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September 12, 2007At Bob Toledo's weekly press conference Toledo talked about the good and the bad in the Green Waves 38-17 loss to Mississippi State in their season opener last Saturday night in the Louisiana Superdome.
"I thought we did some good things when we had the ball," Toledo said.
The Wave and Bulldogs were tied 17-17 at the half and that is when the game went in another direction.
Tulane ran only 16 offensive plays in the second half as the Bulldogs ground game proved to be way too much for the Wave. In the game Tulane passes the ball 29 times and ran the ball 17 times for a total of 46 offensive plays.
Mississippi State ran 74 offensive plays and churned out 489-yards of total offense compared to Tulane's 243-yards. Toledo praised him team's effort against the Bulldogs but said that turnovers did his team in.
"Obviously, we were disappointed in losing the football game, but I don't think it was because of a lack of effort and that's one of the things I've kind of preached to our football team. I want great effort and intensity from start to finish and I thought they did a good job, particularly early. We got down, we fought back and we ended up tying the score at halftime. So we didn't give in to that."
The Wave was right there with the Bulldogs but three turnovers led to three State touchdowns.
"The thing that did us in were the turnovers. We had the three turnovers and all of them resulted in touchdowns. We got two turnovers and we turned it right back to them. We have a thing called sudden change where there's a turnover on one side or the other our team has got to take advantage of it and we did neither," Toledo said.
If Tulane is to have any chance against defending Conference USA Champion Houston this Saturday in the Dome they must run the football. Senior running back Matt Forte did have a 39-yard touchdown run but only managed 47-yards on the day and the Wave had 44-yards rushing as a team.
"We want to get Matt the ball more but we did not have the ball in the second half," Toledo said.
Toledo name sophomore WR Jeremy Williams the Wave's Offensive Player of the week as he hauled in four catches for 85-yards.
Junior linebacker James Dillard was the Defensive Player of the week. Dillard had 10 solo tackles and assisted on six others. And Ross Thevenot was named the Green Wave's Special Teams player of the week.
Toledo acknowledged the fans who attended the game and their show of support for his club.
"I thought the crowd was great. It was really exciting. When we walked through the crowd before the game and when we took the field, there was a lot of energy in the Dome for us. We had a good crowd. I was pleased and I want to thank those people that showed up. I appreciated them being there."
The Wave open C-USA play this Saturday night in the dome against defending conference champ Houston. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m.