Monday, April 11, 2011

Tulane Green Wave 2010 Review

2010 Record: 4-8 (2-6), 6th Conference USA East
2010 Bowl Game: None
2010 Schedule/Results: Southeast Louisiana, W 27-21; Ole Miss, L 27-13; @ Houston, L 42-23; @ Rutgers, W 17-14; Army, L 41-23; @ Tulsa, L 52-24; @ UTEP, W 34-24; SMU, L 31-17; Southern Miss, L 46-30; Rice, W 54-49; UCF, L 61-14; @ Marshall, L 38-23


     The economy's decrepit state surely saved some coaches from being fired with years left on their contracts in 2010, and nobody more so than Bob Toledo. The Green Wave suffered through yet another losing season in 2010 under Toledo, and there is very little light at the end of the tunnel. Most people felt that Toledo was all done last season, and I had him firmly swimming in the dead pool, but a bad economy and a fragile financial state in Tulane athletics ensured that Toledo stayed, and it's probably not going to help anything as Tulane continues to lose under his watch.
     Ryan Griffin had his moments at QB in 2010, but he was mostly averag at best. He did pass for 2371 yards on the seaosn, but only passed for 14 TDs against 8 picks. The 8 picks weren't horrible, but only passing for 14 TDs in a pssing based offense is just no good. Griffin will be the undisputed starter in 2011, as there is very little returning experience to push him.
     The Green Wave does have a star in the making in freshman Orleans Darkwa, who rushed for 925 yards and 11 TDs on the season. If he becomes a more focal point on the offense in 2011, it may propel Tulane to more wins. Darkwa is in line to become one of the best backs in the league if he can receive more work next fall. He only averaged 16.73 carries per game. That number needs to exceed 20 next season.
     Three of the top five receivers from last season return in 2011, but Casey Robottom (56-663-4), the team leader, won't be one of them. The Wave also loses TE Cody Sparks, who was third on the team with a line of 43-427-6. Sparks led the team with his 6 TDs. That leaves Ryan Grant, a sophomore in 2010, as the key returnee at WR. Grant was second on the team in 2010 with a line of 33-515-4. DJ Banks (47-419-3) lines up to be the new #2 receiver. No other receivers on the team had 20 receptions in 2010.
     The Green Wave gave up 195.5 yards per game on the ground last fall, and it was a key into Tulane struggling once again. The Green Wave also gave up 30 or more points 8 times on the season, including 40 or more 6 times.
     Trent Mackey, a sophomore LB, led the team in tackles with 124 on the season, and averaged 10.33 per game. Mackey will be the center piece in what will hopefully be a revamped unit coming into the fall. Unfortunately, the front 7 failed to produce any other defender who averaged 5 tackles per game in 2010, with the exception of Dezman Moses, but he only recorded 51 tackles and missed two games. The next three tacklers for Tulane were all members of the secondary in Alex Wacha (91), Shakiel Smith (90), and Ryan Travis (67).
     Moses and Justin Adams were the primary threats up front for the Wave, as they collected double figures in TFLs. Moses had 10 on the season, but it was Adams who was the leader with 12.5 on the year. The Green Wave did very little to threaten opposing QBs, as Adams collected 7.5 sacks, and that was enough to lead the team. They have to do better. Tulane collected 25 sacks as a team, and hopefully, with a ton of young players returning, there will be an upswing here in 2011.
      Philip Davis was a busy guy in the secondary. While his teammates in the back 4 were cleaning up the mess of the rush D, Davis was ballhawking in the secondary, having defended 12 passes in 2010. Davis and Shakiel Smith tied for the team lead with 3 picks a piece. The secondary was not bad in 2010, as they held opposing passing games to 194 yards passing per game.
     Cairo Santos was solid as a freshman in 2010. Santos nailed 13 of his 16 FG attempts, making him one of the best young kickers in America coming into the 2011 season. Jonathon Ginsburgh was reliable as a freshman, as he barely cleared 40 yards per punt as a freshman. He looks to get better in 2011, and his leg will be needed.


Bob Toledo likely will not get another chance after 2011. Toledo has some very good young players returning in 2011, but if they play to the same level as they did last fall, Tulane will be in trouble once again. The tempo was dictated in 2010 when the Wave struggled to survive to beat FCS Southeast Louisiana. The Wave schedule sets up to have a shot to start out at 4-1. If they fail to get close to that, then we should probably be saying goodbye to Toledo by mid-season. Expectations should be high.

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