Terren Encalade

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Tulane overpowering Louisiana in Cure Bowl as bowl season gets underway

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After quickly falling behind in the AutoNation Cure Bowl, Tulane has been too strong for Louisiana in the first bowl game of the season. Tulane scored 24 straight points to take a commanding 24-10 lead into halftime of the Cure Bowl in Orlando.

The game started off well for Louisiana when Raymond Calais capped the game’s opening possession with a 38-yard touchdown run for an early 7-0 lead. But the Ragin Cajuns went three-and-out on their next three offensive possessions while the defense was unable to find an answer for the Tulane offense. Tulane answered the opening score with a touchdown drive on their first possession of the game. Darius Bradwell ran 15 yards for a game-tying score on a drive highlighted by a 33-yard run by Amare Jones. Terren Encalade would give the Green Wave a 14-7 lead when he raced down the left sideline uncontested after a gamble by a Louisiana defender left him on the ground after missing on breaking up the pass or picking the ball off. Encalade had nobody in front of him on the 38-yard touchdown pass. Jones added a one-yard touchdown on Tulane’s next offensive series and a 38-yard field goal by Merek Glover pushed the Tulane lead to 24-7 early in the second quarter.

Things were going so well for Tulane, fans of the Green Wave started chanting “We want Bama!”

Shortly after that chant, Tulane quarterback Justin McMillan was picked off by Louisiana’s Bralen Trahan, who returned the football 63 yards to the Tulane 37-yard line with 23 seconds left in the half. Louisiana settled for a late field goal to cut into the lead.

Tulane has rushed for 208 yards, accounting for the majority of its 294 yards of offense in the first half. Louisiana was held to just 101 yards of offense and 75 of those yards came on the game’s opening possession.

Tulane has not won a bowl game since the 2002 Hawaii Bowl.

Biletnikoff Award watch list highlighted by 2017 finalist David Sills

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You know how I know we’re getting closer to the start of a new season?  Yet another watch list.

The latest to release theirs is the Biletnikoff Award, with the honor going to the nation’s top receiver issuing a list consisting of 50 players from all nine FBS conferences as well as one independent (UMass).  Headlining this year’s preseason list is West Virginia’s David Sills, who was a finalist for the 2017 award claimed by Oklahoma State’s James Washington.  One other 2017 semifinalist is included as well, Ole Miss’ A.J. Brown.

A total of seven teams placed two receivers each on the watch list: Cal (Kanawai Noa, Vic Wharton III), Louisville (Dez Fitzpatrick, Jaylen Smith), Nebraska (Stanley Morgan Jr., JD Spielman), North Texas (Jalen Guyton, Michael Lawrence), Oklahoma (Marquise Brown, CeeDee Lamb), Toledo (Diontae Johnson, Cody Thompson) and West Virginia (Gary Jennings Jr., Sills).

Three conferences totaled seven players apiece, the ACC, Big 12 and MAC.  That trio is followed by five each from Conference USA and four apiece for the AAC, Pac-12 and Sun Belt.  The Big Ten and Mountain West each placed three.

Below is the complete list of 2018 Biletnikoff Award preseason watch listers:

JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford
Tyre Brady, Marshall
A.J. Brown, Ole Miss
Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
Trevon Brown, East Carolina
Ryan Davis, Auburn
Greg Dortch, Wake Forest
Terren Encalade, Tulane
Dez Fitzpatrick, Louisville
James Gardner, Miami-Ohio
Jonathan Giles, LSU
Marcus Green, ULM
Jalen Guyton, North Texas
Emanuel Hall, Missouri
Justin Hall, Ball State
Kelvin Harmon, North Carolina State
N’Keal Harry, Arizona State
Penny Hart, Georgia State
Justin Hobbs, Tulsa
Andy Isabella, Massachusetts
Gary Jennings Jr., West Virginia
Anthony Johnson, Buffalo
Collin Johnson, Texas
Diontae Johnson, Toledo
KeeSean Johnson, Fresno State
CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
Michael Lawrence, North Texas
Ty Lee Middle, Tennessee
McLane Mannix, Nevada
Scott Miller, Bowling Green
Denzel Mims, Baylor
Stanley Morgan Jr., Nebraska
Kanawai Noa, California
James Proche, SMU
T.J. Rahming, Duke
Ahmmon Richards, Miami
Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
David Sills V, West Virginia
Steven Sims Jr., Kansas
Jaylen Smith, Louisville
Kwadarrius Smith, Akron
JD Spielman, Nebraska
Cody Thompson, Toledo
John Ursua, Hawaii
Teddy Veal, Louisiana Tech
Jamarius Way, South Alabama
Nick Westbrook, Indiana
Vic Wharton III, California
Malcolm Williams, Coastal Carolina
Olamide Zaccheaus, Virginia