big Easy.

Forte was the undisputed face of the program, the quarterback situation is unsettled, and defensive coordinator Thom Kaumeyer bolted for Kentucky in January after doing a nice job in 2007.  Toledo wouldn’t mind opening the passing game this fall, but Anthony Scelfo, Scott Elliott, and Kevin Moore did little to instill confidence last season, combining for just 10 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions.  Moore is the front-runner, but 2007 recruit Joe Kemp showed in the spring that he’s ready to push for the job once the Green Wave reconvenes in August.

Although Toledo is about to embark on his second season in New Orleans, Tulane is still firmly in a rebuilding mode.  With little star power on either side of the ball and question marks in the backfield, the Green Wave will struggle to surpass last year’s four wins, especially with LSU and Alabama lurking on the non-conference schedule. 

What to watch for on offense: Toledo is an inventive coach who craves an entertaining and unpredictable offense that keeps the opposition guessing.  To get to that point, however, he needs a triggerman that can consistently make things happen.  Enter sophomore Kevin Moore, a young gun who made some plays at the end of last season and pulled ahead in April’s quarterback derby.  If he’s truly ready for a promotion, the Green Wave has enough talent around him to make the coach’s vision for the offense begin coming into focus.

What to watch for on defense: New coordinator O’Neill Gilbert has a number of objectives in his first season, none more pressing than tightening up a pass defense that was overmatched throughout 2007.  He’ll have his hands full, inheriting a secondary that lacks size and a true lockdown corner.  The linebackers, however, are prepared to do their part to help out, as former safety David Skehan has been moved to strongside, and weakside favorite Travis Burks has prior experience in the secondary as well.      

The team will be far better if … the defensive line flourishes, despite losing so many valuable bodies at tackle.  As vulnerable as the Green Wave secondary is at this time, it’ll get toasted on a weekly basis if the front four can’t get a push or take opposing quarterbacks out of their comfort zone every once in a while.  While ends Reggie Scott and Adam Kwentua should take of business on the outside, the line is naked on the interior after losing its three best players to graduation.    

The Schedule: Getting one of the open dates in the first week of the season isn't a help in any way, and starting out at Alabama isn't going to kick things off well. Winning early home games against UL Monroe, SMU and Army are a must, and beating Rice after a mid-October off week is important. November is brutal. Very brutal with road trips to LSU, Houston, Tulsa and Memphis wrapped around a home date against UAB. Basically, the Green Wave can't give away any home games.

Best Offensive Player: Junior WR Jeremy Williams. The lone gamebreaker on the Green Wave offense, Williams is a deep threat, who’s on his way to becoming one of Conference USA’s most dangerous receivers.  A physical 6-1, 203-pounder with the speed to get behind a secondary, he’s about to pass last year’s career-highs of 46 catches for 773 yards and five touchdowns.  

Best Defensive Player
: Senior LB David Skehan. A former walk-on, Skehan has evolved into the steadiest performer on the Green Wave defense.  When the staff needed a linebacker who could defend the run and the pass equally well, it turned to the senior, a former standout at free safety.  An active and instinctive defender, Skehan had 66 tackles, four tackles for loss, four picks, and 10 pass break ups, nearly landing on the All-Conference USA Second Team. 

Key player to a successful season: Sophomore QB Kevin Moore.  When Toledo arrived two years ago, everyone knew that the offense would have to motor if Tulane was ever going to exit its decade-long malaise.  The offense survived last year because of Forte’s heroics, but he’s no longer an amateur.  Toledo needs Moore to grow into the passer that’ll allow the crafty coach to take the wraps off his offensive bag of tricks.  

The season will be a success if
... the Green Wave surpasses last year’s 4-8 mark. Even a fifth win would be evidence that Toledo has this wayward program headed in the right direction.  Beyond the standings, this has to be the season that Tulane begins to develop its quarterback of the future, a young chucker, like Moore or Joe Kemp, who can expose the league’s secondaries and offset a defense that won’t shut down many opponents. 

Key game: Sept. 13 vs. East Carolina. If the Green Wave has improved from last season, it’ll be evident against a Pirate team that’ll be competing for the Eastern Division title.  The visit from East Carolina kicks off a four-game homestand that’ll set the tempo for the rest of the season.  With an upset here, Tulane will have the momentum and the confidence to realistically dream about a .500 season.  

2007 Fun Stats: 
- 1st quarter scoring: Opponents 59 – Tulane 43; 2nd quarter scoring: Opponents 122 – Tulane 101
- Passing TDs: Opponents 26 – Tulane 10
- Kickoff return average: Opponents 22.5 yards – Tulane 17.8 yards