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Page 207 text:
The whole ordeal was, quite simply, very, very ugly. There was the obvious lack of discipline on the 1984 team, which saw a bench clear- ing brawl after the LSG game, several inci- dents of taunting opponents with foul lan- guage and finger pointing, and the filthy incident involving a player allegedly har- rassing several coeds in their dorm shower. And first and foremost, there was the poor performance of the team, which lost football games in bunches. Looking back to the pre-season, hopes were rather high for the ' 84 Wave, mostly because of a classy, talented young quarter- back named Ken Karcher, who had trans- ferred from the University of Notre Dame. Karcher would not have had the season that was expected of him (the overly high expectations may have probably hurt him), but he did have a few outstanding games. Tulane ' s opening contest, however, a crushing loss to Mississippi State in the Su- perdome, was not one of them. Karcher, known for his accurate arm, did not complete a pass in 13 attempts, and a favored Tulane team was mauled 30-3. If Karcher ' s performance was bad, the showing of Tulane ' s defense was miserable as Bulldog quarterback Don Smith passed through and around Tulane ' s secondary as though they were statues in a park. The following Saturday, a shellshocked Wave team traveled to Gainesville, Florida to face a Gator team that had just been charged with over 100 NCAA rule viola- tions. Karcher improved quite a bit, throw- ing for a couple of touchdowns. But the defense? Oh did it get worse? The powerful Gators who many felt were the best in the nation at seasons end, scored seemingly at will, humiliating the Wave 63-21. That ' s SIXTY THREE points in case you read right over that staggering score. This would be the Gator ' s rule-buster head Coach Charley Pell ' s last game as he was fired a few days later. He did, however, go out with a bang. Having started miserably, the Wave re- turned home to face the Kentucky Wildcats and played their best football of the season (which isn ' t saying much) only to fall 30-26 in the waning moments. Karcher continued to improve, completing 24 of 37 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns. Again, the confused, confidenceless Wave defense couldn ' t do the job in this losing homecom- ing effort and fell to 0-3. Things didn ' t look good. Following a fourth, uneventful loss to Ole Miss in Oxford, the winless Wave traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to face an undefeat- ed and highly ranked Vanderbilt team. This was, without a doubt, the sweetest moment in what was a very sour season. Both the offense and the defense did their part in a shocking 27-23 win. When Vander- bilt had the ball, Tulane ' s revamped defense swarmed forcing highly touted Vandy quar- terback Into four interceptions, two of them by senior New Orleans native Benny Burst. On offense, it was all Karcher. The junior signal caller completed 24 of 39 passes for 316 yards and a touchdown. Later in the week, Karcher was named Sports lllustrat- ed ' s player of the week for his performance. The following week, Tulane ' s upbeat per- formance carried over in an impressive 35-7 win over Southern Mississippi. All of the sudden, Wave fans were talking about 9 revamped team. A team that had finally found themselves. The offense was rolling. And most encouraging, the defense, which had allowed an average of 35 points in the four opening losses, had allowed just 15 per game in back to back wins. Who knows, people thought, this team might prove us wrong after all. Of course, they didn ' t. Although the de- fense kept pace against Florida State in Tal- , lahassee, allowing the explosive SeminoleaT just one offensive touchdown, the offense, particularly the punt protection, collapsed. FSO blocked two punts which led to touch- downs, the Wave offensive attack did noth- ing, and a two game win streak had ended with a 27-6 loss. For the next two weeks, the offense slept and slept. Though the defense played re- markably, the losses piled up. The Wave mustered up only two field goals in a 13-6 loss to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. They managed only 10 points in a 21-10 loss to the University of Pittsburgh at Pitt Field. And returned home at 2-7 to face Memphis State in the Superdome. With the defense now a strong dependable unit, the Wave managed to snap their second three game losing streak with a listless 14-9 win over the Tigers. Another team nick- named the Tigers, the Sugar Bowl bound Ti- gers of LSU, was all that remained of what had been