CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Tulane's rough football season has gotten even rougher. The Green Wave was down to its third-string quarterback in Saturday's 63-10 loss to Louisiana-Monroe - and even that signal-caller, fifth-year senior D.J. Porter, was banged up following the game.
"You hate to let your enemy know your weaknesses, but he got hit eight to 10 times during the game and there were some hard hits," Tulane Coach Curtis Johnson said. "He's just a little banged up. He can move around and do some things, but he'll do other things and it won't feel pleasant."
Starter Ryan Griffin is out with a shoulder injury, while No. 2 quarterback Devin Powell hurt his toe. Ponder is listed as the starter for Saturday's game at Louisiana-Lafayette.
Ponder threw for 160 yards and a touchdown, while tossing three interceptions and fumbling once, in his first career start.
The Green Wave is struggling everywhere, averaging just five rushing yards and eight points per game, while allowing nearly 491 yards and 43 points per game.
Tulane is dead last the Football Bowl Subdivision in total offense, scoring offense and rushing offense, 112th in total defense and 118th in scoring defense.
Johnson can't pinpoint just one area of concern. He's looking to instill any shred of confidence and is still trying to find continuity in Tulane's offense, especially its offensive line. And he's been plugging in more freshmen into important spots than he'd like.
"If I wasn't bald, I would be," he said.
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RICE IS breathing easier now that starting quarterback Taylor McHargue has been cleared to play.