LAFAYETTE — Look at Tulane’s accomplishments this season, and the list is rather short.
The Green Wave averages eight points, gains fewer than 3 yards per play, averages 5 yards rushing per game, and has fallen behind 106-9 by halftime.
But those statistics about 0-4 Tulane don’t concern University of Louisiana at Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth, whose team hosts the Green Wave for the Cajuns’ 4 p.m. Saturday homecoming contest.
Hudspeth said ULL (3-1) knows what performance level he expects when the teams meet for the first time since 2000.
“Make no mistake, they (the Cajuns) know the importance of this game and doing the job expected for homecoming,” Hudspeth said. “They got a message from me and how I expect them to play and prepare for this game.”
For first-year Tulane coach Curtis Johnson, the start of the year has been tough to say the least.
“You want to win a game. You want to just get some kind of confidence,” Johnson said.
Being winless is just one of the problems confronting Johnson.
Because of injuries, Tulane is down to its third-string quarterback, and Johnson said his young offensive line needs to play better if the Green Wave hopes to generate more offense.
The Green Wave played fifth-year senior D.J. Ponder at quarterback in last week’s 63-10 loss to ULM, because of injuries to starter Ryan Griffin and backup Devin Powell.
Ponder, who played at Catholic High School, completed 21 of 44 passes for 160 yards against ULM, but he was intercepted three times.
Both Griffin and Powell are listed as questionable for the game.
The Tulane offensive line is made up of mostly freshmen, which Johnson said is affecting production.
“I’m very concerned about the offensive line,” Johnson said. “There’s no consistency in them being together. We’ve got two quarterbacks out. We haven’t run the ball very well.
“We get behind so much, we turn into a one-dimensional team.”
While the offensive line is searching for maturity, the quarterbacks have taken a beating.
“Right now the biggest concern is the quarterback position,” Johnson said. “Ryan Griffin didn’t do much (earlier this week) with (the first string and second string), and Devin Powell did some work, but he limped around noticeably. Ponder is banged up from last week, but he looked pretty good (in this week’s practices).”
ULL has a quarterback transition situation of its own.
Former Capitol High standout Terrance Broadway will start in place of senior Blaine Gautier, who started 14 straight games before breaking his left throwing hand in last Saturday’s 48-20 Sun Belt Conference win over FIU.
Broadway has played in every game this year, and passed for 462 yards and two touchdowns.
Ironically, Broadway’s only other collegiate start came in 2010, when as a freshman at the University of Houston, he threw for 174 yards in a 42-34 victory over the Green Wave.
Two years later, Broadway said the Cajuns aren’t overlooking Tulane.
“Not a chance,” he said. “This is the most important game in (ULL) history. The coaches are making sure we don’t look past Tulane and are ready to go and we don’t let them spoil our homecoming.”
Inserting Broadway as the starter won’t alter the ULL offensive concept, Hudspeth said.
“Both (Gautier and Broadway) are similar. They throw accurately, run when needed and scramble well enough to get the most out of broken plays,” he said.
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