2008 Tulane Preview: Can Toledo’s team make waves in ‘08?

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2008 Tulane Preview: Can Toledo’s team make waves in ‘08?

The Green Wave have to replace arguably the best runner in school history, but things appear to be looking up in New Orleans.

Coach: Bob Toledo

2007 Record: 4-8, 3-5 C-USA

Returning Starters: 17 (Offense: 8, defense: 7, kicker/punter: 2)

Top Returnees: LT Troy Kropog, LG Michael Parenton, WR Jeremy Williams, DE Reggie Scott, LB Evan Lee, CB Josh Lumar, LB David Skehan

Key Losses: RB Matt Forte, C Aryan Barto, DT Antonio Harris, DT Avery Williams, S Joe Goosby

2008 Schedule

Sept. 6 @ Alabama

Sept. 13 East Carolina

Sept. 20 Louisiana-Monroe

Sept. 25 SMU

Oct. 4 Army

Oct. 11 @ UTEP

Oct. 25 Rice

Nov. 1 @ LSU

Nov. 8 @ Houston

Nov. 15 UAB

Nov. 22 @ Tulsa

Nov. 29 @ Memphis

Key game: For sentimental reasons, it would have the Oct. 4 homecoming matchup against Army. Tulane will play that game at Tad Gormley Stadium for the first time since 2004. Previously, the Green Wave played three straight (2002-04) homecoming contests at the stadium and the 2005 game was scheduled to be there as well, but Hurricane Katrina changed all that.

2008 Outlook

The Green Wave will have a big hole to fill in replacing the nation’s second-leading rusher from 2007, Matt Forte, who likely will be starting in the NFL for the Chicago Bears. Andre Anderson will take that role. He averaged 7.2 yards per carry in the spring game and convinced coach Bob Toledo: “He’s got to carry the load as a running back next fall,” Toledo said.

Tulane also likely will be replacing 2007 starting QB Anthony Scelfo. Toledo allowed Scelfo to skip spring practice to concentrate on baseball, and he emerged as one of C-USA’s top players, getting drafted in the eighth round of this year’s draft. He could return in the fall, but it’s unlikely.

“Obviously, Anthony had a chance last year to show what he could do. And we know what he can do. He’s involved with baseball now, and this summer he’s going to be involved with baseball. He’s missing a lot of football. It’s one of those things where we need someone to come in here and throw the football efficiently and effectively. And if it is Scelfo in fall camp, then it may be him. But right now, it is down to basically two people — (Kevin) Moore and (Joe) Kemp,” Toledo said.

Moore, a sophomore, shared the job with Scelfo last year, so that may give him a leg up, but Kemp shined even though he’s only a freshman. Whoever takes the snaps will be protected by a line that returns four starters. And whoever wins the job will be throwing often to receiver Jeremy Williams, who had 46 catches, 773 receiving yards and five TDs last year but was much improved this spring.

On defense, the strength should be up front. With the decision to move senior David Skehan from strong safety to outside linebacker, the front seven returns six starters, although it must replace the combined 10 sacks of departed Antonio Harris and Avery Williams. Watch for sophomore Tony Bryant to step in and make a name for himself this year.

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