a long, disappointing season. In front of almost 80,000 boisterous fans in Tiger stadium, a pesky Wave team with nothing to lose, played their most inspired football of the year behind a senior running back with a heart the size of Tiger Stadium. Mike Jones, a quiet, classy runner playing his final game for the Wave, saved his best for last. Running like a man possessed, Jones, who couldn ' t hold back his tears in the post game Interview, carried the ball 17 times for 129 yards. But it wasn ' t enough as the Tigers held for a 33-15 win, ending the Wave ' s season at a sorry 3-8. A bench clear- ing brawl ended the contest. While most Wave fans were carried away in the losses and the controversy of 1984, many fine individual performances were overlooked. On offense. Junior tight end Larry Route caught a team leading 46 passes for 478 yards and three touchdowns, Senior wide receiver hauled in 33 passes for 509 yards and four touchdowns. Senior kicker Tony Wood played well, hitting 18 out of 19 extra points and 13 of 17 field goal attempts. On defense. Junior linebacker Burnell Dent piled up a team leading 139 tackles and Benny Burst snared five interceptions. But again, the bad outweighted the good. Several weeks after the season, the Tu- lane administration fired Wally English. Athletic Ditector Wall cited " broad irrecon- cilable policy differences between English and the Tuland administration " as the rea- son for the firing. ' Looking back over all the problems that haunted Tulane football during the English era, you couldn ' t really blame the adminis- tration for wanting a change. Sometimes, even if it ' s no one person ' s fault, a change is needed to turn things around. For Tulane football, that time for a change was indeed after the season of 1984. A year that saw losses, controversy, poor fan support and little discipline. A year in which Tulane ' s football pro- gram indeed hit rock bottom. — S. Master I football 203
Page 206 text:
Problems, Problems, Problems . . . Photos: D. Leavitl Eddie Meal (99) sets up the tackle for Harvey Cox (54) in the first home game against Mississippi State Uni- versity Bulldogs. Right back Mike Jones (42) receives the kick-off and plows down to the 40 yard line. Offensive linesmen Jeff Wenzel (75), Ronald Tilton (74), and Randy Saffy (71) prepare to mangle Ole Miss as Ken Karcher (12) calls the plays.
Page 208 text:
TU .KNt I T AL »e j| tWUkNt VARSITY Beneath the flashy uniform, hidden un- derneath the smiles, the shouts, and the pom-pons, if you know what to look for, you see the hard work and determination it takes to be a varsity cheerleader. But wait a minute. This is Tulane. Don ' t these people just go out on the field and jump around, yelling and screaming like idiots? Oh no, it ' s more than that. Cheerleading is working all spring semes- ter, after basketball season, for try-outs. It ' s giving up a month of your summer to brave an August in New Orleans. It means prac- ticing a lot, three nights a week in the Fav- rot field house when you have a mid-term the next day. That ' s just the beginning, even more time is required to plan pep ral- lies, learn stunts with partners and cheer for booster Club Dinners. But hold on, wait a minute. If cheerlead- ing is such a hassle, why would anyone want to put in that much time? Because it ' s fun; the hard work really pays off. A feeling of elation exists, a high from being that close to the playing field. It makes you feel involved and important. Well then, aren ' t cheerleaders silly, brain- less creatures who know nothing about game rules, much less academics. Sorry, wrong again. This year ' s cheerleaders are architects, bio-chem majors, business school majors, engineers, and English ma- jors. Cheerleading is an addiction. You get more and more involved and attached as time goes by. Your conversation is dominat- ed by it. Your day is scheduled around it. Your other relationships suffer for it. You travel to new cities and explore other col- leges. There are arguments, inside jokes and special friends. Cheerleading is a partnership, like mar- riage. You take the good and the bad. It ' s time, sweat and hard work . . . It ' s recogni- tion, admiration and fun . . . It ' s a part of the college experience that will stay with you forever. The Green Wave mascot, affectionately known as Gumby, meets his match against the South Carolina Gamecock. Senior business school student Lil Story and second year architect student Rich Ward psyche the crowd as the Greenies actually threaten to score a touchdown in the season opener. 204 cheerleaders
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