CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Tulane safety Devon Walker continues to recover from the broken neck he suffered last Saturday in the Green Wave's game at Tulsa.
The school wasn't releasing specific details of the recovery, but Tulane Coach Curtis Johnson has been optimistic since Walker underwent a three-hour procedure to stabilize his spine on Sunday.
"He's in the optimum situation (for the injury)," Johnson said in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "It was good when he had the surgery - it was expected to Tuesday or Wednesday but then it was on Sunday. So there is some good stuff going and I like where we are - as (good) as it can be."
Walker, a senior majoring in cell and molecular biology, was injured in a helmet-to helmet collision with defensive lineman Julius Warmsley near the end of the first half of last Saturday's game.
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HOUSTON THOUGHT its problems might be over after offensive coordinator Mike Nesbitt resigned following the Cougars season-opening loss to Texas State and was replaced with Travis Bush. It turned out offense wasn't Houston's only concern.
The Cougars gained 693 yards, but gave up 598 in a 56-49 loss to Louisiana Tech. The Cougars total defense ranking in the Football Bowl Subdivision dropped from 82nd last week to 115th this week. Their scoring defense ranking fell from 80th to 114th.
"Defensively, tackling is something we are going to continue to stress and that is going to be the number one point of emphasis this week," Houston Coach Tony Levine said. "We counted on the video we had 29 missed tackles that accounted for 196 yards after the missed tackle, and that is unacceptable and we're not going to stop very many people or win very many games tackling like that."
Houston lost despite quarterback David Piland's Conference USA Player-of-the-Week-winning performance. The sophomore threw for 580 yards and four touchdowns on 53-of-77 passing. The 77 attempts without an interception is an NCAA game record.
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DAYS LATER, Rice and Coach David Bailiff were basking in the glow of the Owls' come-from-behind win over Kansas, Rice's first win over a Big 12 opponent since the conference was formed. It was the Owls' first road win since beating North Texas on Sept. 11, 2010 and their first road win versus a BCS conference school since beating Northwestern in 1997.
"To start that one, where you have three turnovers in the first quarter, had to keep bouncing," Bailiff said, "we had a fumble and interception and a fumble on the kickoff return, and to just continue to keep fighting, plug in and make some defensive plays, just keep that offense in it, just thrilled with everything that happened that day."
Rice didn't have much time to celebrate. Its next opponent is the Louisiana Tech team that scorched Houston for 598 yards and 56 points.
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall.