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Tulane Green Wave

Wave finishes workouts with Spring game

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NEW ORLEANS – Tulane football put all three phases on display in the 2017 spring game Saturday morning at Yulman Stadium

The Green Wave went through a planned workout, highlighted by a 38-play, scripted scrimmage and 25-play, two-minute drill session pitting the offense against the defense. The team also went through plays in the special teams with field goals, punts and kickoff returns. The game was played with no live tackling and no score was kept.

Offensively, junior quarterback Jonathan Banks completed five passes for 65 yards, while redshirt junior quarterback Glen Cuiellette connected on four passes for 62 yards. Senior running back Dontrell Hilliard scored the lone touchdown on a six-yard run. Hilliard carried the ball four times for 19 yards. Redshirt freshman wide receiver Jacob Robertson Jr. and redshirt junior tight end Charles Jones II each hauled in three receptions with Jones bringing in the day's longest catch at 30 yards from Cuiellette.

On the defensive side, sophomore linebacker Lawrence Graham recorded with four tackles, sophomore safety Will Harper snagged an interception and redshirt senior nickelback Jarrod Franklin was credited with a 34-yard fumble recovery.

In the kicking game, redshirt freshman Coby Neenan and junior Randy Harvey each connected on two field goals, while junior Zachary Block averaged 35.7 yards in his three punts.
Head Coach Willie Fritz Postgame Quotes
On his overall assessment of the 2017 Tulane Football Spring Game"
"It's hard to evaluate tackling and that kind of stuff (in the spring game). We saw a lot of good things and went through a lot of situations. The two-minute drill is invaluable for us, and going through the different scenarios was important for us because each one is a little bit different. When you're scrimmaging against each other, you see good things and you see bad things, but, overall, there was a lot of good work done today. We've had a very competitive spring, and I feel a lot better about our team now than I did last year."

On the defense's performance
"I thought the defense dominated for the first 18 plays. [The defense] produced a good pass rush and didn't provide a pocket for the quarterbacks."

On junior quarterback Jonathan Banks' performance:
"(Banks) started off a little slow, but I thought he really played well in the two-minute drills. The tough part for him is that in a controlled scrimmage, you can't get away from guys and run around. I thought he did some things that were good, but he made some plays that he'd like to have back. He's had an excellent spring.

On Banks' dedication to winning the starting job:
"He has a good work ethic. He's a gym rat and the kind of guy who puts in all his effort."

On Banks' experience:
"He started nine or 10 games at [Independence Community College] and he was at Kansas State, so he's been in a college system and has a lot of experience. There's a big difference between recruits from high school and recruits from junior college - it's experience."

On the challenges facing Banks:
"(The biggest challenge) is learning our system. The play-calling, verbiage, tempo. Everything is entirely new for him, and that'd be a challenge for anyone coming in."

On committing turnovers and limiting mistakes on offense:
"We've got to get better at [our ball security]. Our turnover-takeaway margin gave us an opportunity to be competitive last season, so we've got to make sure we can sustain that. It starts with our center and quarterback being on the same page to make sure the ball is secure."

On the position battles across the offensive line:
"Keyshawn McLeod has really played well this spring. I'm not sure how he did today, but there's some competition at the left tackle position between him and [sophomore] Tyler Johnson. We've got to have five studs [on the offensive line], and we've got seven or eight guys competing for those spots right now. We're in a good place."

On his outlook for the team after completing the spring game:
"Compared to last year at this point, we're much better. We've got good competition at positions. Guys are understanding our philosophy on offense, defense and special teams. I think we're ahead. Now, we've got to keep going."

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